I read James' story Santa Claus vs the Aliens and enjoyed it, especially after he fixed up the ending as I, and a few other reviewers, suggested, so when he asked me to take a look at this one, I was really excited.
Bel has just become an apprentice to a great wizard, but had not had the chance to learn anything from him before they had to set off with two others (another wizard and his apprentice, a boy Bel had known in school) to find out the reason for the darkness that has swept over their lands and the zombie-esque creatures that are walking through that darkness.
I liked this story. It was fun, interesting, and I really enjoyed the characters, especially the two wizards and their apprentices. I liked the description of the darkness that covered everything and the adventure that they went on to try to save their lands from the evil that was taking over. I liked the battle at the end, as well, and would really like to know more about these characters and their adventures to come, so I can't wait for book 2 to come out.
I did have one or two problems with the book. First, it does have some editing issues, which I brought to the attention of the author. Second, and the biggie for me, the dead - they are funny and, at times, even dumb, which makes them attacking not really all that frightening. In fact, the only times that I had a fear of them was when they were first introduced (mainly because I did not know what they were capable of) and when they were attacking the town that these four stopped in for a few days to rest. The other times, they seemed more like an annoying afterthought.
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.