Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Alternate History/Fantasy
Size: 368 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: May 19, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: eGalley from Edelweiss.com
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review from Edelweiss (thanks to Edelweiss and Greenwillow Books for providing this copy for review). This was a very intriguing and slightly bizarre read, that I ended up enjoying quite a bit.
Jonathan and his father live in a cold and ice-covered region; Jonathan’s father studies medicine. Suddenly Jonathan’s father is called on to help find a cure to a dangerous plague. It is a plague that targets only women and it turns their veins black until they die meer days later. Another doctor has found that the drug fantillium induces hallucinations that allow the user to manipulate space and time; fantillum could be a wonderful help in trying to cure this virus. However, Jonathan’s father refuses to consider it’s use…even after Jonathan finds he is something of a prodigy at using fantillium. Racing against the clock and trying to save the lives of those he loves Jonathan defies his father and sinks deep into the secrets of fantillium to uncover a world of secrets beyond his imagination.
This is a very intriguing and bizarre book and it is completely different from Entwined. There are some very cool ideas in here. The way fantillium works and the idea of alternate realities controlled via illusion was incredibly creative and very thought-provoking.
I also enjoyed the idea of Rivening, a genetic and mental response to too much time spent living across multiple realities…this was very creepy and very cool at the same time. The whole story is very much an alternate history of sorts with elements of fantasy throughout.
Jonathan is a compelling character. He strives to save his sister, along with her best friend (and his kind of sweetheart) by seeking knowledge quickly and recklessly. He is a noble character, but reckless and many times he doesn’t consider the outcome of his actions.
I enjoyed the plot a lot, there were many twists and turns and all of them were interesting. I really enjoyed the creativity of this book, it was just completely not what I expected.
My biggest complaint was that the book felt very rushed at the end. The story was going along wonderfully and then suddenly everything was quickly tied up and BAM it was over. Also I had some trouble with the characters, especially secondary characters. None of these characters were all that likable or engaging.
Overall, I enjoyed the plot, the world, and some of the ideas in here. I had a bit of trouble engaging with the characters and the story felt rushed at the end. The book was a quick read and I enjoyed it and found it intriguing. It’s a story that very different from a lot of other YA literature out there. I would recommend to those interested in parallel realities or steampunk-like reads.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge