The writing and quality of this book is not even close to Tolkien, so any comparison to Tolkien did not even enter my head until I read some of these reviews. I was amazed some people even see a basis for a comparison.
Though the media is calling this book a "Christian Harry Potter," it is NOT Christian. In fact, the author, G P Taylor, has vehemently denied it being Christian in several interviews that you can find online. He said he wrote it for Christians, Muslims, and Jews, and that Muslims see Mohammed, Christians see Jesus, and Jews see the coming Yeshua. Those are his words. So to make all these groups happy, the God in here, called Riathamus, is very generic, as is the "King" who seems to be a Christ figure but has a very small role. In his encounter with Thomas, he tells Thomas he will forgive him but does not tell Thomas why or how this is possible. Two references to the "Battle of the Skull" (Golgotha where Christ was crucified) do not help. The crucifixion was not a battle anyway; Jesus willingly laid down his life to atone for humanity's sins.
The supposedly good guy, Raphah, has mysterious powers that are very occultic-like, and he turns out to be one of the "objects," but in the flesh, that the evil Demurral wants for his sorcery. So is he an angel, a boy, a statue come to life, or what? Identities are very confusing in the story and we are never sure who several mysterious figures really are. The story is more frustrating than anything.
There are also several quotes from the Bible but they are given in ways that make them mean something different than they do in the Bible. Also, some of the quotes are changed from the original words or mixed with other quotes that don't go together.
As far as the plot and characters go, I found both rather trite and stereotypical. There is not much creativity. The villain, Demurral, is especially implausible because he is so utterly evil that he is almost cartoonish -- much like the Dursley's and Prof. Umbridge in the Harry Potter books. Regular people who seem ordinary but give in to evil desires are much more interesting than someone who right off the bat talks about wanting divine power.
Most disturbing are several warnings and hints that Demurral could actually fight Riathamus (God) and get his power. Raphah tells Thomas and Kate that if Demurral gets the Keruvim (cherubim from the Tabernacle, but you have to figure this out as this info is not given), he could control the world and even the power of Riathamus. Later, Thomas tells Kate that Raphah told him that Demurral has a power that can call up the dead and control the wind and sea. Well, Jesus, during a storm, commanded the wind and sea to stop and they did (Matthew 8, Mark 4, Luke 8). He did this because he had the authority of God as the Son of God and God the Son. No man has this power. It's strange a vicar would put this in a story.
I would really give this book one-and-a-half stars but you have to choose one or two. There are so many good books out there, so choose another book to read.