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Down A Lost Road (Lost Road Chronicles Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 378 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Down a Lost Road tells the story of Merelin Lindon, a teenager whose father disappeared a few years before the story begins. When the story opens, she's just trying to figure out why the shopkeeper at her local convenience mart is acting peculiar. Not long after that, she's transported to a different world. Here, she learns that her father knew of this world and had been looking into their forgotten history. And thus begins what turns into an epic adventure spanning three books and several different and dangerous territories of this new world.
World building is probably one of the hardest parts of writing fantasy. Add a made up language and the author needs to tread very carefully lest they lose their audience's interest. Bralick does this effortlessly, which is what compelled me to keep reading even after the story shifted from the real world. She expertly lays out the new world without cutting away from the book's action, and there is a lot of engaging action. I'm talking, I really should have gone to sleep several hours ago type of engagement.
Highly recommended to fans of all fantasy types.
The fantasy world is familiar in its broadest outlines. The world is not completely original, but is nicely woven together, and it has a good mixture of the normal and the fantastic. It is consistent and realistic in its own way. The heroine is a 16 year old girl born on Earth, with a father from the fantasy world who came to Earth on a quest for knowledge. Her compatriot for the adventure is a slightly older young man who is a portal guardian in the fantasy world. There are only a few subplots, and they add some interest without distracting too much from the main story.
Considering drawbacks for YA's, I think there are, in my view, two significant ones. First, the book offers explicit accounts of torture and pain. Second, I see a pseudo-racism in the split of good vs. evil characters. In fairness to this particular book, this split is often a feature of fantasy novels, and perhaps it is a stretch to object to racist parallels. For me, these elements would suggest a lower age limit of perhaps 13.
As a book for OA's (older adults!), I would give it 3 stars. The characters and plot held my interest and the writing was a very clear and a pleasure to read. Its limitations, from my viewpoint are in the big issues of the plot: the why's.
* * * * * Spoiler alert * * * * *
For example, why did Merelin and Yatol have to go through all their excruciating ordeals in order to deliver the "circle of judgment" to her father, when he could have simply taken it with him and avoided a lot of pain for himself and others. Why, if Damian has the gift of creating portals, do the main characters spend most of their time traveling via tedious hiking and riding on the back of Akhmar?
Some of the questions I'm left with involve the why's of the author's choices in "designing" the fantasy world. There are some metaphysical analogs of religious concepts, such as the angel-like class of beings who have the god-like ability to see the world independent of time. Why do such beings live inside time? Why is their role in the plot mostly to carry humans at high speed from place to place, with an occasional role of portal guardian or messenger? There is a judgment day for the (mostly) evil Ungulion race-- why? And why only for the bad guys? Aren't there any bad guys among the good race?
* * * * * End spoiler * * * * *
In spite of the limitations mentioned here, I'd recommend this book to readers who enjoy a fantasy adventure of medium complexity. If you are looking for something more sophisticated and intricate, try the Thomas Covenant series (a triple-trilogy, the last time I counted) by Stephen R. Donaldson.
It was simply an amazing adventure. Down a Lost Road pulled me in so fully that I read it in a few hours, I just couldn't put it down. The alternate world is so detailed I felt myself completely immersed in it. The characters are so full! My emotions road along with their highs and lows. At one point I found myself crying right along with the characters. Most books fail to bring me to real emotion. There's so much to take in you may find yourself back tracking to re-read sections which I generally find annoying and confusing, but this time it was like rediscovering something as the characters did. I've already bought Subverter and as soon as I finish this review, I'll hopefully find myself just as immersed in it! I'm already hoping for a third book!