Realmwalker by Jonathan Franks
Warning: Contains scenes of explicit drug abuse, abortion, violence, and f/f romance
Realmwalker by Jonathan Franks, is a different take on fairy lore. Like the Amazon blurb says, it is not a fairy tale, and this book covers a lot of rough topics.
Now that the warning is out of the way, let’s get down to the actual review.
Realmwalker’s spin on fairies is one that I’m not familiar with: every fairy is connected to a human, and are created when that human laughs for the first time. They also die when the human dies, and vice versa. Now, there is an ancient legend that says if a human dies by the hand of its fairy counterpart, the fairy will live forever.
The book opens with an exiled fairy, whose received a prophecy that his human will die of what amounts to a terminal illness. Not wanting to risk his own life, he sets out to find a way to cross into the human realm, which hasn’t been done in a long time, and test the truth of the ancient legend. When his plans are discovered, it’s already too late for one realm, and it’s a race against time as a farmer and a Realmwalker try to stop him before he succeeds.
The plot was interesting enough, with a few twists and turns, but the book isn’t told from just the exiled fairy’s perspective. There are four human perspectives we read from, and just as many fairy perspectives. While I see the need to connect the two realms and show characters from both sides, the constant switching between characters was a bit much, especially at the beginning. I had a hard time keeping everyone straight. This also made the battle at the end confusing, as not only did I have to keep the fairies straight, but their human counterparts as well.
The plot also dragged a bit, in the beginning, at least on the fairy side of the story. We were introduced to everyone, who all lived in different realms, and had pretty sedate lives. The humans were a little more interesting, though I wasn’t a fan of either Emmett or Andrea as characters. The second part of the story picked up a bit, and the fairies were at least doing something to learn of the threat and how to stop it, though I thought the trips to see three different oracles and seers were a bit repetitive. Why couldn’t one seer give them the information they needed? The journey between realms, with Ivy’s constant wow-ing grated on my nerves, though the description the author put into the scenery was clearly well-thought out and pretty to the mind’s eye. While Ivy and the Realmwalker, Herron, are trying to save their realms, the humans are living their lives, or what’s left of them, and completely oblivious. They have their own dramas, but really only serve as a ticking time bomb to keep the suspense up. I did think that the author did a good job with character voice, at least on the human side. Genny seemed like a sweet girl and I think I liked her the most. Also, the good fairies were pretty clueless throughout the book, so it was pretty surprising that they made as far as they did with the mission.
This book sort of ends in a cliffhanger. The main conflict, finding Pepper, is resolved but in an unsatisfactory manner, and there’s a lot of ends that aren’t tied up as well as a whole new subplot that will most likely be addressed in the second book of the series. There were a couple of twists throughout, which reengaged me, but overall I thought the story was pretty slow.
The actual writing was okay, and there were a lot of misused homophones scattered throughout the book (to instead of too, that sort of thing).
My Rating: 2.7/5
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Interested in reading Realmwalker? You can get it for $2.99 on Amazon or free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.
Thanks for reading,