My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So, what would you do if suddenly you were sucked through a wormhole and ended up in a new, vaguely similar, but altogether different world? Parallel Lives, Karen Klyne’s first book in her Opening in Time trilogy (and first book, period), addresses this topic. I always enjoy series as this means I can get extra invested in the characters, and the parallel universe aspect most definitely appealed to the geeky Whovian in me.
The book opens with a bang. Well, more of a crash. After Kaityln Hewett-Grace crashes her plane and comes to in Caysher, a strange place with marked similarities to and differences from the world she knows, she has to learn about this new place and its inhabitants. She navigates the cultural and societal differences while also providing a bit of her old world to her new friends.
While dealing with some serious culture shock, Kaitlyn also finds herself torn between Tannus, the serious and strong Chief of the community, and Berran, Tannus’ twin sister and second in command. Berran wants Kaitlyn more than anything, but is also loyal to her sister and Chief. Tannus knows without a doubt that Kaitlyn was meant to come to her and that she and Kaitlyn are meant to be together. All three, as well as the community, have to work to adapt to Kaitlyn’s appearance in this new (for her) world and decide how to handle things when Tannus admits to her potentially devastating secret.
The characters are well-developed, even the secondary characters. A little more in the way of internal dialogue than I would prefer, but that’s personal preference and not a reflection on the story itself. The story itself – the premise – and the main characters are what’s intriguing.
Kaitlyn is neither out of time nor out of place, but she’s definitely not in the world as she’s known it. She sells fancy clothes in her world and loves listening to music, but this new world is unlike anything she’s ever known. It’s both familiar and foreign. And while she misses her old world, especially her mother, she also appreciates and embraces the differences.
Tannus and Berran, twin sisters, are both very strong and confident. But where Tannus’ confidence comes partly through her position as Chief, Berran’s hides a resentment borne of being second in pretty much everything.
Though some of the secondary characters felt a bit flat, none were cutouts and everyone introduced had a definite purpose in the story line. I’m hoping to see more of some of them, such as Sostar, the doctor, and Carray, Tannus and Berran’s sister, in the next books.
Overall, the story and characters were very enjoyable. The pace was fast enough to stay interesting, but not so fast as to feel rushed at any point. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and reading more from this promising new author (really – a trilogy to start with? Impressive!).
If you like romance and wormholes, this book is for you!
I received an ARC of this book from Global Wordsmiths in exchange for a fair and honest review.