Originally posted at my blog Chasing Empty Pavements
I just finished reading this book and what a wild read! I really enjoyed this novel by J.L. Bryan! It really fits well with young adult audience.
The Good: I was really nervous after reading the blurb as to how Bryan would navigate this novel. I was scared it would either come out too juvenile or completely unreadable...but he totally made everything work! I loved the mixture of the magical world with the real world. When it started I totally got a Labyrinth/Alice in Wonderland type of vibe and I loved the main character Jason. I liked his relationship with his sister. It was like a brother/sister ally type of thing and it's refreshing instead of seeing the typical I-hate-my-sibling relationship. The world building was AWESOME in this novel. Bryan totally brought to life the world of Faerie and I almost wish I could visit!! I LOVED LOVED LOVED the goblin Grizlemor and again reminded me of the goblin from Labyrinth. What I think I appreciated most from this novel is that it is such a fun, light read. YA is saturated with such heavy topics right now (not that I don't like that...I do!) but it's refreshing to read something that isn't super depressing or heavy. This is a book that leaves you smiling and happy after the last page. Lastly...I just want to praise the amount of brilliant editing that went into this book. This book is a prime example of what self-published authors need to start doing. Invest in a good editor and cover designer! Even I have taken notes from Bryan on how to produce a brilliant self-published book!
The Bad: I would have liked to see his characters just a BIT more realistic per their age. I felt that whenever Jason talked...he was more along the ages of 14 or 15 and not a junior in high school. Most of the characters seemed much younger than what their supposed age was.
Overall, this was an AWESOME read and I highly recommend it, especially for the younger audience! I give it an A-!!!
**I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions are my own and I was not obligated to write a favorable review.