Book #30

TwoSpells by Mark Morrison

Sarah and her twin brother Jon are heirs to an ancient magical realm and its most valuable treasure, an enchanted library. The library endows readers with the supernatural means of crossing into the uncharted inner-sanctum of the second dimension, inhabited with peculiar and sometimes perilous creatures. 
The children are emboldened with a wondrous mystical gift that no other being has ever possessed. But fate intervenes and triggers a disastrous inter-dimensional war that disrupts the fabric of time and space spanning multiple universes, tearing destiny a new and savage pathway. 
The two must rescue their world from a phantom hybrid alien race controlled by a demented dark-wizard, Jeremy Sermack. They will either assimilate or be exterminated. 
Will they be the saviors the prophets spoke of, or will they retreat to the perceived safety of their distant homeland? 

When I received Mark Morrison’s email asking me to review TwoSpells, I felt as though he had been living inside my head. Magic, strange creatures, an enchanted library? The premise is strong; it felt a bit like Harry Potter meets The Pagemaster (which is, by the way, a completely underrated Macaulay Culkin classic). I had to say yes.

Morrison eases us in gently to his world, peppering strange yet small happenings throughout the initial pages accompanied by a reassuring tone implying we’ll soon get to the root of these unsettling creatures and new mysterious words we kept bumping into. There was a tension tinged with excitement – what is this place, and what am I going to be part of?

We’re dipped into small mysteries for the first half of the novel, then everything really kicks off. There was a lot going on, most of which I felt could have benefited from further explanation. A few things happened out of the blue where I felt the twins should have had more questions, instead they were quite blasé, taking things as they come, but without any inquisition, I was left in the dark. There were also characters introduced at the beginning of novel who didn’t make an appearance until towards the end, and I had forgotten their stories and where they fit in. It felt like utter chaos, and I couldn’t keep track of what was happening, or why.

The world is gorgeous and exciting, yet I feel some of the more fast-paced scenes could have been edited out to make room for either some lore or backstory. The finale is an incredibly frustrating cliffhanger, so I was pleased to learn Morrison plans to make this series – it would have been a maddening ending otherwise!

Thanks again for allowing me to read and review this.