I feel really bad for starting this way, especially since I’ve spent the evening reading exceedingly positive reviews about Ross Lawhead’s debut fantasy novel The Realms Thereunder (An Ancient Earth).
I was able to download the e-version of this book by joining the BookSneeze Blogger program. Awesome, right? Free books and all you have to do is write a review.
The Realms Thereunder (An Ancient Earth)
Great plan, that is, unless you just can’t finish the book you’ve chosen.
Part of my problem was I just wanted to enjoy it so badly—the plot is tremendous.
The story centres on two 20somethings who went through a traumatic parallel universe experience as children. Years later they are reconnected and get dragged back into the “other” world…and that’s about as far as I got. The “other” world uses a lot of strange words and concepts I couldn’t follow. There was also a lot of jumping back and forth—not only between this world and that, but between time periods.
Memories. Reality. Dreams. Thoughts.
And by the time I was reading the thoughts of completely new characters (without knowing which world I was in anymore), well I got lost.
Perhaps because I was reading on a tablet and therefore couldn’t flip back to see just how long I’d been in whatever world or time period. Actually I think that had a lot to do with it.
Another reason could be because I tend to read on my lunch breaks and so I only read for 20 minutes at a time…so maybe I don’t have time to really enter into the world…within a world…in a different dimension.
I actually love fantasy, and I love deliciously complicated plots and interesting surreal concepts. Unfortunately, since I’ve been trying to read this book since August and I’m only halfway through, I do think it’s time to offer my sad review and move on to my next book.
That said, I would still like to finish the story, because I’m in quite an interesting part. I just don’t know if it’s going to be anytime soon. As well I think I have discovered I prefer physical books, not digital ones.
So if you’re a fantasy lover and want to read a trippy book set in present (and past) day Oxford, I would still give this one a try. Just maybe get the paperback.
The Realms Thereunder (An Ancient Earth) by Ross Lawhead synopsis
Ancient legend tells of an army of knights that will remain sleeping until the last days.
The knights are waking up.
A homeless man is stalked by a pale, wraithlike creature with a mouthful of needle-sharp teeth. Maimed animals and a host of suicides cluster around a mountain in Scotland. And deep beneath the cobbled streets of Oxford, a malicious hoard besieges a hidden city.
Freya Reynolds is a university student with a touch of OCD and an obsession with myth and folklore. Daniel Tully is living rough on the streets of Oxford, waging a secret war against an enemy only he can identify. Years ago, they found themselves in a world few know is real. They have since gone their separate ways and tried to put that adventure behind them.
But the mythical world is now bleeding into our reality—a dark spiritual evil that is manifesting itself in forgotten corners of the British Isles. Alex Simpson is a Scottish police officer who specializes in hunting mythical creatures. Together, they must confront the past, the present, and points beyond to defeat the ultimate threat to humanity.
Nothing they’ve seen so far prepares them for what awaits…in The Realms Thereunder.
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