My dear bookish friends!
Are you looking for a book to escape your mundane everyday life for a bit? I think I just have the one for you – the main character had the same wish, and then ended up… well, you must read on to find out!
A huge thank you to TheWriteReads and the author D.H. Willison for my review copy and spot on the blog tour (none of which affected my review or rating in any way). Go and check out the other tour stops – after you got to the end of mine! 😀
About the Book
On a world where death lurks around every corner, is friendship the strongest survival tool of all?
Darin: bored with his paper pusher existence, he accepts a questionable deal for the LARP adventure of a lifetime. A jump through a dimensional portal strands him on the mythical world of Arvia, where everything is gigantic. Except the life-expectancy of newcomers.
Rinloh: a mere ten meters tall. Life in the harpy flock has never been easy for her. Determined to become full-fledged at the upcoming human-hunt, nothing is going to stand–or fly–in her way.
A chance encounter between these two–what could possibly go wrong?
Humans consider consorting with a harpy a capital offense. Harpies consider the human citizens a tasty part of a balanced diet. Yet the two must overcome a most monstrous conspiracy as the citizens of the city begin disappearing, with a list of suspects as big as the inhabitants of Arvia.
Harpyness is Only Skin Deep blends endearing characters and whimsical fantasy adventure in a uniquely witty, charming style. Contact your neighborhood dimension broker, or download Harpyness, and jump into the world of Arvia today.
The first thing that I noticed was how humourously this book is written, and I loved the main character’s voice. The light mood and fun, almost sarcastic writing is going like a red thread throughout the whole book.
Darin is sick of his boring job and boring life. When he finds out about a brand-new super-realistic fantasy adventure through his online gaming friends Darin is all ears. This new technology literally opens its doors and transports Darin to a different world full of fantastical creatures. However, things aren’t quite as Darin was told and how he expected it to be… once arrived in Arvia, he realises he will have to fight for his survival, and the fantasy world might be much more dangerous than he was imagining…
I’m not a gamer girl, but I always imagine it must be kinda like reading fantasy books, only you get the added bonus of the visuals without having to do the thinking. If I ever find the time to reduce my TBR at a sensible rate AND still have some time left I will defintely try it but right now I’m scared I would find yet another obsession! I am sure if you are a gamer though you will love it even more, and will also get the many references much better than I did. But anyway, back to the book – I can definitely see why Darin liked the idea of a fantasy world like from one of his games more than real life, and when given the chance he was curious enough to go for it. I loved the threshold element (think the wardrobe to Narnia or the rabbit hole to Wonderland) that took Darin from his mundane everyday life to Arvia.
Darin is a fun and likeable character, and I enjoyed following him on his adventures from the start. It is easy to empathise with him. He is sick of his mundane, boring, and unfulfilling life. However, what he expected from Arvia and what he got were two different things… Imagine how shocking it must have been for him to find out that the fun-sounding fantasy world he is about to enter isn’t just all fun and games – literally – but there are fantasy creatures he couldn’t have even dreamed of – that they are larger than he could have imagined and hungry for meat…human meat. One of them is the species called harpies: a kind of human-eating creature.
What I loved about the book was that once these were introduced, we didn’t only get Darin’s point of view, but also that of a harpy called Rinloh. All Rinloh really wants to do is eat Darin, but why doesn’t she? Well, let’s just say she is a really special one among her community of even bigger, even more dangerous harpy sisters, and despite the fact that she is out to kill Darin, she is also extremely likeable.
I loved seeing these two very different characters interact and get a stronger connection across the year Darin spends there. Even though they are so different, something connects them: both are incredibly ambitious. While Darin starts off just wanting to survive, he is soon striving for something bigger, and Rinloh equally starts to dream big…
Arvia is such a spectacular place, and not all of what we experience is just ‘good’. Like in many fantasy adventure games and movies, there are some more and less gruesome aspects to this fantasy world too, and the author doesn’t spare us either end of the spectrum. The start may have been a tad slow, but it made sense – it was the life on Earth Darin told us he was sick of.
Can we also just take a moment to appreciate the cover of this book? A round of applause to the cover artist – what a great representation of the content!