Title: The Other Side of Magik
Author: Michael Lingaard
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy (YA?)
Rating: 2 of 5
I really wanted to like this book because it was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review (thank-you, by the way, to the author!). Unfortunately, there was a lot of it that I didn’t enjoy as it felt a bit amateurish.
I appreciate that this wasn’t just a ripoff of some better-known author’s work. Michael Lingaard definitely tried to craft his own world and storylines. In “mirror world” they have well developed complex magic instead of physics, however there was no major divergence in history from our world until some crossover stuff in 1066 makes the Norman Invasion fail, and now in 2017 they have basically a magical steampunk society (and they use the letter K in place of C a lot). Kind of cool, but I’m not sure that the connection between those three main points is believable…they feel kind of mashed together. Even worse, the way that magic works or fails to work in our world or around people from our world (a major plot point) is either completely inconsistent or very confusingly explained throughout the book.
I really enjoyed the few non-human/semi-human characters in the book, but most of the characters are flat and unbelievable. For the most part they sound so similar that the frequent perspective shifts can take a few sentences to notice, and many of their emotional reactions just don’t ring true (e.g. hilarious laughter at a minor incongruity or barely batting an eye at discovering a doppelganger from a parallel world).
There were some odd formatting choices as well. Like the overuse of elipsis…
…every few pages.
…for dramatic effect.
Overall, this author definitely has creativity, and if he improves his style and story cohesion I think he could write some really good stuff…it’s just not there yet.