Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Review: World's End by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski

World's End: The Second Book of Dormia by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski

I got this ebook from Net Galley as an ARC - - the publish date was 12/12/2010 - - I was hoping to get it read and reviewed prior to that date, but as you can see from the date of this post I have just finished.  The book is a good read.  I was hampered by my desire to read the first book before starting this second book, but realized (apparently too late) that I would be unable to finish the first and get the second reviewed on time,  I am sorry to say I still didn't get the second reviewed prior to the pub date - I am sorry.  

Amazon product description:

Ever since returning from Dormia, Alfonso has enjoyed sleeping in a bed like a
normal person. No more waking up at the top of a tree or the edge of a cliff. In fact,
no sleepwalking at all. But then, while visiting France on a class trip, Alfonso feels that strange and
familiar pull of sleep. Upon waking, he finds himself in the belly of a ship headed
to Egypt. In his backpack are a few old books and a vial of medicine he stole while
asleep. Something is calling Alfonso back to Dormia. Perhaps it’s the Founding Tree? Or
perhaps it's the man he sees in his dreams—the one who looks just like his deceased
father? Whatever it is, Alfonso is powerless to resist.

Storytellers Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski take Alfonso on another fantastical
quest to Dormia—and beyond—to a vast underground world that holds the answer
to a terrifying message: Let me tell you of a dark shadow tree and the world's end.

My thoughts: 
The characters are interesting, but I had a hard time investing in them because they live their lives being most productive while they are sleeping. - I have to say that my favorite ones are Alfonso and Bilblox, and of course Bilblox's wolf Korgu.  Because of the whole sleeping while they work and such - the world of Dormia was hard for me to get super excited about, although I really enjoyed certain aspects of it.  The authors created some amazing landscapes, animals, and history/mythology to go with their world.  I loved the giant anteaters and the razor hedge.  I was so-so about the snow snakes.  The powers that the "Great Sleepers" could use when they entered the state of hypnogogia were great, but once again I struggled with the concept of those powers being used by sleeping people.
The story started out holding my interest and I was enjoying it, but I struggled through the middle.  My struggles could have been because of the holidays or circumstance, so I wouldn't make any choices about giving this story a chance based on my opinion of the middle.  I feel that the authors made a huge comeback towards the end of the story and it finished strong. 
Although I wouldn't call this my favorite read of 2010, I will be getting the first book in the series to check out what happens there and see if I can learn more of Leif's story and more about Alfonso's early life.