Friday, July 4, 2014

Friday Reads: The Pilgrims by Will Elliott

This was a book that kept popping up everywhere I looked - asking me to read it.  Begging me to give it a chance.  I bought it right before I left on my vacation, but didn't get a chacne to read it until after we were home again.  Once I opened it - it was hard for me to put it down.  The story just kept hauling me in again and again.

From the dustjacket:
Eric Albright is a twenty-six-year-old journalist living in London. That is to say he would be a journalist if he got off his backside. But this luckless slacker isn’t all bad—he has a soft spot for his sometimes friend Stuart Casey, the homeless old drunk who mostly lives under the railway bridge near his flat. Eric is willing to let his life just drift by…until the day a small red door appears on the graffiti-covered wall of the bridge, and a gang of strange-looking people—Eric's pretty sure one of them is a giant—dash out of the door and rob the nearby newsagent. From that day on Eric and Case haunt the arch, waiting for the door to reappear.
When it does, both Eric and Case choose to go through…to the land of Levaal. A place where a mountain-sized dragon with the powers of a god lies sleeping beneath a great white castle. In the castle the sinister Lord Vous rules with an iron fist, and the Project, designed to effect his transformation into an immortal spirit, nears completion. But Vous's growing madness is close to consuming him, together with his fear of an imaginary being named Shadow. And soon Eric may lend substance to that fear. An impossibly vast wall divides Levall, and no one has ever seen what lies beyond. Eric and Casey are called Pilgrims, and may have powers that no one in either world yet understands, and soon the wall may be broken. What will enter from the other side? 
Pilgrims is no ordinary alternate-world fantasy; with this first volume in The Pendulum Trilogy, Will Elliott's brilliantly subversive imagination twists the conventions of the alternate-world fantasy genre, providing an unforgettable visionary experience.

I LOVED THIS BOOK!  From the tentative first pages grew a fairly original story.  I seriously had trouble putting it down and would usually read until my eyes wouldn't stay open.  I will admit that some of the scenes felt clumsy - particularly anything sexual - but the scenes never lasted long.  They just felt like they were written by someone trying something new.   There were a couple of times during the book where I had to ask myself where this was going, but it always got back on track fairly quickly and I would be towed through the words once more.  

Character development seemed a bit oddly done...with information suddenly being filled in later in the book after I already felt like I knew the character, but this wasn't a drawback for me.  I tend to prefer fantasy stories with great world development where the characters play off the world more so than where I am given so much information about them that I no longer feel a connection.  This one felt like the world was developed really well and the characters merely supported the world.

If you like fantasy - particularly alternate world fantasies - with a quest thrown in - I think you should give this one a try.  It is a colourful, imaginative read.  Plenty of quirks and an engaging story that I am looking forward to continuing to read as the next books are released.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm. Intriguing. I like different, and don't mind occasional clumsiness in writing. Sometimes I think our reading/publishing world is nothing but one style of pastry, a cinnamon bun perhaps, done only slightly differently. No matter how much you might like them, sometimes you yearn for them done a lot differently. Or you want a butter tart. Or a steak.


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