by Lou Aronica
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/Fiction YA
Publisher: Fiction Studio
What I Liked:
The main character--Chris--is fantastically complex. Definitely the kind of character you'd want to spend a book with. His life, his relationship with his daughter, his problems... all fantastically complex.
I liked the fact that the book doesn't start off straight in the fantasty world. It sort of draws you into it, kinda like The Neverending Story. It's definitely a way to escape from the reality of his daughter's hard life, but it's more than that. It's the magic of creating something together that is truly unique. All writers know this. There's nothing quite like it. But this story goes one step further, into the realm of what happens when you stop telling stories and a world that exists, even when you don't want it to. It's a very interesting concept.
It's also a beautiful story.
Chris Astor is a man in his early forties who is going through the toughest stretch of his life. Not long before, Chris' world sparkled - he was doing significant work, he had a good home, and his young daughter brought him more joy than he ever could have imagined. Now, divorce and estrangement have left him confused and all too often alone.
Becky is Chris' fourteen-year-old daughter, a girl who overcame enormous challenges in her early years to become a vibrant, vital young woman. Her parents' divorce has left its mark, though, most significantly in her relationship with her father. Once, they told remarkable stories together. Now, they barely speak. Emotional detachment from Chris is not Becky's biggest concern, though.
Miea is the young queen of a fantasy land that Becky and Chris created when Becky was little - a fantasy land that has developed a life of its own. Miea knows nothing of Becky and Chris. She only knows that her beautiful kingdom - a place of remarkably varied flora, dignified and distinctive fauna, and an ecology that works in symphonic majesty - is in terrible, maybe fatal trouble.
At the most challenging junctures of their lives, Becky and Miea discover each other and Miea shares this discovery with Chris. For Becky, it is nearly inconceivable that a place she created has come into existence. For Miea, it is nearly inconceivable that a child created her land. For Chris, it is beyond inconceivable that he is again sharing something important in his daughter's life. For all of them, it as though a world of opportunity has opened up before them.
But time is not on their side. In fact, time might be running out.
Together, they need to uncover a secret. The secret to why these worlds have joined at this moment. The secret to their purpose. The secret to the future. It is a secret that, when discovered, will redefine imagination for all of them.