3 out of 5 stars.
I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.
Talk about an amazing concept! And one I boggle at as it made me think ‘why has no one else written about such a theme before?’ as it was amazing. As I’m pretty sure there are quite a few of us who have our own little fantasy and imaginary worlds we wish could be made true (or actuaded) even if for a day or so for us to roam free. Yes I might be nearly forty, but I’m also a writer and am very happy still having my imaginary worlds and friends to play with – thank you very much! And I feel this book and series just mind blowing to show I’m not alone but exactly how much fun and danger having our imaginary worlds come alive could be.
I have to say I also really liked the way reality had a way of giving each fragmented world a bit of a bitch slap… as fantasy worlds shouldn’t become real worlds as that reveals all the flaws and holes we happily gloss over when we can make it do what we want. There are no do overs in life, even when your perfect world becomes true.
Sadly I did find the whole character angst and see-sawing emotions a tad boring and slowed the story down for me. It got in the way of the adventure! Yes, call me shallow and fickle, but I do much prefer my Urban Fantasy and Speculative Fiction to just keep going with the adventure and not spend almost a chapter internalising over things. That’s what reading literary fiction is for! Though I will say this is a personal thing and not the fault or a flaw in the book. But I like to say it how I see it and I wanted to explain how I could love the idea of the story but not give it top ratings.
I do, however, look forward to the rest of the series as the hunt for the keys and the worlds they will travel in have so much potential I can see myself being able to cope with the angst to gain the benefits of a great tale. Oh, and I have to say, I’m currently reading the 1.5 anthology book of the series and absolutely adore that the authors James Wymore and Aiden James opened their world and story concept up to other authors and let them all have a dabble in it too! Has a great NaNoWriMo feel to it and adds to that feel of not being alone in being someone with an imaginary world on their back… or attached to their thoughts. Hey, if you ever do another author anthology – think of me… I wonder if I can do a tongue in cheek Aussie cowboy romance world? 😉
Would I recommend this book to others? Yes I would. The issues I have with the overabundance of internalising and angst might not affect others in the same way it has done me. And the concept is too good for them to pass over. If you’re a lover of modern ‘spec fic’ and Urban Fantasy, I would indeed point you towards taking a look at this book and series.
Would I buy this book for myself? I can’t say for sure whether I would or not… as, right now, it’s the sort of thing I’d borrow and enjoy from a library, but I’m really not too sure if I’d go out of my way to own it though. Heck, check back with me when I’ve read more into the series as I’m sure my opinion is going to change.
In summary: A great story idea, a fantastic start to a really interesting Speculative Fiction/ Urban Fantasy series… but a little too much character internalising and not enough ‘let’s go do it’ for me.
Until next time,