4 out of 4 stars
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Stephan Von Clinkerhoffen gets you aboard his train of absolute creativity and takes you on a smooth ride into wonderland with Belas Rift. Stig and Meg are creatures called Manna, from a parallel universe. Their motherland faces imminent danger of being destroyed by Anet, an evil human. Anet also plans to wipe out the whole race of the Manna creatures in her mission to take gold from their motherland. Stig and Meg go hot on pursuit after Anet in a rift and find themselves in Anet's home planet, the twenty first century London. Before the two can get comfortable with their new world, they unintentionally beat up, break some property and scare humans at a bar. This earns them the attention of the human police. The technology of the humans leave Stig and Meg in awe. While dodging the police, the two scare another lot of humans in a church before running into big trouble in an English countryside. All these are just but some of the occurrences in the series of adventure they encounter as they try to find Anet and stop her from accomplishing her mission. Even after making allies from both races of the Manna and humans, will Stig and Meg be able to stop the evil Anet from succeeding in her plan? You better find out.
You will most undoubtedly enjoy reading this great piece of work. Stephan has a great choice of words. The sentences are long enough yet very comprehensible. The array of vocabulary employed to describe various sounds and actions, the picturesque style used to express ideas in the story's plot and the lively dialogues make reading Belas Rift an amazing experience. Stephan writes about real life places along with the scenes too but from the perspective of an alien race. This makes the whole story engrossingly adventurous yet strangely familiar.
The characters are fully developed and very well depicted. I liked how Stephan vividly brought out the personality of each character in Belas Rift. No matter how short a character's scene is and whether or not the character reappears in the next scenes as the plot progresses on, you will be able to tell the depth of the character's arrogance, ignorance, compassion, way of thinking and much more. Stig and Meg are both brave, fast thinkers and intelligent. The fact that they find the human technology as alien as the humans see them, does not make it right for the reader to assume that they are primitive beings. In fact, they manage to use Anet's phone despite never having seen one before in their fantasy world and without any help. They just figured it out on their own. Meg is shown to be compassionate to plants, especially flowers because she is from a world of flowers.
The pictures in Belas Rift make the book beautiful and serve to make some of Stephan's ideas more perceivable. The book is packed with thrill, adventure action and more. It is obvious that Stephan has a great sense of humor. I found myself genuinely laughing at the way aliens, or perhaps the Manna thought about the human technology and how they interacted with it. For instance, when they see the word blackberry on Anet's phone, Meg slips her tongue on the phone and then says it doesn't taste like a blackberry. This was funny. They also give funny names to some of the tools and gadgets humans use. The most funny part is when the two Manna creatures interact with humans for the first time. The frightened humans during this scene with high tension was so hilarious. I can't get over the scene when the Landlord throws a bat at his invisible intruders, and moments later sees a golden bonnet of Stig's trike moving so fast towards him, with one of it's invisible riders waving the bat at him. What a funny scene.
I did not find anything to dislike about Belas Rift. It is the third installment of the Chelldrah-ham series but has a plot that stands on its own. I think the book can be read by both adults and children. Enthusiasts of fantasy and adventure will love this book. I did not find any error in the book. It is exceptionally and professionally edited. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
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