Book Review: “All From Dreams-Book One” by Bethanie F. DeVors

Check out this review on Goodreads, if you want to view the hidden spoiler content. It’s just, like, 2 sentences. 😉 (The rest of the text is below)

Review on All From Dreams: Book One: The Seodrassian ChroniclesAll From Dreams: Book One: The Seodrassian Chronicles by Bethanie F. DeVors
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, Full Disclosure: I’m a friend of the author. However, I’m also a nitpicky critic, so this will be as unbiased as I can be.

All From Dreams: Book One: The Seodrassian Chronicles is a portal fantasy romp into fictional Seodrass with real world protagonists Rhys and Braeden (who are from our world and time). Seodrass, reminiscent of Outlander‘s Scotland with a hint of the magic of Middle-Earth (from The Lord of the Rings), is a land of knights and castles and of course, romance. Daeg, Seodrassian protagonist, is described as if Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Henry Cavil’s Superman had a baby. Delish! It could happen, right?

In any case, Seodrass seems to be in peril, and some figure called Malmuir is basically responsible. And wouldn’t ya know it? As soon as they step through the portal, Rhys and Braeden are looked at as the saviors, aka “The Foretold Ones.”

So yes, some of the plotlines seem predictable. It is after all a portal fantasy romance; they tend to go by a formula from the ones I’ve read. But this one has a twist that doesn’t fully play out in this book (Hence, the “book One” moniker) which keeps you reading. Also the characters seem very real, and very today. Despite wielding swords and living in castles, Seodrassians could teach us a lesson in diversity and acceptance. Rhys is a model of an independent, realistic woman. (If this gets made into a movie, and the actress playing her is less than a size 8 or 10, I’m going to be pissed.) And Braeden shows us even nerdy skinny guys can be cool.

So why not a full 5 stars? Well, it took me over a year from the time I bought the book to finish it. Part of that was me and my messed up life at the time, but part of it is because it moves too slowly in the beginning for me.  I remember bookmarking this a lot in the beginning. While this may work for classic fantasies like The Chronicles of Narnia, in this day and age a slow burn beginning could mean a loss of readership. There were also a few times when I had to reread because something wasn’t clear (technical) or an element seemed downplayed when it was kind of a big deal. Like when (view spoiler)

In all, this was a solid debut novel, and I’ve got book two, More From Dreams, in my queue!

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