In Other Lands Review

In Other Lands

Song I Listened To While Reading This:

This story follows the life of a young boy named Elliot who is taken from the human world to the Borderlands, where he is greeted by magical creatures and warriors. We see him grow from age 14-17 and he goes on many adventures with his friends Selene and Luke.

Alright, so I have many, many, many problems with this book. Let me start with the biggest issue, Elliot.

Elliot is supposed to be sarcastically funny throughout the whole book, but to me, he just came off as being annoying and downright mean at times. On only the fourth page of the book he describes some of the blonde haired boys saying “as if Nature had said, ‘No worries buddy, I gotcha, no nasty tiring thinking will ever be necessary, also have a crown.'” Elliot then proceeds to call them “Blondie and Surfer Dude” He then goes on to describe one of the semi-important characters as having “the disturbingly happy face of someone who doesn’t think very much” on page 27. This was all in the first year of him arriving at the place, at age 13. This is the type of humor that is scattered throughout the book, usually Elliot considering himself to be above all different types of people. When other people called him a brat or wouldn’t befriend him, I would have completely agreed with them. I mean no one is perfect, but how is he going to come into a world full of people whom he has never spoken to before or known existed and decide that he is above everyone else?

Also, he was in love with Serene for the first few years of the book until their failed relationship makes him realize that he is bisexual and so he starts dating other guys. I have no problem with this, and it actually saved the story for a while for me. But soon the story just changed to him jumping from guy to girl trying to find someone to make him happy. I thought that the story was going to focus on fantasy but it simply focused on him and his love interests for the last few years.

Now I will talk about Luke. I don’t even know what to think about him, as a gay character he was interesting to me, but he just seemed to have no spine. Elliot insults him and they fight for years, but then he stays friends with him? From my understanding, Luke was not an outcast, so why did he put up with Elliot’s antics for years?

Then there was the plot. On the cover of this book, you see mermaids, so I expected it to have a lot to do with mermaids. But this story would be like…Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with just Harry with gills on it. It isn’t the most important part of the story even though it is in the story. I read this entire book painfully slowly, and I honestly don’t even remember where the mermaids occurred. The entire plot was confusing and at times I felt as if it was pieced together randomly, sort of like a collection of short and unrelated stories.

The person that really saved this story for me was Serene. I enjoyed hearing about the elf society where men took the typical “women’s” roles of taking care of children, and instead of women worrying about their innocence being taken away it was the men being the sweet and innocent submissive husbands. I wish that I had a book just based on her society to read, but after Elliot stopped pining constantly after her she sort of faded into the background.

All in all, this book was a chore to read, and I would not recommend it. If it was shorter I might say “read the serene parts to pass time” but it is almost 500 pages of pain.

Overall rating: 1/5

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