Middengard Sagas book #1
by June Wilson
“The day Alice met the twins her life changed for ever. Not like the day she cut her hair off and hated it. Or the even the day her father told her she had to spend six months in Australia. No, this was a big change, a huge change – almost, you could say, an impossible one. Because it was the day she got mixed up in Middengard. The day she stepped into the prophecy. Not that she knew that. Not then.”
Fifteen year-old Alice Morgan is homesick and miserable, out of place with her rich relatives in Melbourne. All she wants to do is return to England and solve the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.
But you should be careful what you wish for. When Alice is unwittingly lured to Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, she finds herself in Middengard, a realm hidden from the world of men and peopled by an ancient warrior race, the Hilderinc. To make matters worse, her cousin Toby and her annoying friend Jess have followed her, putting their own lives in jeopardy.
Placing her trust in the aloof girl-warrior Iris and Iris’s father Stanor, Alice is astonished to learn that the pendant left to her by her mother is one of the Doom Stones, powerful stones needed to protect both Middengard and the world of men from destructive forces.
Soon Alice, Toby and Jess become embroiled in a battle to help the Hilderinc defeat one of their own, a rebel intent on upsetting the balance of power. But how does Alice’s mother fit in? As Alice learns more about Middengard and her part in it, she has to make the hardest choice of her life: rescue her mother or save Toby and Jess.
I think this is a case of me and a book just not getting along. I really, really wanted to like it, but couldn’t get into it. I usually like to have less of what I didn’t like, but I’m afraid this time, there was just too much leaning on that side for me. It makes me feel bad. I want to like it, you know? But it just wasn’t there for me.
What I liked:
- The description had me really excited about this book. Something about it called to me and said, this book is going to be cool.
- About 45% in it starts to get interesting. Without spoiling it, let’s say it gets good.
- I liked the twins and Iris. They were good characters, though I wish there was more of the twins.
- Toward the end there was a twist I wasn’t expecting, in a really good way.
What I didn’t like:
- Slow start. Not a lot happens at the beginning, and I kept expecting it too. Instead, Alice dancing around what she needs to make happen for the story to start. And then when she finally goes through the portal, she’s spat right back into our world again.
- Every time things started to get interesting, BAM! a flashback. *sigh* I didn’t feel like these were necessary. I think they could have been worked into the story smoother than they were for better pacing.
- When Alice finally gets to the other world, there’s a man there that she doesn’t really know, but she keeps wanting to hold his hand for comfort. It was weird, and to be honest, a little creepy.
- Some contradictions. For example, they were on a flat lands where they said you could see a long ways in any direction, but suddenly there’s rise where they can see better. Another example, time isn’t consistent throughout the book. One time she jumps through the portal and loses time, another she gains it without explanation as to why there’s the two differences.
- I guessed some of the twists. One of which was really obvious to me, but I don’t think it was supposed to be. It never explained the twist either. Maybe it does in future books? I just thought there should have been an answer here though.
- This: “As Alice learns more about Middengard and her part in it, she has to make the hardest choice of her life: rescue her mother or save Toby and Jess.” Still waiting for that to happen. There wasn’t really a choice of one or the other, which was what I wanted the story to be about. Sounds like great conflict, but it was never realized.
- The ending was…weird. I don’t know, it just feel flat for me.
Having said all that, it’s getting good reviews from others so I think that it’s just a case of me and a book not getting along. If you like portal fantasies, I believe it’s worth giving it a go. Maybe you’ll like it, and my dislike of it was just a fluke.
Source: Got from NetGalley – This in no way affected my review.