I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Parallel by Claudia Lefeve
Genres: Time Travel, Young Adult
Series: Travelers #1
Published by Sugar Skull on August 26, 2011
Source: Kismet Book Touring
Destiny has a way of catching up.
Saddled with powers she doesn’t understand, Etta Fleming’s world turned upside-down the day she meets Cooper Everett, the man who transports her to an alternate reality. A reality she was meant to be a part of.One minute, she’s an orphan living in Dominion House for Girls, an institution for delinquent foster kids, then finds herself attending the exclusive Dominion Hall Academy.
Plucked from the only world she’s ever known, Etta now has to deal with an aunt she never knew, a boyfriend she doesn’t know, and a best friend who can’t know.
Before I start off, I want to give a huge thank you to the ladies at Kismet Book Touring for this opportunity. I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know Claudia and reading Parallel. 🙂
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Parallel when I started reading it. The blurb sounded amazing and I’m a total sucker for stories with time/dimension/space travel (Doctor Who, Sliders, and Quantum Leap make me squee like nobody’s business) so I anticipated a fun read but I was blown away by how much I loved Parallel. I sat down with the intention of reading a couple chapters before bed and ended up devouring the whole novel in a single sitting. I’m not even sure where to start talking about it because I can’t decide what to tell you about first!
I suppose the logical place is the heart of the story: Etta and her journey in this new reality. Etta’s a great protagonist. She’s guarded and tough and smart, and filled with curiosity. I love those qualities in a character. Etta’s also, at turns, extremely sarcastic and vulnerable, which made her seem so real to me. The other characters are also interesting, though not as fleshed-out as Etta, with the exception of Aunt Maggie, who I want to live with, and Cooper, who’s gradually revealed over the course of the book, thanks to the occasional chapters told from his point of view. (They really add to the richness of the story.)
What I really loved was the way Claudia Lefeve portrays the different realities. There’s a lot of overlap in terms of location and some characters but this really makes the differences that much more noticeable. I also thought she did a great job of describing Etta’s confusion and stress, since she has to adapt to this other reality very quickly and with little guidance.
Another fantastic element to the story is the way people travel between realities. As someone non-science-y, I hate it when books with physics get really jargon-filled and dense. I’m not a physicist. The accuracy of the science isn’t that important to me, as long as the story is internally consistent. Claudia’s done a fantastic job of writing the science behind traveling in an accessible, logical, and (perhaps most importantly) highly readable way. I didn’t get bogged down in the how; instead, the explanations Etta receives are thoughtful and smart and flow with the rest of the writing, which is, by the way, awesome (save for a couple typos).
I can’t end this post without giving some love to the fantastic artist behind the e-cover of Parallel. Sarah at Warm Onion Designs has really captured the feel of the book with the image and adore the way the title is blocked. So gorgeous! However, there’s a new cover for the print version of the book (and the re-released e-book, out later this year as well, if I understand correctly). The new one, on the right below, is a lot more generic (boo!), which makes me sad. The model is lovely and I do love the smoky background, even though it doesn’t really have anything to do with the story, but it really doesn’t stand out in the crowd the way the current cover does. Which cover do you guys prefer?
I’m so excited to find out what happens next, in Paradox, the second book in the Travelers Series.