I can’t remember if you were still around when Mom and Dad listen to this series. I just recall that they did and seemed to love it, so I was hopeful.
Title: Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo
Series: Leven Thumps; Book 1
Author: Obert Skye
ROTS Setting: EU, Modern, Magic,
Synopsis: Fourteen-year-old Leven Thumps (a.k.a. “Lev”) lives a wretched life in Burnt Culvert, Oklahoma. But his life is about to change and his destiny be fulfilled as he learns about a secret gateway that bridges two worlds — the real world and Foo, a place created at the beginning of time in the folds of the mind that makes it possible for mankind to dream and hope, aspire and imagine. But Foo is in chaos, and three transplants from that dreamworld have been sent to retrieve Lev, who alone has the power to save Foo.
Recommendation: This book is recommended.
Leven Thumps would appear to be the main character given that every book and the series use his name. I found him to get very little page time for a MC, basically just when some action was going to happen. In consequence he doesn’t have a strong personality. It didn’t help that for a quarter of the book he was literally under the influence of the bad guy so all his perceptions and choices were messed up. In the end he was too bland for me to have any strong feelings about.
The bad guy was laughably flat and completely uninteresting. The prologue painted a terrifying image, but the his first POV chapter showed how lame and two dimensional he actually was. He should have crushed Leven instantly…..Why didn’t he? Fate?
Which brings me to the use of fate as a plot device. If everything is up to fate then why am I reading this? It’s going to happen regardless of what anyone does or doesn’t do. Instantly have zero fear for the characters. Instantly no fear of the bad guy. Instantly no fear that anything significantly bad is going to happen.
In general there were several sizable plot holes, but the biggest thing was that I just was not entertained. There were a couple of funny parts, but the rest felt tedious.
The world of Foo sounds amazing, but also completely incomprehensible and contradictory. This sense of wonder and mysteriousness might very well be exactly what some people enjoy and I suspect younger readers might enjoy it more. However, I personally did not. Along similar lines, the parental/authority figures were more in line with A Series of Unfortunate Events than say Harry Potter. So not just horrible people, but full blown neglect and constant abuse. I don’t like that. The target audience does seem to be a bit older around the 14yr old mark so it’s not as profound but it still bothered me.
I might decide to read more in the series. There are some things about how the story ended that leaves me with a glimmer of hope. The writing itself isn’t bad. The supporting characters were pretty good, the bad guy won’t/shouldn’t be making a return appearance, the abusive “adults” should also be gone, and who cares if Foo is contradictory and convoluted since they’re there and won’t be leaving anytime soon. So maybe.