Book Review ~ “Obstacles” by Chris Reardon

photo credit: Chris Reardon

March 2019

This is a book review from 2019. The author has since deleted all his blogs and social media but his books are still available on Amazon. I have no other information on him. Find an interview with him here.

October 2014

genre: fantasy, paranormal, contemporary

e-book & paperback publisher: Solstice Shadows; First edition ( 2013)
Chris Reardon asked if I would like to review “Obstacles” and has given me a free copy.

Bees: 3 out of 6

About the story: 
Alcott an African-American doctor is assigned as a stay-in doctor to Gari a nine-year old boy with a fatal disease. Even though Alcott fights with nightmares and paranoia he bonds with Gari and cannot bear to see him die. When a former patient of his gives him a paranormal book that might save Gari’s life Alcott is thrown into adventures he would never have expected much less would he have chosen them. But will he be able to safe Gari’s life?
About the author:
Chris Reardon, Student at Western Michigan University, is an avid reader, writer, tennis player and interested in music. He has experience as a writing tutor, which, in his own words, make him learn something new all the time. “Obstacles” was his first novel published in December 2013 directly followed by “Breaking rules” published in September 2014. Chris has graduated from Lumen Christi Highschool in Jackson, Michigan and is always on the lookout for new authors with exciting books.
Honey Bees in the book:

This book is different from anything I have read so far. Even though it is a paranormal/fantasy novel it teaches you that sometimes you just have to face your fears no matter how strong they are. It is not patronising though or overly in your face: it’s just wisdom in form of an adventure.

The characters and creature in the book are unusual as well. No wizard, vampire or elf appears but a strong female supernatural creature called the “Jauntla”. She does sound like a Hawaian goddess but researching the name did not get me anywhere that is why I think Chris Reardon might have invented it.

And I like that. There are not many exciting female god-like creatures in the books I have read so far and he depicts her with such power both benevolent and petrifying which gives an impression of an ancient goodess. Her helpers the “Sphreams” are gas-like creatures which remind a little of aliens in a science-fiction book but that does them no harm and give the whole story a nice different touch.

And I am certainly glad I do not have to face any of the tests Alcott and his fellow “life savers” have to face. They are up for getting your adrenaline rise.

Stinging Bees in the book:

Unfortunately, though, Chris Reardon does not give a lot of background information about the characters involved in the book. This made it hard to connect with them. One girl is even an alien but you do not learn a lot about her world which I found a real shame. I would have loved to know how they live on Jupiter.

Their conversations also seem to go in kind of extremes: They either shout at each other or speak pretty quietly. Often I felt other words like saying, calling, cheering might have been a more fitting expression for what was meant.

And the mead of it all?

All in all, I enjoyed reading the book not only because of the above honey bees but strangely also because the main character Alcott who is pretty wimpy got so much on my nerves in the beginning that I just needed to know how that one ends. You just cannot imagine him finding courage in anything but you are pleasantly surprised.

This is a fantasy book with a difference: It is a new reading experience as genres are melted together in a kind of raw but exciting form. I have bought Reardon’s next book “Breaking Rules” to find out how this new writer develops.

Want more of Chris Reardon and “Obstacles”?

Chris on Amazon
Chris on Goodreads

 

3 thoughts on “Book Review ~ “Obstacles” by Chris Reardon

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