A little bit of a slow start as the reader begins to get to know the character and where Cora Riley lives. The small town, unassuming place, everyone knows everyone else. No one really leaves; content to live a mundane life, until Cora decides she cannot do that anymore. She has to find herself somewhere else.
The writing is fluid, travelling at an easy flow. Depictions of scenes and wording create a realistic atmosphere. The way the author writes, the words used enhances the plot, creating images to the mind’s eye.
The story gets more perplexing as Cora leaves everything behind, seeming to get caught up somewhere else altogether.
This unparalleled universe or what appears to be the land of the dead, just makes this novel or the stranger. Quite unexpected how it started, only a little hint to where it was going.
The story gets stranger and stranger as Cora has to work her way out of the mess she is in. The bizarre creatures, the evil ‘Mistress’, and a goddess. Throwing Cora in the mess is somewhat confusing at times.
Cora faces a seemingly simple challenge, but of course it’s not what it seems. She encounters talking squirrels, dryads that look almost human but are green; maybe think Avatar, that try to turn Cora into one of the them.
Next Cora has to dart and dodge laughing thunder. Finally Cora gets some reprieve from some peculiar rescuers; the man Jack knows more about Cora than he is willing to let on.
The whirlwind of events takes Cora to meet Jack, a protector who makes sure the dead go to the heaven they belong to. His past causes his own precautions and knowing what Cora really is adds to the tension.
The story grows in intensity as Cora, Jack and Xavier have to travel to different portals to get to their next location. Tossing them in a mix of valiant fighters eager for another fight. Sexual chemistry sparks for Cora and Jack in a tranquil setting they arrive in. But of course not is all as it seems. And again Cora has to rediscover herself and her destiny.
Humorous anecdotes and myths crop up in the story giving it a lighter note. And the characters are enjoyable to read about. The story grows along with these characters, involving and revealing more aspects of each character. Cora is easy to relate to, very likeable. And Jack of course is every girl’s knight in shining armour – except of course slightly different clothing.
The ending did drag a bit, but it achieved the main aim of tying up some loose ends before leading onto the next book in the series.