Reading Level: Young Adult
File Size: 693 KB
Publisher: Silver Glass Press
Source: E-copy provided by author
Cover: I'm so-so about this cover. I like the trees in the background because that plays a large part in the story and I like the mixture of the blue and black but it doesn't jump out at me.
First Sentence: "The rain couldn't quench the fire."
Mini-Review: Running With Secrets is a good read with an inventive concept and strong world building.
Bethany has never felt as alone as she feels in Linwood—until she dreams up Chime, a woman on the run because of a magic crime she didn’t commit. The dreams get more and more urgent, so Bethany tries to banish them by writing them down, only to discover she’s stumbled into the role of unwitting controller of Chime’s world.
Chime is real here, and so is the possessed queen, minion army, mysterious professor, Vault Five, wind chimes with a secret code, child’s rhyme that can kill, the naked painting, and other things Chime’s story leads her to.
She has to fix the story without erasing Chime and her world, because if she erases Chime, she will die as well.Review:
Running From Secrets combines the magic of writing and the merging of the real world and the imaginary for a fun read. While Bethany's character wasn't exactly defined, the characters in her made-up world where and the world building was equally as fleshed out. Though there are some hiccups in the writing, Running From Secrets is an easy read with good pacing and an interesting plot.
As the lead, I'd have liked to see Bethany fleshed out a little more. She comes to life when she's in her imaginary world, becoming bold, but in her world she does flounder a bit. I'd have liked to see her grow a bit more as a main character, particularly with the secret she's harboring. Otherwise, I did like her imagination and willingness to believe and fall in love with the gift she was given. The characters in her imaginary world, Nvetherland, are vivid. I was particularly pleased with Dulgue's, The Resident Dark Lord, story arc and I liked the romance that sprouted up between him and Chime. The Dark Lord was by far my favorite character. I loved how inventive and intelligent he was.
Where this novel really shone was the world building. As I'd mentioned before, the real world bits fall a little flat but Nvetherland is vivid and felt whole. I was always pleased to be back there and see more of the imaginative qualities that were there. From Vault 5 (that knows your fears) to the Minion Army that doesn't do anything to David and his faun friends, it all felt like it was whole. One scene in the real world that stands out to me is when Bethany stumble upon a minitaure verison of the same castle in her world. It was at that moment that the magic of the other world bleed into Bethany's real world.
The plot is fast paced but again, I felt like the one in Nvetherland was much stronger than Bethany's real life and particularly at the end, Bethany's real life was sacrificed for the Nvetherland plot. Because of that, I don't feel like she was able to grow and learn as much as she possibly could. Also, things did fall into place a little too easily for Bethany and Chime. Funnily enough, in Bethany's world she had to work much harder for things. For the most part, the writing was solid but there were a few hiccups along the way.
Running From Secrets did have its flaws but it was told in such an interesting way that I think it is worth having a look at. The world building is creative and vivid and it's hard not to root for the characters.