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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Altered Estates is a work of fiction in the psychological drama, thriller, and suspense subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Chris Mathison, this unique blend of an English manor mystery and psychedelic adventure offers readers a mind-bending and entertaining journey. The story follows Kris Robinson, a scenarist who experiences temporary drug-induced amnesia. He unwittingly enters a live-action manor mystery that he wrote, where he encounters a cast of eccentric characters, including a butler with ulterior motives, a precocious grandson fascinated with Jungian synchronicity, and a chef who speaks in palindromes. As Kris navigates this strange and whimsical world, he must solve puzzles and engage with talking plants, moving paintings, and other bizarre elements that challenge the boundaries of reality.
Author Chris Mathison has crafted an utterly unique reading experience that works on so many levels to deliver its message. It's a psychedelic adventure that seamlessly combines mystery, humor, and surrealism with some really clever messages about how our mind works and how little of it we actually use on a day-to-day basis. Mathison’s narrative is confident, smooth, and witty, always making readers feel as though they’re in safe hands no matter where the plot takes them. The scenes and cleverly hidden references and callbacks make it a delightful read for those interested in unconventional narratives and futuristic technology, and also those who want their mystery concepts a little harder to dig for and, therefore, much more satisfying to achieve. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Altered Estates as a compelling exploration of circular time and split-brain functions that will leave readers both entertained and intellectually stimulated.