These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Review: A Space Between Worlds Vol.1: Conception

A Space Between Worlds Vol.1: Conception A Space Between Worlds Vol.1: Conception by J.D. Woodson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When J.D. Woodson contacted me regarding a review for his debut novel, I was more than aware that the book would not be like those I have read before. To quote J.D. Woodson “The novel is a bit of a difficult read; not because how it’s written but the subject matter is a bit abstract.” Having now finished the book, I can say I agree. The book isn’t like those I have read before, it was a bit difficult to get through at times, and the subject matter was rather abstract. Despite all of this, I found myself enjoying the book more than I’d expected when I was working through it.

From quite early on, I found the book rather difficult. There was an ebb and flow of my enjoyments: at some points I was really pulled into the story and at other points I was trudging through it. When I was enjoying it, I was really enjoyed it. When I wasn’t enjoying it, I felt as though it was dragging. Due to this, I’ll can label this book as a Marmite book: some will really love it, whereas others will hate it. I fall on the liking it end of the spectrum. I’m not crazy about it as some people will be, but I did enjoyed it. Thus, it’s earned a strong three star rating from me. It had the potential to be a four star read, but the ups and downs of my feelings meant I couldn’t quite give it that full four star rating I’d been hoping for. It was close, and I’m positive J.D. Woodson will manage it with future books, but this one didn’t quite make it all the way there.

The story follows two characters, Shanti and Reno, whose lives are interconnected in many ways. Both are suffering from curses, their pains vastly different, yet there is some kind of link between the two. At first, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around Shanti’s curse, I found it difficult to understand, but once things clicked together in my mind I found her side of the story really enjoyable. Reno, on the other hand, was a much easier curse to understand and from the moment he was introduced I found myself enjoying his story.

But to speak of this as though there are two different stories is wrong. It is the easiest way to speak of the story, but such is not what it is. The dual narratives come together, giving us a story of introspection and self-discovery. We deal with many aspects of the world: life and death, bonds, regret, and the way actions can reverberate through time. At times this almost philosophical work was hard to wrap my head around, but it was only because so much was being looked at through a fantasy world that I wasn’t quite sure I understood.

Don’t get me wrong, the fantasy world created was a lot of fun. However, it wasn’t until quite late in the story that I really understood what I was dealing with. A lot of this is intentional, due to the way the world plays into the story, yet my lack of real understanding meant I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to be imagining and the image kept changing in my mind.

The words were lyrical, they had depth, but they weren’t always the clearest. This relates to my above statement of the world not forming in my mind until quite late on. It also refers to the voices of the characters. The voice of the entire book was wonderful, and the characters all had an interesting manner of speaking. However, the characters all seemed to read the same. They all have the unique voice of the book that made them difficult to distinguish, and due to this I would find myself questioning how unique the characters actually were.

Overall, though, I enjoyed this one. Anyone who picks it up will be taking a step out of their comfort zone, but it’s a worthwhile journey. Therefore, I’d like to end this by thanking the author for allowing me to read this in exchange for a review – it was an interesting read, for sure.

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