Reviewed by Dale:
I guess it was the creepy emerald eyes that drew me to this as I shopped my way around looking for something to read. Another one of those books you collect on a whim and don't really know what to expect when you crack the spine and have at it. It was very early on in the piece that I realised I had discovered something out of the ordinary here. The writing was at once very fluid and prose like. Exceptional narrative that was almost a distraction in its elegance. I was amazed at how precise the writing was.
The story develops quickly. Characters are immediately established with depth and personality. Hallmarks of great writing. Some words used in here threw me, I consider myself fairly well rounded in vocab, not up to Shakespeare's massive working catalogue but none the less I don't often see words I've never seen before. This novel got me more than once. I haven't seen the word miasma used this century in modern prose before.
"The emotional buoyancy was a strong counterpoint to the endless days of trekking through unknown dangers." A classic example of the prose like narrative that flows throughout the book, making it a joy to read. I searched for information about this author but she hasn't got a bio posted on her blog or website that I found. I'm guessing she must have a classical or liberal arts background because the writing is just so polished.
"Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" - I'm probably not the first to draw parallels with the famous poem Dante wrote. But the connection is obvious. The Nine Realms a direct correlation to the nine circles that the author (Dante) descends through. Representing the deadly sins greed, gluttony etc. I wasn't paying enough attention whilst ready Eno's book to determine the exact nature of each realm and it matters not. Its a separate story that stands on its own. A great imagination that constantly meant my coffee went cold as i lost hours absorbed in the story. I'll never look at pretty little butterflies quite the same way again. Especially the creepy blue ones.
Another obvious conclusion is the similarity to Alice in Wonderland. I'm not really convinced about that. Carol supposedly wrote that as a parody of modern (at the time) mathematics. Imaginary numbers weren't something he accepted and the mad hatters tea party was a nice ridicule of the 'change' required to accept them. The closest I think Eno comes is the moral lessons that Allyson comes to learn as she descends through the realms, being her message to the world. I think that has more substance than taking the mickey out of essential mathematics.
The ending was possibly the only weakness. Endings can be challenging and some of the biggest criticisms I've had on one of my books is the abruptness of the ending. In my case it was part one of a three part trilogy.
So, I see with satisfaction, a second book is available to read in the Red Rabbit series. I will endeavour to read and review one-day soon.
Available from Smashwords
Link to Download: Here
Price: $0.99c (at time of review)
Wordcount: 88,000 (appx)