The Realms Thereunder - Ross Lawhead
(from the back cover) A homeless man is stalked by a pale, wraith-like creature with a mouthful of needle-sharp teeth. Maimed animals and a host of suicides cluster around a mountain in Scotland. And deep beneath the cobbled streets of Oxford, a malicious hoard besieges a hidden city.
Freya Reynolds is a university student with a touch of OCD and an obsession with myth and folklore. Daniel Tully is living rough on the streets of Oxford, waging a secret war against an enemy only he can identify. Years ago, they found themselves in a world few know is real. They have since gone their separate ways and tried to put that adventure behind them.
But the mythical world is now bleeding into our reality - a dark spiritual evil that is manifesting itself in forgotten corners fo the British Isles. Alex Simpson is a Scottish police officer who specializes in hunting mythical creatures. Together, they must confront the past, the present and points beyond to defeat the ultimate thread to humanity.
Nothing they've seen so far prepares them for what awaits...in The Realms Thereunder.
OK, I must start this review by pointing out that I'm not really a fan of fantasy. Why I picked this book to review, I don't know. That being said, even thought I didn't like the genre, I stuck it out and read every word.
The story jumps around in time a lot. In the beginning of book, there are two time periods - the present where Freya Reynolds is a college student at Oxford and Daniel Tully is homeless and living on the streets, and eight years ago where the two were, unknowingly, lured into a secret underground world. Then as the book progressed, Daniel and Freya are separated in the present to, really, two other time periods. So then, you have three separate storylines going, along with trying to remember the original one. To me, that was very confusing. I constantly had to go back in the book to refresh myself on what had just happened in that time period (3 chapters ago!).
My other complaint with the book is the storyline (at least the one from eight years ago), seemed all to familiar. Two children whisked to a secret world where it's the good wizard and his forces battling that bad wizard and his forces. The bad wizard must be destroyed but only a brave child with a pure heart can rid the world of evil. Sound like anything familiar? A little Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, anyone?
The book really doesn't resolve any of the conflicts within it. It's almost more of an intro into the next book, which, I have to say, I won't be reading.
I give this book 2 out of 5 stars.
I read this book as part of the Booksneeze program for bloggers. All opinions are my own.