I wonder as I wander………
Title: Alex in Wanderland
Author: R.J. Hore
Published: May 5th 2015
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Recommended Age: 12+
A mismatched modern married couple, Alexander and Alexis, find themselves in an alternate universe when their fight over his latest purchase goes all wrong.
How would you feel if you were considered to be the latest saviors of the land, with hints of a slow and painful death as your reward? All they have to do is fulfill an ancient prophecy. Their traveling companions: the priest, the protector, and the thief are all suspect. Everyone seems to be out to stop them.
A tale of adventure and romance, filled with pitfalls and leering villains. Did anyone mention there might be hungry dragons too?
I have to admit, I’m not much into fantasy. I’m not much into books that would probably appeal to a middle-schooler. I’m just not. I don’t like most Disney movies either. “Adult” Disney movies, like the Pirates of the Carribean–yes, Mulan–no. I’ve had “Let it Go” stuck in my head for two years, and I really wish it would let me go.
That being said, Alex in Wanderland, is a fun book that can work on the purely juvenile, face value level, or it can be elevated to a more adult level and scrutinized through the lenses of religion and world politics. Adults, look at it as a modern reworking of nameless ancient myths. You have the players: the thief, the protector, the priest, the prophecy, the goddess, the saviors, the “twins”…..it goes on an on. Plus there’s cute little jokes thrown in too. The goddess’ name is “Gladys”.
The opening scene was probably my favorite, though, because some of the things that Alexis, the wife, say to Alex are the exact same things that my husband says to me. Except, he’s the spend thrift and I’m the one scolding about the gadgets.
Overall, like any good myth, it’s about pushing the boundaries of the expectations that society and yourself have for you. That’s what happens.
Excerpt from Alex in Wanderland:
Alexander’s stomach churned. He was kneeling, sprawled on a floor of cold stone, not bare hardwood. Head spinning, eyes closed, he reached out for something to cling to and grabbed hold of fabric and flailing arms.
Alexis screamed in his ear. She doubled over as though ready to bring up supper—if she’d had any. She clutched at him and opened her eyes.
His ears buzzed as if his head hosted an unruly crowd of cicadas. The world outside continued to revolve.
Alexis opened her mouth again, but no further sound came out. Her clenched knuckles bulged white where they gripped his arm.
He clung to Alexis shaking, and using her as a prop, staggered to his feet. The world around him slowly came into focus and the sensation of sickening movement ceased.
A loud ringing sound echoed inside Alexander’s skull. Was that the doorbell? Who could that be? It didn’t sound like the doorbell, more like a Chinese gong. Where did that come from?
They clung together like a pair of drunken dancers, and then steadied. The sky above glowed with a million stars displayed through parting clouds. Darkness stretched to the horizon, except for the shimmering ring of a thousand pinpoints of flickering light somewhere at his feet.
Alexander’s straining eyes accustomed to the gloom and he stared around. He stood, clutching Alexis and swaying on a platform, or maybe it was a flat roof, at the top of what appeared to be a high building. A loud ringing echoed through the night. Someone pounded on a gong, a large one by the sound.
“What was that?” Alexander gasped. His stomach did a flip-flop.
He smelled wood smoke, or perhaps some sweet incense. Alexis held a firm grip on his arm.
She moaned. “What happened? Oh, my head.”
“The Twins have come, The Twins have come,” someone shouted hoarsely from close behind him.
A roar rumbled up from far below. He turned around, Alexis still hanging on tight to him.
A round, bald man garbed in a yellow robe stared at them wide-eyed. The glow from a nearby torch gleamed gold off his nose ring. He shouted, “Quick, acolytes assist them.”
A half-dozen men, equally hairless and garbed in what appeared to Alexander to be lemon-yellow bathrobes, rushed forward from behind a high, triangular archway and pressed around them, bowing and bobbing like a flock of hungry pigeons. The newcomers surrounded the clinging pair, reaching out for them with painted nails.
“Get your filthy hands off of me,” Alexis cried out.
Ron can be found sailing on Lake Winnipeg when he not writing novels or critiquing for an on-line magazine. He won a national short story contest for a ghostly love story but his preference is for longer works. Writing as R.J.Hore his medieval-style fantasy novels include the completed Dark Lady Trilogy, and The Queen’s Pawn, which may also turn into a trilogy. Knights Bridge is a novella in the same style, but a bit darker. Ron also writes a series of novella-length fantasy detective tales, six published so far. These are available in print collections: the Housetrap Chronicles Volume 1 and 2. All his novels and novellas are available as ebooks with most of the novel-length now in print as well.
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