Why I liked it: it is a beautifully written, emotional read, with original and self-consistent world-building and a touching storyline.
And now for the chatty part!
What immediately caught my attention when reading the first pages of this book was its contained lyricism in combination with the paced unveiling of the afterlife in which the story takes place. The author has conjured a strange, hostile, mysterious plane of existence for her characters. Reading this novella, I felt as if I was in a magical underwater world, the sounds of everyday life coming to me muffled and distorted. I was completely immersed in it.
The author has put a lot of thought into her world-building. Nothing is inconsistent, and the reader feels the potential for revelations and development. And she doesn’t dump information on you. Rather, this mysterious afterlife world with all its wondrous creatures is revealed slowly as you read, and nothing is out of place.
The book also deals with the sensitive issues of mental health, loneliness, and suicide, and the poignancy of the feelings really touched me. The author imparts emotion in an eloquent, dream-like way. Without revealing too much, I will say that I enjoyed the way Nolan’s attempts to influence his own timeline were handled. It is a fantasy scenario, but even to the physicist inside me it felt real and consistent with my understanding of time (if that makes any sense!).
If I had to criticise something, it would be the resolution, which I perceived as deus ex machina. I don’t know if the author meant it like this, or if there’s something I missed. Still, the text is so beautiful that I didn’t really mind. This book is not about the ending, it’s rather about the journey, as all good books are. Although, the ending was good too!
Grammar, syntax, style: I take notes on my Kindle when I read, and in this book I found a grand total of 5 errors, one or two of which were misspellings. I don’t think it gets better than that. Kudos on the correct use of commas. This is so rare in self-published books that I think it’s worth a mention!