OtherWorld by Evan Ronan

OtherWorld by Evan Ronan
OtherWorld by Evan Ronan
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (309 pages)
Age Recommendation: 10+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Aoife Finley is bursting at the seams with creativity. No one daydreams better than her and her imagination knows no bounds.

Mr. Peterson is old, his best days long behind him. He yearns for the past, mistrusts the present, and fears the future. But he’s just figured out how to recapture his past:

By stealing other people’s imaginations.

Armed with only her creativity, imaginary friends, and a few bickering classmates, Aoife embarks on an amazing, but dangerous journey into the otherworld that she created, a place that is slipping more and more out of her control and into Mr. Peterson’s, before the real world as she knows it—and as it could be—disappears forever.

OtherWorld is a YA fantasy adventure about the power of the imagination and how anything is possible.

A vivid imagination can take you almost anywhere. Will hers be able to lead Aoife where she needs to go before it’s possibly taken away from her forever?

This was one of the most imaginative stories I’ve read in a long time, especially when it came to the world building. Mr. Ronan’s creative approach to what life is like in Paxsum, the world Aoife created in her mind, was so richly detailed that I almost felt as if I’d visited it myself in the past. It isn’t easy to give specific examples of why this place felt so real without also sharing spoilers, but there were many times when I lost myself in the descriptions because so much effort had been put into describing who and what lives there.

There were a few pacing issues in the beginning. The narrator spent a lot of time introducing the characters to the audience before the plot picked up speed. While I liked getting to know everyone so well, I would have preferred to move onto the main conflict a little more quickly. It was such an important part of the storyline that I was surprised to see how much time it took for it to be addressed.

Magical worlds need to be populated with equally magical creatures of all shapes and sizes. I was thrilled to see who lived in Paxsum. They were every bit as unusual and wonderful as I was hoping they’d be. The author really outdid himself with his explanations of how they passed their time and what the main character should do when she ran into one. The sections that showed her interacting with them were by far my favorite ones in the entire book.

I’d heartily recommend OtherWorld to adult and middle grade readers alike.

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