4 out of 4 stars
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Belas Rift, the third installment in The Hidden City of Chelldrah-ham series by Stephan von Clinkerhoffen is a tale of two friends on a journey to save the world. Stig and Meg are our otherworldly heroes and we follow them on an adventure in England to stop the evil human, Anet, from destroying their home-world for gold. They make friends along the way but also attract the attention of the police as the blunder their way through the land. Stig and Meg's quest is full of puzzles and mysteries.
This story is a unique take on classic fantasy adventure but it's points rings true. An outsider's look in at humanity's beliefs, greed and destruction. A favorite theme of mine in this novel is the care of nature that Stig and Meg have. It is a commentary on the disregard for Mother Nature that relates directly to real life. It's not all grim and despair though, humorous and fun moments are sprinkled all throughout the tale to break apart all of this as well as Anet's grim plans and actions.
I enjoyed the view of Earth from fresh eyes, as Stig and Meg stopped to marvel at fruit, vegetables or technology. It created a wonder and awe of our world that I had grown out of. The author is talented with the ability to describe scenes generously, I had no trouble conjuring the images of the story as it unfolded.
While this can be read standalone, reading the two previous stories would have enriched the experience. It would have helped me understand the depth of the bond between the main characters and strengthen it in my eyes. The story had a bigger arc happening behind it which came into the forefront towards the end half and it's where all the mystery lay.
Having not read the previous two books, I felt left out of things mentioned and behind on how the two worlds worked at first, especially in relation to each other. There was a lot of use of italics for sounds during the first pages which I found distracting as I read. I didn't come across any grammatical errors so the editing is well done.
A truly fun and adventurous story in the series. I rate this book a 4 out of 4 stars. A great book for casual fantasy readers of young and old but I would recommend reading the previous two. If they are as good as this one then that should be no problem at all.
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