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To Nowhere Paperback – August 13, 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
At the start of the novel, seventeen-year-old Lyris is a child of privilege who has never really known want. She lives in an upscale neighborhood in a college town where both her parents are professors. One day at a coffee shop, she mets a young man who talks to her about "the Shaw place", an abandoned house next door to hers. He watns her never to go to it without him being there. Curiosity gets the better of her, and when she enters an upstairs closet she discovers it is a portal to another world... a world whose inhabitants are ten times the size of Earth people. A world where humans are treated as cute little animals, to be bought and sold as pets. Lyris is found by a kind giant who wants to keep her as his own. As she stays in this bizarre new world she learns to communicate with him and they get to see each other in a different light. But as Lyris' captor beins to care for his "pet", it becomes harder for him to want to let her return home. And worse, if she is discovered, her youth and good appearance will fetch a high price from a willing buyers...
To Nowhere is about humans going to a world of giants, but it is not just a simple "Jack and the Beanstalk" tale of wicked giants and good humans. Lyris' kind captor begins to see that "Insignificants" (as the hymans are called in his world) are civilized, intelligent beings with families and hopes and dreams. Lyris comes to see how privileged and spoiled she has been all her life, and comes to care for the teenaged boy who has taken a liking to her.
To Nowhere will keep a reader's attention through to its end. Lyris' situation seems so hopeless, with her kind kept in cages, collared and even leashed and harnessed. She keeps alive her hope of escape... but as her friendship with her captor grows, we have to wonder if he'll be able to let his new friend go.
The book presents the reader with other issues as well. The giants are not presented as evil creatures: Lyris comes to realize that even her captor's mother, wh sells these Insignificants to the highest bidder, does not see what she is doing as all that evil (even though she's a pretty nasty person). And the readers is shown that, from the giant's point of view, humans aren't all that pristine perfect either. It seems the young man who enticed Lyris into the portal has an agenda of his own that may or may not have her best interests at heart...
This reviewer gives To Nowhere an excellent rating, recommended for all readers.
But Wyatt originally wanted her to enter, but as he got to know her, he changed his mind, and they started dating. If only she had listened and not explored what was beyond the door…
The set-up of this review sounds like we’re entering The Twilight Zone. Rightfully so, because what Lyris finds beyond the door is another world right out of the classic 50s/60s television show. Actually, more like a different 60s sci-fi TV show: Irwin Allen’s Land of the Giants.
Lyris is soon picked up—literally—by a giant hand and examined by a giant pair of eyes (two different colors including a bright teal one—see the fantastic cover design). Then she is deposited into a cage (like a hamster) by her captor. Though giant, he’s a slightly younger teenager than she is, and his name is Brindt. In this world, humans are treated as pets, and Brindt’s mother sells the humans delivered to her to the highest bidder.
It seems Brindt wants to keep Lyris for himself, despite his mother’s demand that he not have his own pet. Teenagers do exactly what they’re parents tell them not to, even in the giant world. And right there is one of several themes deftly woven into this delicate narrative: No matter how we view one another (as monsters or insignificant), people are the same all over, no matter their size, no matter their shape (there’s a cute scene where Lyris notices Brindt’s ears are pointed instead of rounded like hers), and no matter their appearance (hair color is a significant detail in this story).
Another theme of the story is the importance of communication. The story is told from the first-person point of view of Lyris, so we know her desire to return home to parents that must be worried about her disappearance. Brindt and the giants speak another language, so his desires aren’t immediately known. The language that author C.E. Wilson invented for the giants is unique, and it was a lot of fun trying to figure out certain words as Lyris was struggling with them. Their inability to communicate leads to many misinterpretations. I won’t spoil anyone’s enjoyment of the story by mentioning any of these instances, but it was fun reading to the revelation of the correct interpretations.
And their communication is necessary if Lyris is to get home. Another theme is how trust must be built. Again, I’m as spoiler-free as I can be, but it was the trust that was earned and the character relationships that developed were genuine and organic in the story.
The stakes are built very well throughout the story because the four main characters (Lyris, Brindt, Wyatt, and Brindt’s mother) all have very clear objectives and employ a variety of tactics to achieve them. Their objectives are at odds with one another, and the situation only gets more dire for Lyris. Even the few other caged humans Lyris interacts with are well-developed characters.
This is clearly a Young Adult novel, as three of the main characters are of that age. Hmm…two boys and one girl sets up one of those love-triangles that have become commonplace in YA literature. I won’t call it a love-triangle in this story but instead a trust-triangle that is handled extremely well and enhances the enjoyment of the story and the characters.
My only little nitpicking with the story is that sometimes Lyris repeats the same thoughts and sometimes stays set in her ways when very clear evidence is presented to her. By no means, however, did this diminish my enjoyment of this unique tale.
I’ve always been a fan of Twilight Zone-type stories and stories about disparately sized people. When you throw in strong characters with strong motivations, I’m all in. FIVE GIANT STARS to To Nowhere.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hidden portals, abandoned houses, flipping the coin, young love, and friendship. To Nowhere is as very unique novel, not your classic read.Read more
I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.Read more
To Nowhere was an interesting and different read.Read more