Ragla, King of Ghosts, is bored. On a whim, he decides to invade and conquer the mostly-defenseless World of Flowers, and so he does. In the process, he spots Sefene Valentine, daughter of the King of Flowers, and decides he wants her for a wife, and so he kidnaps her. But on the day their engagement is announced, Sefene is spirited away by a circus performer, Adrian DePagio. Will the two daring young people be able to escape through the bizarre lands between themselves and freedom, or will Ragla and his trio of generals, Radimvice, Hannibal, and Death, track them down and put an end to their dreams?
WORLD OF WORLDS: FLIGHT OF THE GHOST BRIDE, written by Richard Lepre and illustrated Nathan Anderson, is the beginning of a series, set in a wildly imaginative universe with modern and fantasy elements woven together in new and creative ways. The main characters, in the course of their escape, go through a dizzying series of adventures, from gambling on a fight between an ape, a scorpion, a magic-wielding tomato, and a stinkbug, to frantically trying to climb a series of blade-raked, fire-breathing pillars, with the help of sometimes-dubious allies ranging from a tiny blue mouse to a man who never wakes. The dreamlike, surreal exuberance of this book may leave the reader’s head spinning in a not-unpleasant way.
The book’s fantastical delights, however, are hampered by a frequently-awkward writing style, with convoluted sentences – “She had spotted the prizes behind the glass first, to which Adrian pieced together she had found the correct spot” – and somewhat heavy-handed humor, which relies a bit too much on insults. It’s hard to get the proper fantastical mindset to enjoy this bizarre world design, when distracted by language that sounds like something out of a modern high school, like “He was kind of a jerk,” or the repeated jokes about Hannibal’s red armor turning pink. The characters never develop much depth, either, and each is pretty well-defined by one or two character traits – Ragla is nasty and power-hungry, Hannibal is brutish but honorable, Adrian is clever, Sefene is spoiled and defiant, etc.
WORLD OF WORLDS is a mischievous, surreal, action-packed adventure in a strange new universe – but it needs editing and a smoother writing style in order to reach its full creative potential.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader