The Child Eater
By Rachel Pollack
Author’s Website: http://www.rachelpollack.com/index2.html
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Omar
On Earth, the Wisdom family has always striven to be more normal than normal. But Simon Wisdom, the youngest child, is far from normal: he can see the souls of the dead. And now the ghosts of children are begging him to help them, as they face something worse than death. The only problem is, he doesn’t know how.
In a far-away land of magic and legends, Matyas has dragged himself up from the gutter and inveigled his way into the Wizards’ college. In time, he will become more powerful than all of them – but will his quest blind him to the needs of others? For Matyas can also hear the children crying.
But neither can save the children alone, for the child eater is preying on two worlds…
The Child Eater is a story about two worlds that come together to stop an ancient evil. One of the worlds is like our own world, where we have electricity and everything is cleaner. In this world we have Jack Wisdom and his son Simon. Since Jack was young, his father always told him to be more than normal as their family wasn’t super intelligent as their name said. After an incident where people made fun of them because of Jack, his tries all his life to be normal and to not pay attention to the dream he had, the voices of children he heard, and the lights he saw. In the other world, a more medieval one, where magic exists, wizards are feared and precise, lives Matyas. At the age of fifteen he leaves his family Inn, where his father treated him like a slave, along with his only friend behind. After seeing a man flying and hearing voices calling him a Master”, the way wizards are called, he goes to the capital and enters the Wizard Academy. Without knowing it, what Matyas imagenes or sees, Jack dreams it.
In both of the worlds, children between the age of 8 and 10 years old disappear and later their bodies are found without their heads. Matyas, Jack, and Simon hear their cries for help but are unable to know what to do or how to stop the Child Eater.
I will say that I have mixed emotions with this book. For one part, I loved all of the theories of how the world came to exist, the types of magic and ways to use them. Also, I liked how both worlds were intertwined. What I didn’t like sometimes was Jack and Matyas. In his quest to be more normal than normal, something his family had been trying to be for a long time, Jack seems to hurt his son without knowing it. Matyas made me mad because of his pride and paranoia.
I really like when authors do their research and combine them in their story. In this story, Rachel Pollack has created a combination of different theories of how the universe and the Earth came to exist. She takes the idea of the world being created in seven days and combines it with the idea that the Earth has been created five times. I liked how all this came to combine and how Matyas is taught about it. It creates a story inside the story that we are reading.
The story shows many points that can make the reader relate with the characters. There is love and friendship; the expectations from our parents; the need to learn everything we can; the need to show those who look down on us that we actually made it; and, most of all, to want power. Both Matyas and Jack experience these things, and even Simon with his friend Jimmy has had a hard time being his friend. It got to a point that I understood what the characters were feeling.
The Child Eater is one of those books that are hard to put done once you’ve started, and even when the narrative would go back and forth between Matyas and Jack/Simon, this made the reader want to get faster to next chapter.
If you are a fan of Rachel Pollack’s work, or you like stories that talk about Tarot cards, magic, and eternity, then I recommend you the Child Eater. Here two worlds are joined by an evil without a name that has terrorized them for a long time, but with many events made by Matyas and Jack the end is near and the children are free.