A quick mention to avoid the blurb if you haven’t read the first book The Eye-Dancers, it is best to start there, if you carry on you may pick up minor spoilers that could potentially ruin the full enjoyment of your reading experience.
Five years ago, Monica Tisdale, the “ghost girl,” invaded their dreams and led them through the void. Now she is back, more desperate and more powerful than ever.
For Mitchell Brant, Joe Marma, Ryan Swinton, and Marc Kuslanski, the intervening five years have seen them advance to the cusp of their senior year in high school. They have girlfriend troubles, job stresses, future careers to consider. They don’t have the time, or the inclination, to be whisked away to Monica’s world again.
But when Monica calls on them to leap into the abyss and bridge the gap between dimensions, she will not take no for an answer. She has tapped into the deepest pools of her mysterious powers, leading to consequences as unforeseen as they are disastrous. For Monica, the multiverse, the concept of a limitless number of parallel selves and parallel worlds, has become all too real. And all too terrifying.
Through it all, she knows that Mitchell and his friends are the only ones who can save her.
If she doesn’t kill them first.
This cover is one of the most eye-catching of the year, that I have come across to date. Everything from the font, to the space spade symbol is really classy, not that a book should be judged by its cover. It’s been all change in the intervening five years since the children returned home, and having grown into teenagers with all the associated problems, this new story takes on a more mature aspect. As you would expect with more grown up protagonists, the peril stakes have also risen, which is always a good thing.
After a few chapters, reminding us of the characters and bringing them up to date with their lives, the story really gets going. This time around there is less detail focussing on the world which is to be expected to avoid repetition, although the reader still feels that nostalgic, comfortable connection. I do like those little details, and exploring the town of Colbyville was one of the highlights of The Eye-Dancers, for me.
Having to spend less time on set up does allow the characters to get more page time. Mitchell and Joe’s stories, I found less interesting this time around, although a good job is done giving each character their own arc, I was most invested in Ryan’s story, his character has more spotlight this time around. I felt the main story line was given parity with the character development storylines which is interesting but the focus on characters is the book’s main strength.
The story seemed to wrap up a little too soon, I was expecting seperate plot threads to come together and in that sense I was initially surprised but on reflection it does something different with its structure and I decided I liked it. Thinking about it afterwards, it makes sense to mix things up and give the reader a less predictable experience, keeping them a little off-balance. All in all good this is a good read but I did miss the prevalence of those little details that came with the first book. The atmosphere of the slightly strange, almost dreamlike quality remains the same and ensures that whatever your tastes, this is a book you can lose yourself in.