System Programmer

A Journey Through The Darkest Places

Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
267 Pages
Reviewed on 04/07/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

System Programmer: A Journey Through The Darkest Places is a work of fantasy fiction written for young adults by author Jean-Philippe Janssens. In this, the second novel of the intriguing and exciting System Programmer series, we return to the action directly where The Maiden and The Madman leaves off. Having met on mutually disappointing terms, Catherine and Joshua have set a lot of their differences aside to progress with their adventure, paving the way for new dynamics in their relationship to form. This story is set against the backdrop of a perilous and exciting exploration of the ruins of Cestor and its mazes of dark underground corridors and caverns.

Having read the first novel in the series some time ago, it was a delight to return to the excellent wordplay and enjoyable concepts of author Jean-Philippe Janssens’s writing. This second volume takes us more seriously into the fantasy world now that the conceptual framework is all set up, and I felt that Joshua really came into his own as a fully-fledged hero throughout the challenges that beset him on the journey. Young adults at all points of the age range will enjoy the adventurous spirit, and I personally loved the growth of the relationship between the central pair, as well as getting to know other outliers from the group better through some excellent character development. Overall, System Programmer: A Journey Through The Darkest Places takes its light, action-packed comic book style of fantasy to new depths and meanings in this latest installment, and I for one am eager for more.

Asher Syed

System Programmer: A Journey Through the Darkest Places by Jean-Philippe Janssens is the second book in the fantasy science fiction adventure System Programmer series, preceded by book one, The Maiden and the Madman. This installment opens with Joshua and company in the furthest point explored in a complex and cavernous underground network. An exploration and retrieval has been put to the youthful group by their king as they descend into the deep, dark, and dangerous underbelly below the world of Cester. They have limited guidance through Luna but the rest is a culling of strengths from within their own party. Whether or not their combined skills are enough to survive what lurks on a path unknown is anyone's guess, as spirits, creatures, and even Siren style entities haunt their every turn.

Jean-Phillippe Janssens has written an incredibly creative storyline with System Programmer: A Journey Through the Darkest Places. Even though it is a sequel and readers are cautioned that a reading of the first book is necessary, I found that it worked exceptionally well as both a continuation and a stand-alone. As someone who adores fantasy and manga, this was an absolute gem of a book to land in my lap; an excellent blend that lovers of the manga adventure Saiyuki and the beloved game Dungeons and Dragons will enjoy. I liked the romance between Joshua and Catherine and particularly liked that it wasn't perfect and quite easily disrupted. Boris was my favorite character, who is exceptionally well developed even as an ancillary character. Not everyone will 'get it' as the genre and writing are pretty niche, but those who do will have a blast reading this series.

Rabia Tanveer

System Programmer: A Journey Through the Darkest Places is the second book in the System Programmer Series by Jean-Philippe Janssens. Joshua and Catherine have their work cut out for them. They try their best to work together and it shows in the results. But nothing could have prepared them for what their next assignment will demand from them. They have to go to the Underground and find the ancient ruins there. It should have been an easy job, a simple get in and get out. But the dark caverns of the Underground are unpredictable and they are bringing out Joshua's and Catherine’s darkest secrets. Danger lurks around every corner and Joshua and Catherine have to be very careful. One wrong move and it is game over for them. This is their biggest challenge yet and they are ready to tackle it together.

System Programmer: A Journey Through the Darkest Places by Jean-Philippe Janssens is an action-packed story with plenty of twists and turns to keep you entertained for a long time. Joshua is a spunky man, he has a lot of quirks and he knows them all. He uses them to the best of his abilities and does a good job of it as well. Where Joshua is quirky, Catherine is a little serious at times and they balance each other out perfectly. I enjoyed their chemistry. I loved their banter and I adored their responses. The mystery is thick from the moment the story begins. I was intrigued by The Underground, I wanted to know more about it and understand why it had such an influence of our heroes. The plot was paced just right and I enjoyed the development. This is a brilliant story, one that I enjoyed a lot.