Thursday, July 21, 2011

Worlds Unseen by Rachel Starr Thomson

Storyline: Maggie Sheffield unwittingly stumbles into adventure when she and her guardian, Mrs. Cook, take in a dying man. She discovers that the man, Old Dan, and Mrs. Cook know each other from long ago, when they sat on a secret council intent on discovering the world's secrets. And Old Dan has a scroll that could deal a heavy blow to the evil that has taken over their world.

Maggie decides to take the scroll to one of Dan and Mrs. Cook's old friends, hoping to gain answers about her own life. Along the way, a Gypsy named Nicolas Fisher, his pet Bear, the rebel Jerome, and the blind seer Virginia join her.

My Take: technically, this book had a few things that jarred the smooth flow. But, to paraphrase Brandilyn Collins, the greatest rule in writing is that the story rules. This was very true for this book. It was fast-paced and heart-pounding. Though the urban-fantasy feel is very different from anything that George MacDonald wrote, it reminds me a little of his works because of the deep, spiritual undertones.

I was very intrigued by the world Rachel Starr Thomson created—a world very similar to our own in the 1800s, with faintly familiar place names such as Sloczka, Londren, and Pravik, and familiar things like trains. It's scary to read about a world so similar to ours being inhabited by the Order of the Spider, hell-hounds, and sorcery-ravens (but I wouldn't mind having a pet like Bear). :0)

She has woven a very good tale with likable main characters, and one that is worth reading. It's available for free on her website, as is her other fantasy e-book, Taerith.


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