On Trial: The First Man by Tobias Wade

Posted January 4, 2015 by Kayla in Reviews / 0 Comments

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The First Man Book Cover The First Man
Shell Seven #1
Tobias Wade
Fantasy, Young Adult
W & B Publishers Inc.
November 30, 2014

Farris Mathalion did not believe in the old stories, not until her own brother was kidnapped by monsters to send her on a fantastical journey. She travels both within the mind and without, taking a path of harrowing adventure and personal enlightenment as she strives to rescue him. THE FIRST MAN is the first volume in a two-partyoung adult/fantasy series that can be read on many different levels; whether the reader appreciates the excitement of the many fast-paced action scenes, the surreal beauty and mystery of new worlds, the philosophical musings of the guides along the way, or the spiritual path of overcoming reality that Farris finds before her. She will travel through the seven kingdoms of the earth, each woven into the deep mythology of the land she passes, and each representative of one aspect of spiritual enlightenment. In the first volume she passes through the surface world as well as the lands of fear, pleasure and illusion below the earth. She is accompanied in her journeys by a variety of strange creatures, including her faithful pet goat Bumble, Gloria the magical fish, and a romantic interest that makes uncertain love and looming betrayal pervasive themes throughout.

Warning: This article contain spoilers.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The author has never asked me or tried to influence me for a positive review, nor have I promised one.

My Impressions:

This was a wonderful first novel and I enjoyed it immensely. I hate that it end’s on a sort of cliffhanger but I’m glad that book two comes on in the spring so the wait isn’t as long as some other books.


The story follows Farris, whose grandmother tells her and her brother the story of why the earth shakes and why it will not shake again. Shortly after her younger brother Tom is kidnapped by strange creatures that Farris, and many others, have never seen before and it is revealed that her grandmother is more than she appears. Farris runs after the captors and bargains her memories of her happy last summer (it is the start of winter now) in exchange for entrance to the world underneath her feet. She is still not sure she believes any of this is real but slowly finds out differently.

Sasha and an enemy-turned-ally, Riften, follow Farris into the world below and find that she doesn’t remember Sasha at all. They had only met in the summer and since she gave up all her memories of summer she also gave up her memories of him. Even so he decides to continue on the journey to bring Tom back home and hopes to get to know Farris again. Along the way they meet Gloria, a talking fish who is swallowed whole by Farris’ pet goat, Bumble. Together, the five of them will overcome many obstacles as they go deeper into the earth in search of Tom.


Farris is the lead character and I must say that I don’t quite care for her very much. She is too stubborn and doesn’t listen to anyone, sometimes even herself. She gets herself in unnecessary trouble. This is somewhat cliché of her, being a young character of 16. Sasha on the other hand is a very likable character. I find myself caring more about his well-being than Farris’. He continues to help Farris so many times after she has been very rude to him and he has continued to try to save her even when she stupidly does something stupid. Even Riften is quite likable although I don’t trust him simply for being one those who wanted to kidnap Tom. Tom is an innocent and likable character as well but we don’t get to know much about him because after he is captured, we don’t get to follow his story at all. Gloria seems to be very wise for a fish, and there is more to her than meets the eye.


The writing was beautiful. I loved the way that Tobias has formulated his story. Sometimes it reads like a poem and there are many lyrics to songs that the characters sing from time to time. The story itself is filled with many other stories that shed light on how everything came to be as they are now, in this world.

Overall I really like the story and will definitely be reading the second part. I’m not yet sure how many parts it will be.

About the Author:

This book is the first book in the Shell Seven Series and the first book published for Tobias. The sequel is expected to be released in Spring 2015. As a child Tobias traveled with his father and during these visits he gained his inspiration for his novels and short stories. He is now a Goodreads Author.

The Verdict:

Highly Recommended

Rating Report
Overall: 4.8

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