Robbie Lake’s life spirals out of control as the economy drives its nails into the coffins of the editing and publishing worlds. But Robbie doesn’t like things to be out of control, and now the child who used to retreat into imagination finds himself retreating into… a box.
Instead of waking to Seattle’s gloomy rain, Robbie finds himself in a curious village with no memory, no past, and strange hints of an epic future. Hailed as the possible savior of the world, he makes friends, enjoys a pleasing respite from his daily cares, and then… wakes up again.
As Robbie’s presence in his rebellious daughter’s life, or his silent son’s, seems increasingly irrelevant, it’s not hard to see the temptation to retreat into the world of his box. But soon the reader's wondering how close that temptation might veer toward addiction.
The story’s dark with many real-world issues threatening Robbie. Meanwhile even his perfect alternate universe starts to fall apart. Lyrical beauty gives way to gory threat, and Biblical hints and allusions intertwine in the fall of a world whose maker has left the throne. But there’s also hope, leading to an ending that’s neither too sweet nor too sour.
Readers with an editorial frame of mind might struggle with some odd word choices and tortuous sentences, but the plot is seriously intriguing and the story’s well told—a nicely odd and original grown-up Narnia perhaps, and an interesting read.
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to be given a free ecopy of this novel during the author’s blog tour.