Thursday, July 14, 2011
Phantom Universe by Laura Kreitzer
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Sold into slavery to pirates at the young age of four, Summer learns to survive the rough seas of subterfuge and thieves through silence. When the boat she's lived on most of her life is destroyed, Summer finds herself washed up on the shore of a new world, a phantom universe full of the bizarre and extraordinary. She meets Gage, the one boy who understands the girl with no speech. But when their lives are put on the line, will Summer finally call out? Or will all be lost in the fathomless depth of silence?
I have really mixed feelings on this book and continue to even though l finished it on Monday. For many reasons l really like this book but there are a few things which take this book down from a 4.5 or even a possible 5 star rating.
It didn't take me long to get into this book, after one chapter l was gripped into Summer's world and desperately wanting to constantly find out what happens next. What l really loved and what engrossed me is how Laura takes you (the reader) back in time throughout the book to show you things that have gone on in Summer's life (flashbacks). It was a really shame when Laura just suddenly stopped doing that as l really liked how l was desperate to find out what happens next and then the book would go to something that happened in the past.
Summer as a character is a very loveable one who you are quickly made to feel sympathy for and see things through her eyes, some chapters were quite hard to read and this book is in no way an easy read. You call tell the author, Laura, really feels strongly about the sad truth about kidnapping and has done research into this (she did a guest post on my blog). The characters around Summer really made me feel so many things from admiration for being patience to hatred.
For me, some twists and turns in this book made me think and l still don't know if l like it or not. The problem, for me, with the time travel in this book is how much it lefts unsaid until quite late in the book. For a lot of the book l didn't really understand the time travel and was left waiting and waiting for the explanation and it became such a big issue in the book. l was surprised that when Laura explained it, it seemed rushed and like she use it to add to her story but didn't explain enough into what actually happened. Then of course along with the time travel came technology which most of the time Laura was great to keep it simple and not add too many advanced things which we wouldn't understand.
This book touches on some very tough subjects which Laura wrote in an emotional and touching way which definitely made me feel for Summer. I feel maybe the time travel and the twists took too much away from the most interesting part of this book which was the kidnapping and when big issues like wars brought into it, l wanted more explanation than was offered. That said, l don't want to take anything away from the twists which are totally unexpected and very intriguing.
I think in some ways this book would be perfect for a standalone if just another chapter was added to round things up but you can definitely tell there is going to be another book in the series (which there is)
Over-all l REALLY recommend this book for anyone who is drawn in by the blurb as this book is such much better than even the blurb makes it sounds.