This is a blend of futuristic sci-fi with parallel worlds, including portal transportation to Atlantis, to solve a mystery/fantasy quest. You might think this is a bit too much to pull together in one story, but fair does to Brady, she’s pulled this off very well. It is a very vivid, intriguing story that despite its mammoth length remains pacey and thoroughly intriguing throughout.

It features Will, a tall, strong, feisty woman that doesn’t feel like she quite fits in. Unable to find a fulfilling relationship, nor able to shake off the grey martians she has seen since a child, she is almost resigned to a solitary existence. Family relationships are odd, but she does have a close connection with her niece, so when she goes missing, Will is resolute that she will find her.

Who could imagine that to do this would involve finding a portal at the bottom of a lake that takes her to her home world of Atlantis. There are lots of links and plays to Area 51, the city of Atlantis and similar stories with a crystal skull, but it is enchantingly interwoven in a fresh and compelling way. The characters are bold and memorable, growing realistically as the story progresses.

The book almost has two denouements that I found curious and I’m not sure if one would have sufficed. It’s not hard to determine the final outcome, but getting there is an immersive and fantastical journey that is a pleasure to be carried along on.

Sara Garland 4/3

The Darkest Eyes by Mick Brady
9781790192878 pbk Nov 2018