All Tari has ever wanted is to become a librarian of the Archive of Ink and Soul. She has the drive and the ability to make that dream come true, but also an unwavering love for learning that could guarantee her success through an exhausting four-year apprenticeship.
One archaic law is all that stands in her way.
Tari is not a natural-born citizen of the magical world she lives in, and to most, that would be enough to keep her from dedicating her life to the Archive. But after years of preparation and deception, Tari has everything she needs to make her dreams a reality, including an acceptance letter welcoming her as an apprentice librarian.
Tari has a plan.
Enter the world of the After, where book characters from our world go once their stories are over, as one young librarian risks her future for a chance at happiness. To make it through her apprenticeship, Tari must keep her true identity a secret by not only lying to those she loves, but betraying the very thing she has sworn to protect.
If you’re looking for a REALLY QUICK read then this book will fit your needs perfectly because it’s roughly 125 pages so you’ll get it done while waiting at your next doctor appointment. The term ‘fast paced’ was made for novels like this as you’ll be racing through time in the character’s world so quickly you’ll risk whiplash going through the twists and turns of the story.
It’s only the first in a new series so it’s not written to give you a full view of the characters, their motives, psyche or provide some big moment where you’ll connect. Instead it feels it was meant to just whet your appetite, give you a small taste of what is to come particularly so you’ll be willing to check out the much larger world she’s building; go to her website lifeintheafter.com and sign up for her newsletter to stay informed and check out the first book in the companion series for a larger view.
She has an interesting concept, it reminds me a bit of something Marissa Burt did years ago with her two book series where you get to follow what happens to the characters outside of what we as readers see on the pages of a book. It was nice to see librarians painted as something other than little old ladies out of touch with the world, no offense to little old lady librarians intended by the way. So it kind of had this flair I’ve seen before in the TNT show The Librarians who are portrayed more Indiana Jones like which is probably why I was drawn to checking this story out.
As a fantasy novel, in case you didn’t get that from the synopsis that used the word ‘magic’ in it, your idea of realism will have to be suspended as you slowly learn what the rules for this world are and it’s going to take a while to get a full grasp on what those are because, if you remember from what I said earlier, the author didn’t fully develop all of her world or the characters in this book. This is one of those times where you’re going to be in for the long haul and will need to withhold final judgement until more of the books are released.
Patricia Thomas seems to be trying to do something big here and this book is only giving you one tiny piece of it. If you’re part of the Netflix binge generation then you may need to wait until more of the series is out or you’re going to feel frustrated and might react negatively to this right now whereas if you have more at your disposal your view would change.
I did like that it’s in first person so you get more of a feel for what the main character, Tari, is going through. She seems to have this innate need to protect those around her from busting out her first aid knowledge to hiding poor decisions and questionable behavior done under the influence of alcohol to minimize the damage that could come from judgmental authority figures.
As she’s constantly trying to maintain a façade and hide her past her psychological development wavers and changes depending upon who she is with which is an accurate reflection of someone who is trying to be liked while maintaining a lie to those who she’s come to care about. I felt Thomas did a good job showing the war Tari’s personality and psychological development is having with itself as she has to hide the experiences she’s accumulated lest she’s found out.
I plan on reading the other book she’s written in the companion series and follow her work so I can see where she’s going to take this series as my curiosity has been piqued.
Thank you to Netgalley and Patricia Thomas for allowing me to review this book.
Buy at Amazon: http://a.co/3WxpCe1
*synopsis and pic from amazon.com