by Tonya Cannariato
Waking up in a strange room, Natalie finds herself disoriented. In fact, her name is only a thought. Even her face is a mystery, so she looks into the mirror to discover a young woman with short brown hair and brown eyes. Where is she? And why can't she recall the simplest of details? She is further perplexed by her enormous, pregnant belly.
Searching for clues, Natalie combs through closets and shelves, hoping to connect with something... anything. But when she settles on a child's play room, and begins to explore a toy train set, she is transported to another realm, where wild storms and vast bodies of water engulf her. She hears words from an unknown source telling her about the trials she must face... trials that will have an impact on many. But is she up for the task?
The natural forest setting, and the whimsical songs offered a magical backdrop, which was initially quite lovely! However, too much attention was given to the songs and descriptives, which began to feel repetitive as the story progressed. Conversely, not enough attention was given to character development, or to important plot points surrounding the meaning and significance of the trials.
Certain aspects of the story felt underdeveloped and awkward. Further, the move to have Natalie look into a mirror to have her physical features described to the reader could have been handled differently. In order for the story to make sense, the author had to spell out what was going on, by way of a new character presented near the end. Still, the concept was unique, and the other realm was imaginative and vivid.
Reviewed by Stephanie