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The Legend of Black Jack by A.R. Witham — Book Review


Jack Swift can tell you every element on the periodic table, recite Treasure Island verbatim, and would remember in perfect detail every word you’d ever say to him. He has been alone for a long time, so he has buried himself in books, using them to plan his escape.    

But no textbook could ever prepare him for the land of Keymark.

At 3:33 a.m. on his fourteenth birthday, Jack is kidnapped by a hideous monster to another sphere of existence. Now there are two moons in the sky, and he is surrounded by grotesque creatures and magical warriors training for battle. They want the impossible: Jack must use his abilities to save a life or be trapped in this bizarre world with no chance of rescue.

Jack doesn’t have secret magic, a great destiny, or any experience.

So why do they all expect him to become a legend?

The Legend of Black Jack by A.R.Witham
The Legend of Black Jack by A.R.Witham

AUTHOR: A.R.Witham

PUBLISHED ON: 17 May 2022

GENRE: YA Fantasy, Coming of Age



E-ARC provided by the author A.R.Whitham and the Escapist Tours

CONVINCING YOU TO READ THIS IN 6 WORDS: Adventure to the unknown, coming of age story, monsters, being different, portals & adorable creatures? 


The Legend of Black Jack by A.R.Witham is something that I needed to read. I have been constantly reading heavy books. Books that are either full series or beginning of epic fantasies- so constantly between word building, characters and of course deaths. This book was something totally, well, not totally but definitely different from that. I have been reading series for a while and I think this is my second standalone for the year. But I honestly enjoyed this so much. I didn’t honestly think that there could be so much things happening around in just one book and on top of that with a boy, a kid practically and seeing him on adventure after adventure and more than that seeing him use some common sense, it was something my made mt heart sweal.

Starting with things that I absolutely loved. *Tam* This book has illustrations. Yes. Full fledged illustrations. Again, the kid in me fell in love. I read an e-copy but I am definitely contemplating to buy a physical copy soon. I loved how wholesome Jack is. How in a way, he lost his parents, his journey throughout the foster homes and how he found his love for healing and his dream to be a doctor. How it is clear that he was constantly bullied for being different, for doing things in a particular way, for liking some things or not liking what other did. But despite all that, Jack while remembering all that doesn’t lose who he is. When he sees someone he likes kissing someone else, he is angry. And throughout, Jack despite being matured for his age, time and again, I was reminded that he is just a kid. And that won me.

I loved. I loved seeing him being a doctor geek and yet remembering so many things that he read over the time. Him using smallest detail and making me remember famous personalities like Galileo, Vinci and so many more. And when he was taken from his home, however it was, taken away from his home and thrust into the unknown, when all he wanted to do was to go home like a normal kid when he comes to know that he actually manages to become a doctor, he is fine. He still wants to go home but he is fine.

The fact that his dad’s death haunts him, masterstroke. It is those small-small details that matter. Despite, a rational part that knows that he didn’t kill his father, he cannot escape the fact that he is somehow responsible for the death of his father and how his father’s death has affected him. The dreams, no sorry, the nightmares of his father affecting him and how despite being scared, he fights whoever speaks against his father. And that boy heart.! Tam and the ASL. The best…best…best part of the book. The initial chapters of Jack teaching the signs were so small, so innocent, I loved those small scenes.

In short, The Legend of Black Jack by A.R.Witham was a surprising read for me that over passed all the expectations that I had from a standalone book. This book reminded me again that sometimes, simplest story can be beautiful, perfect in plot setting, loving characters and an adventure that you won’t forget. I enjoyed this debut so much that I don’t doubt that I will be looking forward to seeing which new adventure Witham will take us to.

Have you read The Legends of Black Jack? What are your thoughts?

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