“Lost in the Vast” by Chelsea Thornton & Travis Brown

This series is a modern YA take on Indiana Jones, an Alternate Reality about three twenty-somethings who act more like teenagers. Of course, that’s the target readership, so no one will complain.

The writing style pops with colour and detail, appropriate to the jungles and ruins in which the action takes place, although it goes a bit over the top at times. I’m not so sure the average young adult will click with lines like these, but you never know:

“The crumbling stonework overgrown with tendrilled vines prompted questions and comments fueled by fascination and intrigue.”

“Cole’s expression matched her own, irises freed within their round eyes as they met.”

And speaking of action, there is plenty of it, with enough closeup detail of guts and gore to titillate the most world-weary teen.

The more demanding reader might be bothered technical problems we are forced to overlook. It’s very handy to have modern-day cell phones and credit cards that work in alternate realities, but there is a limit to how much suspension of disbelief we are willing to accept. I mean, my cell phone screws up if I go too near the US border or two kilometres into the local mountains. Also the point of view sometimes slips around without warning, although I doubt that will bother the target readership much.

To sum up, this first book is a rather rough start to what could be an exciting series. Recommended for more forgiving readers.

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

About the Author: Gordon Long

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