I didn’t know what to expect with this book. I wasn’t even sure what genre it was. I just ploughed blindly straight into it. And what an absolute pleasure it was: original, compelling, and very thoughtfully and cleverly written.
Archie Fletcher and his army comrades crash fatally into the sea on the way to a warzone in the Gulf. But Archie is saved from the murky waters by a trident-bearing monster. What on earth is happening to him? How did he survive, and why is he the only survivor. But wait…did the sun just speak to him? And a star called Felicity? Hang on, she’s very familiar…
It takes a naked Archie a little while and a few strange encounters to realise that he is in Transit; somewhere you can only stay for 10 days before you must cross the bridge to heaven or risk being a lost soul. Easy...if you know where the bridge is. But this courageous young man has to battle against the elements, the evil Moon, lions, ravens, three-headed monsters…and a great deal of confusion.
This story is so much more than a fantasy…it’s about loss and grief, about memories, of love, friendship, and loyalty, power over adversity and heroism. Archie was a son of proud parents, a much loved brother, and an upright and brave young man fighting for his country when he was alive: his qualities stay with him in death.
Claire is an extraordinary writer. Every scene, every emotion, every smile, and every tear is conveyed with heart, depth, detail, and imagination. The ‘fantasy’ of Archie’s tale in Transit with the delightful characters he meets there runs parallel with the normality of his life up to his death and of those who grieve for him so perfectly it was sometimes easy to forget you were in fantasy land; there were so many credible elements to this poignant and absorbing story. If you don’t think fantasy is for you, don’t dismiss the genre completely until you’ve read this. Excellent.