Battledoors: The Golden Slate by Brian Wilkinson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The premise of the book sounded interesting, but reading it turned out to be rather meh overall.
There's a bit of a disjointed prologue and then first few chapters basically screamed white boy wish fulfilment. You have Owen Thomas, the misfit white male protagonist who's trying his best to hide in the crowd but can't, because oh, he's so smart so he's always picked on. By his side is the ever-so-beautiful, angelic, everybody-loves-her princess Emily Lloyd, who is, of course, also smart and brainy and kind, befriending fat, loud-mouthed, panicky Bea Wells out of the goodness of her heart. Then you need the bullies: James Vanier who has anger management issues and is cruel, angry, and snarky for no reason at all, and his large, dumb, hulking, not-very-verbal muscle friend, Lucas Walton.
There is some development of the characters. Emily turns out to be not so perfect, there may or may not be an upcoming love triangle, and James is horribly annoying through and through. After a while, I felt like I was mostly skimming through the book to get find out what happens in the end. Which is a bit of a non-ending. There's book 2 coming up.
I know I've been raving about stories where readers enter the fictional world recently, especially J.M. Frey's The Accidental Turn Series (https://www.goodreads.com/series/181063) and Jill Bowers's Immortal Writers Series. Battledoors is Wilkinson's offering in that category, but he didn't pull it off quite as well. It'll probably appeal to white male teenagers, though.
Note: I received a digital review copy of this book via NetGalley. I was given the book with no expectation of a positive review and the review is my own.
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