1 September 2014

Review: Tomorrow Wendell - R.M. Ridley

Private Investigator Jonathan Alvey is your everyday practitioner, trying to work against cursed objects and the odd Zombie, but when Wendell turns up on his doorstep asking for help, Jonathan's life suddenly gets a whole lot more interesting. Wendell only has three days to live, and now Alvey is set against the clock to discover who cursed his client and to protect him at all costs.

This concept is really interesting. Not only does it meld the mystery genre with the paranormal and fantasy genre, but it also has an entirely new idea about the use of magic. Suddenly, magic is a very real and very dangerous thing. It isn't the type of thing that comes from thin air, but from a tangible force inside of each person and beyond them. Magic no longer is for fun and games, it is a drug that consumes you from the inside-out, bringing euphoria riddled with crashing lows. This is an adult type of magic, and a totally new and interesting take on something that has been around for so long.

The supernatural elements were well done here, blending our own experiences with fairly believably reasoning. The monsters created come from popular folklore and mythologies, and are depicted as we would expect them to be in popular fiction, but dealt with very differently in the context. This is a world and a style of magic that really makes utter sense.

Jonathan is a great multi-faceted character, and we get that sense that in this book we have only scratched the surface into who he really is as a person. While Jonathan is an intrinsically good character, he has some serious issues to contend with, not just with paranormal entities but with his past and with his addictions. On that point, he is a very complex character and strangely likeable considering that he is an alcoholic magic-abuser with a bad habit for smoking and eating too much fast food. His lifestyle is unlike anything that a normal person could truly empathise with, and yet we find ourselves understanding his basic character traits; he wants to do good, he has an addiction as many people have, and though he deals with it well, he uses other addictions to negate his largest one. He is a strange protagonist, perhaps even an anti-hero, and yet you root for him and like him all the same.

This book was quite enjoyable but probably not everyone's cup of tea. It kept me thinking and guessing as to who is behind the curse and how it was done, but at the end felt rather like a cliffhanger. You can really see the end coming, and perhaps a little bit more leeway into the case could have had me thinking a little bit differently. This book is useful for a quick getaway into a strange world as well as a first foray into a genre mash-up. However, I could not find much particular meaning behind the story or any themes to really consider, so I would say it is more for those who like a little bit of action.

Tomorrow Wendell on Goodreads
Tomorrow Wendell on Amazon.com

Thank you to R.M. Ridley, who kindly gave me a copy of this book. This has not affected my rating.