The Sister Paradox, by Jack Cambell

The Sister Paradox, by Jack Cambell book coverGenre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: eSpec Books
Published: 2016
Reviewer Rating: two and a half stars
Reviewer: David L. Felts

Sixteen year old Liam is an only child… at least until his 14 year-old sister Kari shows up, sporting an outfit that looks as though she just stepped out of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, complete with sword. And strangest of all, Liam feels as though he’s always had a sister, as do his friends and his mother. Her sudden appearance makes him remember both being an only child, and having a sister. Strange!

And she’s not there for a family reunion. Well, not yet anyway. Seems she was (somehow) born in another dimension and has come to get Liam to help her on a quest. The fate of two worlds is at stake. Some objects from Liam’s world have been drawn into the world she grew up in, and they need to be returned before they result in the wall between worlds collapsing. All of the three of the objects–one of which is Kari herself–need to be located and returned, and they only have a few hours to do it.

So Liam is whisked off to a world of basilisks, unicorns, giant talking animals, dragons, and magic on a helter skelter quest to save both his world and the one Kari adopted.

That’s an awful lot of story to cram into 152 pages, and that’s how it reads: too much crammed into too little.

Nevertheless, the story has a certain charm to it, and I can see it appealing to a younger crowd who’s new to the fantasy scene, say 14 and under. The young protagonists, the non-stop action, the tropes that wouldn’t be tropes to newer readers… For them I’d probably cast 3.5 stars.

For this adult reader, however, the result was a ho-hum story featuring an unlikable (in that teenage self-absorbed sort of way) Liam who appears to go through some growth, but who makes a few comments at the end that cast some doubt. Kari was fun, even though she was a Mary Sue. There’s also some fun humor to be had over he misunderstanding of Liam’s modern vernacular. And I liked his take on elves….

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