Vortex: Return of the Effra Vol. 1 by Lindsey J. Parsons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really liked this book. I love the take that it gives to everything, you start in the fantasy, go to the real and then back to the fantasy which in some ways is more real than the real world. The writing style hooked me right away, though i did have to get used to the British grammar. I liked how the author meshed the two worlds together while focusing only on one at any given time. That is another aspect of this book that I enjoyed, though there were two worlds you are only in the world that the main characters are in at any given time, you don't see what is going on in the other world. In some books this gets annoying as it makes you wonder what is going on and how things are changing but the author gives you enough information in the characters' story that tells you what is going on in the fantasy world, which drives you to see how events unfold there. And once they do start to unfold, things get heavy quickly and with plenty of action sequences. And as the action scenes go they are very well done, with the right mix and depth of description as well as dialogue. There was one thing that made the book slightly less in my opinion and that is that the story takes place in the course of a little more than 2 weeks, and that seems to be way too little time for all that is shown to have occurred, though it is probably expected that some events have happened before the current story even if they are not expressly stated to have been in the past. And one thing in particular that i don't think should have happened as fast as it did was how the love between the two characters was built so rapidly, granted it developed slowly over the course of the book but when examined it only took about a week for some things to start happening between them.
Now to my analysis of the characters, I did like both Sam and Damian though I can't say that either popped out of the page at me. Damian did a little more than Sam but I think that is because he has a mysterious back story that i would like to know more about, but other than that he didn't have anything that made him seem over the top, which in many ways i liked, it made him seem more real that way. The same can be said for Sam, she does have an intriguing back story but aside from her expertise with weapons there isn't anything really extra-ordinary about her, and again that is what makes her seem so real. So it is their ordinarity, i know that isn't a word lol, that makes them so good as the hero and heroine of this book. (side note, I know Damian is far from normal but take away that aspect and look at his personality and he is very normal and low key)
I didn't really have many characters that i didn't like save for the elves in this novel. That has to deal with how they interact with Damian even though the audience knows they are not being fair to him. All of the other characters, save for the villain who I am supposed to not like, I like and see how they play the role they are designed for.
The setting of the story is interesting. As I stated before it is a split world setting, with one taking place in a fantasy kingdom while the other taking place in modern England, at least that would be my best guess. Another part that I like is the alternate POV that the story is told in, switching between the two characters and allowing the reader to see each's reaction to the events that are transpiring. I have only read one book like this book and it is everything that I the other was.
So i would recommend this book for any reader of fantasy and of an older young adult audience.
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