25 August 2014

Review: Fractured Dream - KM Randall

Story Sparks's life gets turned upside-down when she and her two best friends are transported to another world. There she finds out that she is the reincarnation of an ancient deity, destined to save this other land from its evil ruler and unite the worlds once more.

This book get very cool, very fast. It begins exactly the way you would want a fantasy book to, with a lot of mystery surrounding the main character, but particularly the fate of her uncle, who disappeared whilst swimming in the lake and was never found. This beginning part was extremely enjoyable to read as we encountered our main characters and some weird goings-on to do with horrific paintings and lost memories.

When we finally got into the other world, many of these initial secrets were revealed only for bigger questions to be asked, focusing around Story herself this time. This felt like an entirely different book, really, because we were transported into a world where those weird unexplained things were merely inconsequential compared to the enormity of the next task. However, overall this wasn't a bad thing as it gradually revealed plot point that would take us on a bigger adventure. The very beginning of this part did feel a little bit like an info-dump because there was a lot to explain and a lot of memories being rekindled.

Ok, first off, Story has to be one of the strangest names ever, and it never sat well with me while reading the book. I understand how apt it is for her character, but still, it's jarring for me. Anyway, Story was a very well-rounded character, despite having missing parts of her memories. She is a sweet, determined girl who wants to do her best for all the people she has just met as well as the ones she has known for some time. However, my favourite character was actually a toss-up between Jess and Elliot, who both had big personalities, with Elliot being the most awesome psychic gay best friend around and therefore taking that top spot.

This is certainly an unusual novel. It is definitely contemporary, with a lot of current references at the beginning of the novel, but I would describe it mostly as a New Adult read as there are some scenes with sexual content. Nothing that a YA couldn't handle in my opinion, but not something you would actually hand to your kids to read. It has fantasy and fairy-tale elements and twists them out of shape, turning princesses into monsters. The romance element completely denies the love at first sight cliche by involving the element of reincarnation and fate, and also allows the relationship to develop slowly over the book. This was nice and quite refreshing to read.

Whilst there were many twists in this story, a lot of them were easy to guess, I mean, most of it had been prophesied anyway so the end came as no shock to me either. Still, it was fun to see how it all went down. The pace really picked up in the last third as the book closed with some good action and a lot of emotion coming from the characters.

Given the size of the book, I admit I was expecting a rounded off story, but this appears to be a duology or a trilogy as there is a whole new adventure waiting for Story at the end of this. Fractured Dream is a very well-imagined, beautifully described novel where fairy-tales and mythologies all come together beautifully to create a flowing narrative. Highly enjoyable for people who like mythology, folklore, fairy-tales and magic.