Title: Chimera Book One (Chimera #1)
Author: Phil Gomm
Genres: Adventure | Children | Fantasy
Length: 100 pages | 1980 locations
Kyp finds himself in a world utterly different from his own, with parents who look like his but aren’t his.
As he runs away from the Oblivion Three, he finds that he is in the world of Chimera, a place where lost things go. If he wants to escape, he needs to do so before everyone forgets about him. When that happens, his Elsewhere Light will disappear and he will be lost forever, never able to return to his home ever again. It will not be an easy task, running from those three and not knowing who to trust.
Kyp’s adventure will last longer than expected or hoped. In this first book, he finds that the main villain is keeping other lost children prisoner and will attempt to rescue them.
Chimera Book One succeeds in transporting the reader to a wondrous world reminiscent of The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, with a dash of Coraline and Narnia in the mix.
The imagery is absolutely stunning. I was mesmerized by the dismay of the landscape and creatures and their stories, the villains were so scary, and I rooted for the hero and his new-found friends, that they would succeed through their struggles and manage to bring back hope.
Obviously, since this is book 1 in a series, we do not get closure, but it was still a very rewarding tale and interesting revelations were made in the end.
I was engaged from the first page, although I could not always tell what was going on: I didn’t quite get the purpose of the magician with the scarves, how he is related to the fugue; if the beginning of the story takes place in Chimera instantly or if those really are Kyp’s parents even though he says they are not and he got lost while in the trinket shop. I am pretty sure they were and he just thought they had changed so much since the event that caused them to move, but I would like to be really sure. Guess that won’t happen till the final book.
Regardless of the doubts, I was still engaged in the story and enjoying the ride.
But then I started finding the pace a bit too rushed. There was a lot of running and the characters were constantly almost being caught; I wanted to take a breather and get to know a bit more of the world, so I wished they could have come up with some diversion or something, that would have bought them time to talk about it.
This fast pace would then be countered by massive descriptions. They were lovely – part of the strength of this book is precisely those crazy sounding critters and scenarios – but it just caused me to get distracted once I was past that initial awe.
I had a bit of a hard time keeping the end goal in mind, like where Kyp was supposed to go, and by the time some things were mentioned, like the Calvacade for instance, I had no idea what it was anymore (still don’t…); there was just too much stuff in between, I got utterly lost.
Other plot/writing issues: I thought finding Circinus when and where they did was very convenient (it sounded like they were separated a long time before that, so why would she even be there?) and I noticed that Kyp knew Atticus name before it told him. There was the odd grammatical error and missing/extra words. The writing itself was easy enough to follow, though there were times the phrasing caused me to have to reread to see if I got things right. Like Deep in thought, the first Kyp knew Atticus had stopped was when he trod on his tail. I was like. Huh? There’s more than one Kyp? When I reread the sentence it was clear, but not quite at first.
So, in a nutshell, I would say the main issue I had with the book was the pace, along with having trouble remembering the key elements. However, there was so much good stuff in this little gem that I cannot bring myself to round the 3.5 stars down.
Plus, it’s a children’s book, and I do believe kids will enjoy it even more than I did, although I believe it will appeal to both little ones and grown-ups.
In conclusion, the first book of the Chimera trilogy was highly enjoyable, and I will be diving into the next two shortly. This is a world which will suck you right in, and I wish it would be made into a movie or even a series – these critters are just begging to come to life in a screen!
Read it, you won’t be sorry.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read from May 24 to May 26, 2015