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4.1 out of 5 stars21
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 18 December 2011
I am not by inclination a natural reader of fantasy literature, preferring instead the genres `Military History' and `Comedy/Humour'. In fact the only fantasy author I've ever really had any affection or time for was Terry Pratchett, until he inevitably became tedious and repetitive, pitiably stuck spinning his wheels: Gosh, a malevolent supernatural phenomenon is inexorably threatening the entire Discworld, but an unwilling/unlikely hero saves the day in a near deux ex machina denouement, how original! That being said, I do retain enormous respect for Sir Terry's overall body of work, particularly his inventive `Johnny' books and outstanding opening brace of Discworld novels (`Colour' and `Light'), and here's where things get interesting: `Otherworld - The Isle of mist' was given to me as an early Christmas gift - unexpected but not unwelcome - and for me the fluid, engaging writing style coupled with genuine wit and intelligence are very much reminiscent of Terry Pratchett, although there is unquestionably no brazen aping of an established master in evidence here. For one thing, `Otherworld - The Isle of mist' is (tenuously) bound to our real world, centred as it is on the rich Celtic myths and legends peculiar to the Isle of Man, imaginatively and artfully crafted into a well-paced and entertaining adventure that is uniformly articulate and absolutely engrossing without being at all derivative. For another, the plot is markedly energetic to the point of breakneck liveliness, a stark contrast to Pratchett's measured buildups.

I enjoyed Pratchett precisely because he made the unreal seem real, expertly keeping his writing devoid of jarring artifice to convince the reader that the described events could very well be taking place somewhere. That takes uncommon eloquence and creative talent, narrative abilities to raise a story from a stark, bare-bones account and with apparent effortlessness transform it into something so beguiling that it becomes entirely believable. All the carefully-honed gifts required for such feats of unconscious deception are richly evident here: Adrian Bailey displays a very distinct and potent storytelling skill. The brisk procession of diverse characters are endearing, or at least intriguing and relatable, and there is great clarity of depiction in his penmanship.

It would be almost cruel to impart any specifics of `Otherworld - The Isle of mist', thereby depriving the reader of a wondrous literary journey to come, other than to say that it is a vibrant contemporary fantasy of ancient magic, secrets, witches, strange lands, sorcerers and jazz musicians. I myself went into it completely cold, knowing nothing more than the promotional overview on the back of the book, and was decidely the better for this lack of forewarning. `Otherworld - The Isle of mist' is principally a children's book, and while it is true that the vivid scenes are conjured up and laid out clearly yet concisely - the way one might explain something to a young person, but without being in any way patronising - beyond the gentle, unaffected language employed this is difficult to discern. The amusing, propulsive storyline is sophisticated while always remaining intelligible, composed of wholly familiar elements that adults can just as easily appreciate and enjoy: surprise developments, unpredictable twists and turns, heroes, villains, fear, suffering, triumph - all permeated with warm humanity, lucid ingenuity and latent understated humour.

I was very pleasantly surprised by `Otherworld - The Isle of mist' and I'm convinced that anyone who simply enjoys a well-told tale, almost irrespective of genre, will derive significant pleasure and satisfaction from the reading experience. I shalln't be waiting to receive any subsequent novels as presents but fully intend to order each for myself as it becomes available.
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on 8 February 2012
The awkward Wally Gobbett works his way into your heart as the story unfolds, along with the other characters that come into his life on the way (well, the good ones!).Colourful characters interact with an intriguing storyline, with many twists and turns, and blind alleys that make you wonder how on earth (or Otherworld) Wally is going to get out of this one. A pleasant and amusing read at the start, I got more and more gripped by the story the further I read. Humour, fanatsy, and a gripping plot. Buy it!
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on 10 May 2013
I have read a few books written by Isle Of Man authors and, living on the Island myself, have usually been quite disappointed. Not on this occasion I must say. Adrian has written a fantasy novel which compares very favourably to some of the best I have read. It is fast paced, exciting and as has been mentioned before, with believable characters. It is so good to be able to relate to real places written into such a charming story. Weel done. When is the next volume appearing? :)
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on 6 June 2012
The story itself it pretty good, if a little drawn out in the middle. But with regards to grammar, it can be pretty difficult to read at some points. I noticed a massive amount of words missing from sentences, and there are a lot of sentences which weirdly have no spaces in them. I overlooked it a couple of times, but as soon as i became aware of just how many mistakes there were, it got quite annoying and made it difficult to read
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on 5 February 2012
I couldn't wait to start it. I was drawn in from the start, I couldn't put it down wanting to read more, yet not wanting it to end!I loved the uniqueness of the characters,it's fast pace,twist and turns, great attention to detail and humour which left me spellbound.

I have already recommended it to my friends both young and old, including my school I am sure they will love it.
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on 3 December 2011
I'm only about a quarter way through it but it's brilliant. I have it on my Kindle but I think I'll have to buy the real book too for my grandchildren. It's very well written and enjoyable.The characters are all believable which i like in a book.I can't wait for book 2.
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on 21 February 2015
Bought this book for my niece first, then purchased it for myself. If you think you know about the isle of Man, this book
will surprise you. A good read from mystery to fantasy in one book. Can't wait for the next book.
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on 10 January 2014
Bought because of the Isle of Man link but place names completely fictional. Most annoying thing was the typos andwordsalljoinedtogether.! I might buy the next one if it comes up as a reminder.
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on 8 July 2012
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this imaginative book with its mix of modern and magical mystery worlds. There are some lovely characters and relationships - looking forward to the next instalment.
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on 14 September 2012
Good read, really enjoyed it. Cross between Harry Potter and Discworld. Shame about the sentences without spaces between the words - needed better proof reader. Look forward to next book.
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