Thank you so much to the author for the early copy of Anders Reality! This one published on March 5th and is a great low/urban fantasy pick for Middle Grade March, from an indie author!
- Title: Anders Reality
- Series: n/a
- Author: Adam Roach
- Publisher & Release: Indie, 3/5/21
- Length: 288
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⚡ for the target age group!
Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:
WHAT IF FOR SOME, WHEN THEY SLEEP, THEY DON’T SIMPLY DREAM, BUT FALL INTO ANOTHER WORLD?
As “Dreamers”, they’re sworn to protect a world called Luceria and that duty has never been needed more than now. There was a time when Luceria was a beautiful magical place, but has become dark and dangerous because of The Taker.
The Taker is a Dreamer who wants the magic of Luceria for himself and wants the ability to stay there forever and rule with those Lucerians he’s turned into his own army.
For the past six months, Ander has been having nightmare like daydreams that he can’t seem to stop or get away from. He doesn’t know where to turn or who to trust and its beginning to affect every aspect of his life. On the night of his 14th birthday after spending the day being tortured by the school bully, Ander goes to bed and shortly after falling asleep, he feels like he’s falling and lands in the abandoned looking, terror filled world of Luceria.
Is this the same place as his daydreams?
Why is this happening to him?
Are there others like him on Earth who can fall into this other world?
Where has everyone gone?
Ander has more questions than answers as he begins to try and navigate not only the notion of another reality, but who he really is meant to be.
ANDERS REALITY is a YA Low-Fantasy Novel and is written for ages 10 and up.
I am reviewing this one through the lens of “appropriate for age 10+”, not so much as an adult critique! It is definitely appropriate content wise for the target age range and I think they will enjoy the story. The main character just turned 14 and in general the book does read to the young side!
When Ander is asleep, and sometimes when he is awake, he travels to an alternate land called Luceria. Eventually we learn that it used to be a wonderful and magical place, until the Taker started corrupting the world searching for a key that unlocks a strong power.
Ander and his two friends are all freshmen and he has a bully. He seems to get along with everyone else but is super sensitive and does seem to cry easily. It was fun watching that storyline resolve. He has to choose to be brave in both realms, both to defend himself at school and to choose to save Luceria.
I liked the idea overall, just had a lot of questions as an adult about the world and the inhabitants, but I think these will go over the target age range’s head.
My questions were: why cats? Why did the tether takers have to maim themselves, or were they just humans dressed like cats while the Lucerians were real cat-people? Whose heads were on stakes? Where did that whole VR Gaming thing with the tethers and available items come from? Why keep all the dreamers in pods? Oh…. What the heck, THAT guy was the bad guy? And so forth. I don’t think kids will question these things and it was appropriate length, with fast paced action for middle grade.
Overall? A good story, with high school friendships and being at odds with parents, and bully problems. A lot of kids will relate. I liked the low fantasy elements. Recommend for kids who like contemporary/urban scifi/fantasy!!