4 out of 4 stars
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Herai by Aaron D. Key is a unique book that is told from a couple of omniscient beings’ third-person point of view as they observe two worlds that have one minor difference. In one reality an old one is alive and in the other it is dead. All of the sequences surround the character, Herai, as she has recently come of age. There are also characters known as Glant, Monta, Adrij, and Koa. Glant leads their home, while the other three men are trying to find a way outside of their home that is a hidden city from the Outside.
For many years the people have been hidden, so Monta, Adrij, and Koa are trying to get outside. They plan to use Herai to get in Glant’s favor, but it doesn’t all go according to plan. Both realities experience very tough situations that affect each character differently, but it is easy to say that the reality without the old one has it much worse off than the one with. To get the full experience, it would be best for readers to check out this debut novel themselves.
As I was reading, I kind of had some problems keeping track of who was talking when, unless it was explicitly stated. I also found myself getting a little bit bored at times. I understand that it was important to show how the two places differed, but it was getting repetitive to go back and forth. Perhaps finding a way to combine the two stories would be a good idea? That’s just my opinion as a reader and a writer.
Being as this is Aaron D. Key’s first novel, I can appreciate how difficult writing would be for a beginner. I didn’t find any grammatical errors or spelling errors. However, it is necessary to note that the spelling forms are in British English and not American English, which is absolutely fine. Some people might think that words like favour or recognised are spelled wrong, but they aren’t.
I think that this would be enjoyed by anyone who likes reading about different realities and how they differ. I’m kind of surprised how this worked, but I just wish that a little more was happening in the story. It would improve and make things much more attention-grabbing as a whole. If you are willing to work through all of the parts and mysteries that are being explored, then this would be for you.
Herai is a very good debut novel that has a lot of potential to be a great story. It would just be a much stronger story if the author had found a way to combine the two realities. Despite all of this I give it 4 out of 4 stars. I would be interested to see how much Mr. Key’s writing style has improved in his next project.
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