Full disclosure, I was gifted this book by the author though all the opinions in this post are totally my own opinion.
My favourite author of all time is Darren Shan, though really that’s pretty obvious if you know anything about me. I’ve spoken many times about how his books introduced me to reading, I interviewed him in the past and I’ve done many posts about his books. The latest one being when I read the Zom-B series. And here I am again getting the chance to fangirl over his newest series.
Archibald Lox and the Bridge Between Worlds, the first book in the Archibald Lox series, follows Archi as he falls into a new world known as the Marge. Along the way he must face off against criminals, hell hounds and rivers of blood while the past still follows close on his heels.
At just 184 pages it’s a really short book but I feel like that’s a really good length, allowing for an action packed story that doesn’t feel unnecessarily drawn out especially with the fact this is going to be a series and it isn’t just a stand alone book. It also allows for characters to be shaped and for the world to be built around them. No one ever feels lost. Inez, the main female character, is really interesting and has her own story that doesn’t feel pushed to the side. Also it’s interesting to note most websites like Waterstones and Bookshop are selling the first 3 ‘volumes’ as one book where as you can get Bridge Between Worlds on it’s own on Amazon as both Paperback and E-Book.
As with any ‘magic’ system there’s a bit of a learning curve but I never felt like I was lost, I always think it helps when there’s a character that’s new to it as much as you are as a reader, that way you can learn along with them. In this book there’s a whole world to learn about but everything is explained really well and it feels like it fits rather than being disjointed. The stuff with the locks is really interesting, I really hope this is expanded on and not something that’s just forgotten about. The story being the Hell Hounds was cool too, that they’re not just some monsters but they have an actual story, an interesting one!
One of the things I did dislike about the book was the story of Archi’s brother. It’s made obvious pretty early into the book that Archi is adopted and that his adopted parents have a biological son. It’s explained that the brother recently died in an accident where he drowned and that Archi was there at the time. While this is talked about a couple of times it always feels a little glazed over. It just feels like such a monumental thing that could probably use more time, It sounds like a massively traumatic event that’s forgotten about a little too quickly. On top of this there’s a section later on into the book where Archi is more then ready to jump into a river, I feel like you would be a little more reluctant to just jump in after what had happened.
All in all I do really like this book, it’s funny and interesting in so many ways. As a huge Darren Shan fan I can definitely tell this is one of his books but that obviously isn’t a bad thing, especially when it’s an author that you love. I’ve always said everyone should give Shan a try at some point and this book is definitely a good place to start if you like fantasy, it’s not as out there as his other books but it’s still a good introduction to his writing.
It’s currently free on amazon for Kindle or you can grab the first three books in one volume here from Bookshop.org. It’s an affiliate link and Bookshop donates money to independent bookshops.
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