This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Summary from GoodReads:
In the tradition of Memento and Inception comes a thrilling and scary young adult novel about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.
Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it’s as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she’s real.
Then she writes “White Space,” a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.
Unfortunately, “White Space” turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she’s never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she’s dropped into the very story she thought she’d written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they–and Emma–may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.
Now what they must uncover is why they’ve been brought to this place–a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written–before someone pens their end.
Okay, I know I never rarely ever just pull a summary straight from GoodReads. I cannot summarize this novel. I cannot do it. There is too much that goes on between it’s plethora of pages to pick just a few parts to give you. The GoodReads description is pretty adequate anyway. Also, WARNING! WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!
So, character-wise, I’m not sure what to say. I liked all of them, but I wasn’t head over heels for anyone. Plus, they start killing them off pretty early on, so I didn’t want to get overly attached to anyone who bites the dust. Hint, that’s everyone but Emma. They all die. They all die bloody, gory, terrible deaths. This, obviously, irked me. I like my characters to ride off into the sunset happily ever after style and that is NOT what happened here. Each character brings their own set of qualities and skills to the table, allowing the ever-shrinking group to survive as long as they do, but it’s not enough in the end. So, you know, don’t get attached.
My main problem with this was it took too long to explain itself. It keeps talking about nows and bookworlds and panops (I don’t know the proper spelling, I listened to the entire thing on audio) and even halfway through the book, you still aren’t sure what it all means. You don’t get an explanation until the last quarter of the book and even then, I’m still not sure. What I do know for sure is that there had to be a better way to do that. I don’t know what because I a shitty story teller, but there had to be a better alternative.
I also think this is a case of reading the wrong genre. I’m not really a horror fan. I like some gore in movies and shows, but it doesn’t come across well for me in writing. That coupled with the tendency to murder all the characters and you can see why this would not be the novel for me. I honestly think I only downloaded it because I was still in the early stages of reviewing and wanted to read anything and everything I could for review. This gem was up for immediate download, no annoying wait for approval or denial. Just click here and it’s yours! I don’t know if I even read the summary. I should have.
I really think that if you like gore and death and mystery, this novel is one you’ll enjoy. But it wasn’t for me! It also ends on a mind-breaking cliffhanger, but I can’t say I’ll be picking up book 2!
Despite the fact that I didn’t enjoy this novel overall, I loved the narrator! Kathleen does an amazing job, creating voices and characters and sound effects. She even does fantastic accents and I was enthralled despite my less than enthused reaction to the story and the plot. I honestly don’t think I would have finished this had I been reading a physical book, but Kathleen is awesome. I will definitely be checking out more of her work in the future!
****Thank you to Egmont USA for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****