Hello and welcome to another review in Vesna’s section. Today I’ll be talking about Carrie Anne’s World by Mark Whiteway. I stumbled upon this book on BookSirens and the whole premise and idea behind it seemed so unique and interesting I had to request it. Luckily I was approved by the author and I’m glad I was because it was really an interesting read.
Mike O’Keefe arrives on the paradise island of Koh Tao only to be caught up in a terrorist attack by a radical environmental group. In a recurring dream, he encounters a mysterious young girl on a beach who cannot remember her past. She writes a message in the sand, 6 = 3, and begs him to help her find the “Saelak”.
Dismissing the experience as the product of a fevered imagination, he settles into life on the island. But when the environmental threat ramps up and elements of his dream world begin bleeding into reality, Mike is propelled on a journey across time and space that must end in the destruction or salvation of Humanity.
I think I can easily say there was a time in everyone’s life that we wondered what would happen if our dreams were an alternate reality. This is exactly what happened to Mike O’Keefe. It was so much more than just an alternate reality, it was a journey in time as well. That was the main thing that persuaded me to pick up the book. With such an interesting premise, if executed well, I expected it to be amazing. I can tell you it was.
The story is really fast paced and even though it’s a bit over 500 pages, there’s no long intro to it. You get the characters loosely introduced and right in the beginning, you get sucked into the story. The whole narrative is from Mike’s point of view but it switches from the real world to alternate world in different time (Carrie Anne’s world). All the characters are really interesting, some even heroic but each with their own set of flaws. Because of that, they all felt more real. The connection set up between Mike and Carrie Anne, who’s the girl he met in the alternate world, is really a genuine one and well written. It gave away a true sibling feeling. Since the characters were just loosely introduced in the beginning, you really get to know all of them through their journey in the story and are developed beautifully.
Another amazing thing about this book is the world building. Not so much the real world from which Mike is from, since it was based on real places in Thailand, but Carrie Anne’s world is something else. The imagination behind it was quite astounding, dealing with all the beauty and imagery. I could easily picture how it looked, even all the animals, and all the people and different creatures that lived there. It was written down to perfection.
The story also deals well with ongoing problems we’re facing as humanity at the moment: the pollution and global warming, which was included in the story quite well. It gives you a moment to think and deal with what might happen in the future.
It’s a pure blend of fantastical elements and sci-fi with reality. For those who enjoy their sci-fi taking place in space, this book might not be a great choice, but for everyone else who likes to explore new ideas behind it, I say give it a go. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.