Brampton’s work is an imaginative blend of fantasy and mystery, cloaked in teen angst and the conflict of good vs. evil.
From a momentary glimpse into a world of winged dragons and bloody battles to a present-day journey that takes a young teen on a quest to uncover an ancient medallion that will keep his family safe from harm, C. C. Brampton’s Joseph Van Pearce and the Prophecy of the Dragon’s Head Medallion is a captivating tale.
Fifteen-year-old Joseph Van Pearce has a lot on his plate. In the aftermath of his firefighter father’s death, he is dealing with a grieving, alcoholic mother and his own worrisome existence. When he discovers an old photograph of his father and archaeologist grandfather with a strange riddle attached, Joseph is determined to find some answers. While visiting his widowed grandmother, who suspects her husband was murdered, he finds a hidden letter containing an ominous message that entrusts him with safeguarding a powerful medallion and retrieving a dagger that will fend off otherworldly evils. Erin, the daughter of a local pub owner, joins him on his mission. The road ahead is paved with cryptic messages, hidden passages, a ghost of the past, and a palpable dark presence.
Brampton imparts an old-world feel to this story, with much of the action following characters roving the British countryside. This is a vista strewn with quaint villages, stone edifices, and stained-glass churches. Found parchment scrolls are written in antiquated languages. In stark contrast, a modern-day translation is provided in a palatial, high-tech library housing locked vaults and an artificial virtual assistant.
There is a sweet, old-fashioned charm to the budding romance between Joseph and Erin. Typical teen banter over Erin’s lead-foot driving skills eventually give way to blushes and a kiss. With added humor, the author plays into Joseph’s own youthful inexperience. When he initially ventures on this escapade in his father’s classic Jaguar, it’s a comic driving lesson in the making.
With these two teenagers on the move, the action remains well-paced. The young hunters become the hunted. The quiet, unexpected approach of sinister, beady-eyed crows evokes a primal fear reminiscent of Hitchcock’s The Birds. Environmental elements serve as an integral part of the literary landscape. Icy roads, darkened woods, crumbling towers hidden by overgrowth, and mystical waters are details on the route to uncovered secrets.
Brampton’s work is an imaginative blend of fantasy and mystery, cloaked in teen angst and the conflict of good vs. evil. In its coming-of-age vein, this story should entice all of those drawn to young adult fiction as well as those interested in the start of a new epic adventure.
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