Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review: The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree

If you are a lover of fantasy books such as the Dark Tower series by Stephen King or The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, where other worlds are discovered and mysteries are abundant, than this is a book you will easily fall into, entering the fantasy with the characters and joining them on their adventure.

Synopsis from Barnes and Noble:
Ross Brigham comes home from Afghanistan to discover his father Ed, a notable fantasy author, has died. When Ross begins to investigate his father's death after the nearly 200-attendee funeral, he and two loyal fans discover a key that leads them to the parallel world in his father's gunslinger novels -- and a secret war that's been raging since the beginning of time. Rebelling against the pact they made with the gods for immortality, the muses have turned from inspiring art to inspiring atrocities -- and it's up to Ross, Sawyer, and Noreen to put a stop to it before every dimension goes up in flames.

This book even mentions authors King and Lewis and comments on their stories, sometimes with a humorous edge.  The main character, Ross, is given the overwhelming job of finishing his father's book series, a series that has a huge following, all looking to him for closure.  He isn't sure how he feels about this project, especially since his relationship with his father was less than perfect and he hasn't even read the books!  Noreen and Sawyer are dedicated fans who join him early on in the story and are thrown into the other world with him.  The three form a quick friendship.
There are a lot of characters in this story and I found myself having to go back a few times to review who was who but it was worth the time. I think that this is common in this type of fantasy and I'm just not used to it. The story, however, was immensely interesting once I got a handle on the names and style of language used.  I loved the idea of the world of Ross's father's books being a real place. What better way for him to finish the series than to live it! 
I think what I liked most was the originality of the story.  Sure, there are a lot of books that have characters traveling to another world or dimension but I felt that this one stood out.  It was perfectly paced and clever, and it even made me laugh at times. The details in the story were so well phrased that they allowed me to really picture what was happening and see both the humans and non humans to a point where I felt I knew them and could feel their highs and lows. It amazes me how authors can create such an immense fantasy realm with unique characters and make it seem so real, as if it really exists. The amount of work and talent that go into such a creation are admirable. The pages kept turning and I was consistently impressed with the fact that I couldn't predict how it would end. This author is truly gifted.  I look forward to the next book!

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