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The 2016 Shadow Panel of bookbloggers have started to share their thoughts about this year’s shortlist.  Read what they have to say about Benjamin Wood’s The Ecliptic

“In his attempt to explore how the creative process works, Wood pulls a sleight of hand on the reader which is revealed in the fourth and final section. At the Young Writer of the Year Award bloggers’ event, Wood said that he knew he was taking a risk with this. Whether or not he pulls it off will, I suspect, depend on the taste of each of the novel’s readers. For me, it was an ambitious – and an interesting – undertaking and I’d rather see a novelist challenge themselves to produce something unusual and difficult than play it safe. Whilst I wasn’t wholly convinced, the very end of the novel is inspired and very clever; it left me feeling that Benjamin Wood is one to watch, I suspect he’s going to produce something very special indeed. ” Naomi Frisby, The Writes of Woman

“If you like art, mysteries and historical fiction, there’s plenty to admire in The Ecliptic. It’s a thoroughly engrossing novel, one that is intelligent, cleverly plotted and full of rich, intimate language. Its slow build up of suspense, despite its length, is also a feat that demonstrates much skill. But for me, the ending was slightly disappointing, although I loved the strange, almost hallucinogenic nature of it.” Kim Forrester, Reading Matters

“Benjamin Wood constructs his story carefully so that the past reflects meaningfully upon the present in Elspeth’s journey as an artist. All the while it has tremendous momentum and drive making it compulsively readable. The closest comparison I can make for Wood’s novel is Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” for the way in which it deals with high concepts about art in a way which is utterly unpretentious and tells a cracking good story at the same time. The ending has left me thinking hard about how we create and commune with art. “The Ecliptic” is a passionate, invigorating and expertly conceived novel.” Eric Karl Anderson, Lonesome Reader

 

You can follow along with the Shadow Panel‘s thoughts on twitter with #YoungWriterAwardShadow.

Young Writer Award @YoungWriterYear

Follow us on twitter. The Sunday Times / Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award, in association with the University of Warwick is a prize of £5,000 for a writer under 35.