Yet another YA Fantasy where our heroes are torn from their everyday world and tossed into a nasty reality where they must survive or die. This novel is stark in its simplicity: four characters, a straight-line quest, most of the conflict against the nature of the land they end up in. The tension is fleshed out with internal conflict in the main character, two very different love stories and a certain amount of inter-personal wrangling. The problematic relationship between Jory, the main character, and her wanna-be boyfriend, Choice, is quite touching.
There is plenty of action in the story, aided by detailed and creative world building. Or should I say destructive world building. The alternative Earth is not a nice place, full of things that want to kill you. If I had to judge, I’d say there was a bit too much plain physical conflict, not handled with much finesse. Straight, screaming, “there’s-another-monster-after-me” conflict can be overdone.
The resemblance to a video game is obvious, and that tends to mean a certain flatness of suspense, with the author depending on throwing in a new environment with a new set of obstacles and violent creatures whenever the tension flags.
However, the characters and the relationships carry the story, and by the time the happy ending rolls around, we are ready to accept it. And wonder what could possibly go wrong for Book Two of the series.
Recommended for teen Fantasy fans who enjoy video game plots.(4 / 5)