3 out of 4 stars
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Belas Rift is the third book in “The Hidden City of Chelldrah-Ham” science fiction and fantasy series. This book explains the journey of Stig and Meg, who try to save their motherland from the evil woman Anet. Stig and Meg, known as Manna, are from a different world. They came to the earth through a rift by following Anet. Their journey in search of Anet revolves around the town of Cheltenham in England.
The protagonists Stig and Meg are invisible to humans. However, their shadow is visible and their voice can be heard. This caused a few shocking encounters between them and humans. Some of these encounter parts are nice and fun to read. I liked the character development of Stig and Meg. Their love and respect for nature and their motherland are something to behold. Stig's way of thinking in tense situations and his wild inventions have helped them a number of times. Meg’s composed character and her funny mocking of Stig, enlighten the intense situation.
The author Stephan von Clinkerhoffen, had given the adventure story a perfect balance with light and humorous moments. Stig licking the cellphone after reading the brand name Blackberry, gave me a good laugh. A random family's gesture of kindness to Stig and Meg was wise and I loved that part. The way the author has included the illustrative pictures in between helps to understand the scenes in a better way.
Since I have not read the previous books of this series, I have not been clear on the plot and the protagonists in the beginning chapters. But as I read the book, I was able to catch with the storyline. And from there, I found it more interesting to read. Certain names that the Mannas mentioned are difficult for me to understand in the first instance. Like I understand ‘ohnomorerepeats’ means ‘Oh, no more repeats’ only on the third occurrence.
The thing I liked most about the book is how the protagonists view and react to earthly things and human inventions. The names given by the Manna for human technologies, such as Btree for battery, black box for mobile phones, firestick for pistols, are good. The self-healing trousers made of flowers that help Stig in dangerous situations is an impressive read. On the whole, the story made me feel like I was traveling along with Stig and Meg.
During the middle segments, it was a little less interesting since it was more like repeating the phases of hiding and escaping. I find the book well-edited and the story kept me engaged towards the end. So I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I suggest this book to readers who enjoy fast-paced fantasy stories. Although this book is a part of a series, I think anyone can understand it with a little assumed knowledge of previous parts.
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