Hello people! How are you? And how is your December going? Today I am here for the Blog Tour organized by Storytellers On Tour and I am really excited to be here!
This was a really fascinating book, but I have mixed feeling toward it, but I would say more on my review, so keep reading!
Title: The Boy Who Walked Too Far by Dom Watson
Series: The Xindii Chronicles (#1)
Published: September 22, 2020
Genre: Science Fiction Horror
Age Group: Adult
It’s the end of the universe, and everything has come undone. Entropy has won the war, but one last battle rages in the half-ruined city of Testament.
No one knows who created this last outpost and peopled it with billions of species. However, it is here, under a sky with no stars, that the last remnants of life in the universe live, love, and pray to their many gods. It is here where Godrich Felstrom dies.
Most residents of Testament care little for the affairs of a single, fragile human, but the event brings back bad memories for Heironymous Xindii.
It has been many years since the dreamurlurgy professor discovered his true potential and doomed four people in the process. Now, he lectures to bored students who dream of the many pleasures Testament has to offer. Xindii, on the other hand, becomes obsessed with the mysterious Godrich and his missing soul. As he and his valiant companion, the Neanderthal Solomon Doomfinger, look back at Felstrom’s last steps, they discover the shocking truth about Felstrom’s death, his destiny, and the future of Testament and all those angels, demons, liars, and dreamers who call it home.
As I was saying before, I have some mixed feeling toward this book. On one hand I have to say that the author did a really good job with it, but on the other hand, I didn’t enjoy it so much. To be honest, it is just that this wasn’t the right book for me. I have appreciated a lot of things, because there is a lot in this book, but if we merely speak about enjoyment… well, I didn’t really had a great time with it.
I think that the best part of this book is the world-building. The author creates something unique and full of things that would leave you amazed. We have so many different creatures in there, we have angels too, and kraken! Isn’t this amazing? The living species we met here are so many, and so unique and original! This is really a weird world. And discovering it is a constant surprise. The thing is that we have a dreamlike atmosphere, and it is quite pervasive, because the main point of the book is the dream. The magic we see in there is tightly linked with the dreams world. And we see different worlds, too. So there is quite a lot to explore. But the dreamlike quality is everywhere. And it has to be so. And if you are in this kind of thing, you will have an amazing time with this book. But I am not really a fan. Dreamlike atmospheres aren’t my thing, and even if I hoped to appreciated this book for the other things (because come on! We have a mystery, a Sherlock-Watson duo, a detective from the noir tradition and some side-characters that are spectacular!) in the end it was too much to let myself immerse in it and completely enjoy my ride.
Another thing that didn’t went as planned, for me, was the main character. Xindii is unique, and it is a great MC. He reminded me sometimes about Sherlock, even if the likeness is not so strong or forced, not at all! And he is quite a complex character, with depths, lights and shadows, but we didn’t clicked. I cannot say that I didn’t like him, because this is not true, but I wasn’t really into him.
But Doomfinger, the Watson to his Sherlock, was another story! I was intrigued by him, and I was always happy to see him in action. I appreciated him way more than Xindii. But again, this is quite a thing of personal taste, because I cannot really say what went wrong between me and the MC. But I preferred Doomfinger. He is an unique character (but really, unique, weird, surreal and unpredictable are three words that you can abuse for this book. You can use them to define it, you can say them about the world-building, you can say them for the characters, every single one of them, and you can say them for the plot. And I am not exaggerating a bit!).
And with this improbable duo we have Brick, a detective that seems to emerge from a noir book. He is fascinating in his own ways, and his mother is brilliant. I think that she is my favorite character in the book, I liked her even more than Doomfinger. But she is just a minor character and we don’t see her around a lot, and this, in my modest opinion, was quite a shame. I know that there wasn’t place for her in the story, but she was such a pleasure to meet!
I nominated only a part of the characters we met, because we met quite a lot of them (we met God too, and it was a brilliant part, that one!) and every single one of them is pretty unique. The author has a ton of imagination and he uses it masterfully.
Also, the villains in there are quite the despicable characters! They are the worst, really!
The last thing to note in this book (ok, there would have a ton of things to say, but this is a review, and I should at least try to not write a really long post here!) is that we don’t have a single timeline. We travel between the present and the past, to better know our characters and what happened to make them who they are today. And even if this is an interesting idea, because we get to learn so much about them and the world and the magic system, I am not a big fan of this shift in the time of the narration. It is a thing that we see in a lot of books, and every single time it makes me internally groan. To be honest it is a strange and complicate thing for me. Because sometimes I really appreciate it, but usually it is a hard thing to balance perfectly, and so it happens that I am not so interested in the part in the past, or in the present. And I am not a big fan of it. And it is usually a small thing, that I usually didn’t even mention, but it was another element that makes harder for me to completely immerse myself in the narration and enjoy the ride.
Oh my! I was ending the review without even a word about the plot! How bad of me! We have a mystery in there, and this mystery is something complex, full of twist and turns and it would take us back and forth between the past and the present. And it would keep your attention alive. I couldn’t say more without going back to explain a lot of details of the world and of our characters, but I think it is sufficient to say that the plot is almost an organic element, alive, and it demands all of your attention!
If you are in for something wild and unpredictable, with a high dose of surreal in it, than you cannot let this one go, but be warned, it is a book with some uneasy topic, gore and violence in it (I think it deserves a long list of trigger warning, to be honest with you!). But it sure as hell is worth your time!
Dom Watson lives, writes, and dreams in Suffolk, England. He enjoys life with his wife, daughter, and three cats. He also doesn’t mind the occasional glass of Merlot.
Storytellers on Tour:
The Boy Who Walked Too Far Blog Tour:
December 9th – December 15th