This book is undoubtedly awesome, a skilful rendering of a tale both real and fantasy that matches, and in many cases, surpasses anything a trade publisher might put out. If you still need convincing about the quality of Indie books, then read this. I totally recommend it and if you have a teenage son, then get it immediately. At the price of 99c on Kindle, it’s a steal. Seriously, that’s way too cheap. I suggest that the author puts the price up immediatetly.
The thing I really liked about this book, apart from the quality of the writing, the skilful pacing, the excellent characters, dialogue and everything else, was the combination of fantasy and reality and the relationship between the two worlds. Without this cross over, the fantasy elements would have been just another high fantasy, but the real world events were much more interesting. Finegan took very ordinary situations and made them extraordinary.
Gabe Wrenn is an epileptic and bullied because of it. He hasn’t had a major seizure, just partial ones that he calls auras, so he isn’t on medication – yet – and he and his father don’t want him on it, whereas his overprotective mother isn’t so sure. He shifts house and finds himself living near the sacred mound of the Brynmor Witch, which the locals say is cursed.
Gabe has a fantastic imagination and is drawing a graphic fantasy novel, something he is very good at. But after the shift he finds himself falling into the world of his drawings and doesn’t know if it’s the epilepsy or something to do with the presence he feels when near the grave of the Brynmor Witch. Luckily, he isn’t entirely alone in this weirdness because he meets a girl who doesn’t think he’s crazy and who figures that what happens in the ‘fantasy’ world affects what happens in the real world.
The bullying in the book becomes extreme and builds up to a dramatic climax matched in intensity by the happening in the other world. The last third of the book is gripping and intense and the ending is abrupt. I didn’t like the ending because it leaves the reader in a pretty dismal place and I didn’t understand why the fantasy version of Gabe did what he did. He made an enormous decision that was a complete turn around from his stance of just a few moments prior. It seemed out of character and without sufficient motivation. However, it wasn’t enough to mar the book for me, and I give it an easy 5 stars and a place on the Awesome Indies listing.
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