The truth is, I’m not good at writing reviews. Not at all. It’s difficult to explain why you love something without including spoilers, nerve-wracking to find the good points in something meh, and I don’t even want to go into didn’t-like territory.
This book though, speaks for itself. It made me feel things. I held my breath and my heart made little jumps at times. I bit my lip until it was raw. I smiled when I caught up with Elke and Meisje, and went along with whatever Ndlela and Isabeau got up to. I laughed aloud a time or two. The ‘oh shit’ moments made me afraid to turn the page, even when I couldn’t not turn the page. My husband laughed at my reactions more than once, so it entertained him too. 😛
This is the kind of book that will stay with you forever, with the kind of characters that become your tribe. To say I loved it feels too weak, like I want to add a million exclamation marks to bring the thought across!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OK. With that said, I’ll try to break it down for you in a spoiler-free kind of way.
This is the sequel to The Babylon Eye, which I spoke about here, but you could also read The Real as a stand alone book. It starts after the events of The Babylon Eye and this time, as the title suggests, the story is set outside the Eye.
Our viewpoint characters in The Real are Elke, Ndlela, Isabeau and the mysterious gardag Xun.
Getting back into Elke’s head was great. I missed her! She’s still one of the most relatable characters I’ve come across, despite being much different from me, and I love her to little pieces. I did want to smack her in the head a time or two, because I suspect I see something she doesn’t where another character is concerned. Spoiler-free me won’t say anything more, except that I ship it so hard. Also, the little snippets mapping out Elke’s past are intriguing. It’s like discovering a different side to an old friend.
Having said that, Ndlela stole this show for me. I adore that kid. He’s spunky, witty and such an awesome big brother, and I’ve placed him on a pedestal close to Samwise Gamgee. Isabeau is sweet, but oh so mischief-prone. I felt instinctively maternal towards these two, especially since Isabeau’s inquisitive nature so reminds me of my own little munchkin.
Getting to know Xun was also a lot of fun, though I wished we could learn more. 🙂 My interest is piqued here!
The Maura is such a fantastic setting. This novel takes post-apocalyptic to a new level, with a brand new spin. I mean, it’s a beach. Have you ever heard of a post-apoc playing off anywhere other than the remains of a city or suburbia? It’s brilliant, and just as interesting as the Eye itself.
Then, the discoveries in The Real has me frothing at the mouth for more. I cannot wait to read what happens next!
Folks, you can’t go wrong with this series, even if you don’t usually read fantasy or sci-fi. The writing is easy to get into, the characters are interesting and diverse, and the settings are wonderful. I can’t recommend it enough.
Stalk Masha du Toit:
If you, like me, adore this series, you can sign up to become a part of the Skolion Writers street team. Other indie authors will be featured too, so there should be something for everyone. Let’s support the authors we love!
And that’s it from me for today. Have a good one folks!