Fissure Free by Shari J. Ryan

I received this book through LibraryThing’s Early Review program. As a note, in September I received the sequel to this book as one of my Early Review books, so I suspect that I will be revisiting this review in that post (which will post in mid-October).

I’m afraid I just could not get into this book. I did read the first book in preparation and the writing is better in this book, but it still suffers from a lack of character.

This is not to say there are no characters, but that the book feels bland, to me. I need characters I can connect with – even in the midst of deep fantasy, I *need* characters who feel real. The two main characters, Alex and Chloe feel flat. They’re two characters wrapped and created around one another, which ends up feeling very empty, since neither really have substance outside the other. And since both of them are hollow without each other, they’re barely substantial together.

I also vehemently object to ending a book on a big reveal (the first book did) and then acting as if the reveal hadn’t happened at the beginning of the next book. The pacing was just odd.

Also, the way the series treats mental illness as the result of some fairy tale escape rather than as a serious condition really rankles me, as I deal every day with the reality of mental health issues. There is no escape and it is most certainly not escaping that makes me happy – it’s facing the mental health problems head on. The only character who does that is painted as the secondary villain.

I hesitate to pass final judgement because there is one more book in the series and I feel I was a bit rushed in my reading of the material. So, I give it a hesitant three stars for an interesting premise and improvement from the first book – because there was improvement – but I may change my mind after a more careful study.

[><] & [::]

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