Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Book Review: Alive

Alive (The Veiled World #1)
By: Vanessa Garden
Published By: Limitless Publishing
Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
Page Count: 320
Buy it at Amazon, or Barnes & Noble
Source: ARC kindly provided by the author
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy

When energy drink magnate, Bruce Harvey, returns to his small home town in Western Australia, it causes quite a stir. He takes 8 teens with him, on the promise of a holiday on his private island. During the flight, however, he reveals that they're not going to his island at all, but to another world, the Veiled World, where it is possible to visit The Land of Resting Souls, and retrieve the dead. In the Veiled World, King Cyril has spent many years mourning his dead wife and seeking a way to bring her back. Bruce Harvey and his teenagers, including the protagonist, Amber, are his last hope.

The group embark on a dangerous quest to rescue the Queen, and their own loved ones. Everyone blames Amber for the death of her twin brother, Sam, so this is a chance for her to redeem herself, and get back the most important person in the world to her.

The Veiled World isn't easy to navigate, being made up of individual versions of heaven (and, it seems, hell). The likelihood of everyone surviving is negligible. We gradually get to know the nine who make the journey, and their reasons for going. They've all lost someone, and hope that life will be better if they can bring them home.

A lovely tentative romance develops with local boy Axel, but that fact that not everyone will be able to bring their loved one back puts a bit of a dampener on things. I liked the gradual character development and the slow reveal of Amber's backstory, and what happened to Sam.

Alive shares some similarities with Vanessa Garden's Submerged Sun Series, which I really enjoyed. A hidden kingdom, difficult to access and fraught with danger and a protagonist who is grieving and doesn't feel adequately loved or supported by her remaining family. 

The ending is satisfying, while leaving room for development in the rest of the series.


Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Amber Reid dreams of one day leaving the dusty farm she calls home…

She aches for an adventure somewhere new. A place outside of her tiny town, where people won’t stare and shake their heads while silently blaming her for the death of her twin brother, Sam.
Amber’s wish is granted when energy-drink billionaire, Bruce Harvey, extends an invitation…

When she and seven other students from Red Gum High are recruited to sample new beverage flavors, they board Bruce’s private jet and fly toward the island headquarters of Alive Energy Drinks. But her elation is short-lived. Mid-flight, she and the group of misfit students are informed they were never destined for an island paradise—but a whole other world, riddled with dangers, mystery, and most importantly—the dead.

After crashing through a mysterious portal and landing in the Veiled World, the group is welcomed by King Cyril, who guards the gateway to the Land of Resting Souls. Here, the group is asked to embark on a mission to revive the soul of King Cyril’s dead wife. In exchange, the victor may choose one soul to retrieve from the Land of Resting Souls, and bring them back to life.

Hoping to see her brother again, Amber accepts the challenge. But there’s a catch. Almost no one who has entered the Land of Resting Souls has ever been seen again. And there are no guarantees. If she succeeds, Sam’s soul may be returned…

But will he truly be Alive?



1 comment:

  1. OOoh interesting! I enjoyed her first book, never did read the second one in the series because of territorial rights I think. This sounds like one I might need to look into! Nice review!

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