When I first read the blurb of this book, I thought that it was a middle-grade novel. The characters didn’t sound like they were seventeen and the plot itself sounded like it was for younger readers. Let me just clarify this right now, this book is for older readers and I would definitely not recommend it to middle-grade children because of it’s mature content and gore.What seventeen-year-old Leland finds in the abandoned basement of his house is something he will never forget.
Leland lost his father when he was seven. Since then, he has successfully adapted to the awful life of being a student, the man of the house, and a father figure to his two younger siblings. All of that changes when he and his best friends stumble upon a secret in his deserted basement, and fall into another dimension with three moons, foggy woods, and an ancient castle-Oremanta.
Learning who he really is, how he came to this remote planet, and the shocking, ugly mystery of Oremanta aren’t as bad as the quest he finds himself obligated to complete-killing someone he never thought he’d meet in Oremanta to save everyone.
As aforementioned, when I first started reading this book, I did think that the characters were younger than seventeen but when I was introduced to their everyday environments, I quickly realised that I was wrong. The story instantly caught my attention; it had this very dark underlying theme to it at the beginning of the book and there’s one scene that seemed just like it had stepped out of a horror movie like The Grudge.
Then, as the story begins to develop, we are sent to another galaxy and I found the world so interesting. It reminded me of Game of Thrones in the sense where you shouldn’t really get attached to any of the characters because, without spoiling anything for you, let me just say that a lot of people die in this book… like… a lot. As soon as I had gotten over one death, I was mourning the next, it was crazy. And I do feel like that craziness is one of this book’s downfalls. In some parts, the plot was just way too quick and I couldn’t keep up with what was going on.
“In this life, we lose people we love, and we endure a lot of hardships. What I’ve learned in those years is that emotions are dangerous. When you lose something you loved, it’s the memories that remain, and they haunt and suffocate and bury you alive. But it doesn’t really matter. What counts is what you did during that time. Were you able to carry on? Were you able to keep on living? As long as you’re keeping the necessary elements in your life alive, it doesn’t matter what brutal realities you go through.”
– A.S Altabtabai, Nostalgic Rain: Galaxies Away
However, another thing that I absolutely loved about this book was that with every chapter, the POV changed, so we got to see different sides of the war, different character’s opinions and their strength and weaknesses. Which brings me onto my next point: the characters were enjoyable to read, sometimes they came across as a bit flat, but most of the time, they seemed like well-rounded characters. Leland annoyed me sometimes; I feel like he got a bit ‘too-big-for-his-boots’ at times and pushed Jennifer aside when he didn’t need her. Also, I didn’t see the point in Jennifer actually staying behind when Leland went on his adventure? If it was because she was supposed to have her own character arc whilst he was away, that didn’t really pan out did it, to be honest… So, when Leland and all of the other male characters wanted Jennifer to stay in the Castle, I just got angry.
But…! THAT ENDING! WHAT IS GOING ON THERE?! Is there going to be a second book? Because I really need to see what that ending is all about because I literally finished the book with question marks hanging over my head.
Overall, this was an enjoyable book to read. It did have its problems like the ones I have mentioned above, but it’s such a thrilling, gory, and exciting read. Remember, it may read like a middle-grade novel, but the content is bloody and stabby stabby most of the time!
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review