Alterni

The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1

Fiction - Paranormal
282 Pages
Reviewed on (not set)
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

Esme was trapped, locked in a room with a number of very different versions of herself, none of whom seemed to have the faintest idea what was happening. There was but one constant, they were all her, and yet each one was different. When released from her prison, she saw something in the eyes of those who gazed upon her; recognition. The Order, the people responsible for bringing her to this alternate reality, have been keeping a secret from the people of their world. A dangerous secret. Beings from another plane called the Malevolenci had discovered a means to open rifts into their world, and had been doing so for eighty generations. They invade, killing thousands, and this world's own conjuri are powerless to close the rifts in the universe. Only an alterni can sense them, and only they can close these rifts. But this is not the first time someone looking to be her has attempted such a thing. Eight came before her to fight beside the king. Will she be just another victim in an endless war, or can she do what those before her had failed to achieve? Find out in Sunshine Somerville's Alterni (The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1).

It is rare for me to be so quickly taken by a book, but there is just something about Sunshine Somerville's writing style that reels you in. Time flies as you effortless turn page after page, learning more about the alternative world, its culture, people, magic, and the threat and hardships it faces. The characters are instantly likable and are moulded by their own experiences. They are complex, fallible, flawed, and amazing, each in their own right with their own strengths. Alterni (The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1) shows magnificent world building, structure, and storytelling, all of which add to a sense of realism behind the fantasy plot. I rarely recommend books, but this is one book that gets my unquestioning recommendation to anyone looking for a good read. Alterni is filled with suspense, action, intrigue, heartbreak, magic, conflict, mystery and so much more, all while taking you on a thrilling journey of growth and change. There are a lot of subtle touches and unexpected revelations; this is a book that will not leave you wanting. It has definitely made its way into my personal top ten books for this year. I can't wait to see where book two takes us. This is a series I am genuinely excited about. Well done, Sunshine Somerville!

Stephen Fisher

Alterni: The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1 by Sunshine Somerville is a fantastical story that begins with Esme finding out that she had been sucked into an alternate universe by a spell called the Summono. Suddenly she was aware that she was not alone. There were nine other Esmes in the same rundown pub, all as naked and confused as she was. As she began talking to some of the others, she found that they had all come from different worlds. Although they varied in size, shape and hair color, they were all versions of herself. Once she made herself stand out from the rest, then Hakim appeared, and the others vanished. Esme was then whisked off to meet Roman, the master magician that had brought her here, examined her, and brought her back to Hakim. When Esme got to Hakim's office, she came to the realization that although it appeared to be Kansas City, she wasn't in Kansas any more. This world had magic. She learns about the nasty little creatures called the malevolenci that open rifts in this world, just to invade and kill its citizens. The citizens of this world are kept in the dark about it all so as not to raise panic. So now the job of detecting the rifts as they open falls on Esme.

Sunshine Somerville does a superb job of bringing this story to life with characters that are relatable and real. Esme meets King Owen, and finds out about all of the past Esmes that were brought to this world to help fight the malevolenci. Somerville's skills as an author really shine as she incorporates famous artifacts from other literary worlds that the readers will immediately recognise with a knowing grin. I know that I did. I mean how cool is that? The story is flawlessly written, and the author is able to vividly describe the events to allow the reader to experience this remarkable story. Sunshine Somerville's Alterni will captivate you from the beginning, and strengthen its hold on you. Once you are drawn in, there is no turning back. The pages just fly by. I cannot wait for the next installment. Brava!

Romuald Dzemo

Esme thought it was a weird dream, finding herself in a room that looked like a bar, with a locked door and no windows in the drab walls. But then there are eight other versions of herself, all naked, doppelgangers with different levels of fitness. But it’s just the beginning of a journey, one she never anticipated. She is, in fact, an alterni, thrust into an alternate world, home to a secret Order that has existed for ages, fighting the malevolenci. Now the malevolenci pose a great threat to the public and King Owen believes that Esme Kuchis is the only hope of defeating them. But first, she must master her alterni magic. Can she survive when eight other versions of her have failed? Alterni (The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1) is spellbinding, the kind of book you finish reading and feel like you have just woken up from an incredible dream.

Author Sunshine Somerville has the gift of storytelling and her descriptive prose conjures vivid images in the minds of readers. I was hooked from the very beginning by the powerful description of the protagonist and the confusing situation she suddenly found herself in, but what impressed me most was the pace and the imaginative narrative. The voice is strong and readers find themselves rooting for the protagonist. The plot is well-imagined and it has many surprises for the reader. Sunshine Somerville makes sure that the reader turns the page after completing each chapter, thanks to the masterly handling of conflict. Alterni (The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1) is well-crafted and leaves the reader wanting to grab the next book in the series.

Christian Sia

Alterni is the first book in The Alt-World Chronicles by Sunshine Somerville and it is, to say the least, a terrific introduction to a series, with exciting characters and a plot that is as unpredictable as it is gripping. Esme Kuchis is transported to another world — dreamlike, only everything is true — and away from her own home in Kansas. Now, she discovers that she could be the key element in an ancient battle against the forces of evil, becoming part of a secret order led by a king in a world filled with magicians, fighters, and weird people. Their main aim is to protect the public from the deadly influence of the malevolenci. As an alterni, she has to use her magic to fight. But can she be the perfect alterni that King Owen says she is? Can she master her magic in time to stop a deadly threat?

I love stories with characters that are genuinely flawed, that struggle to understand themselves and their world, and this makes for a great character arc. Sunshine Somerville understands this perfectly, creating a protagonist who is surprised by events taking place in her life and who moves forward, fighting doubt and struggling to master her gifts. I also enjoyed the fact that the danger grows as the protagonist grows in her self-knowledge, an aspect of the narrative that creates a great sense of suspense, forcing the reader to pay attention to the plot elements and the conflict. Alterni is a gripping read, an engrossing fantasy that explores the proverbial struggle between the forces of good and evil, crafted with characters that readers will love. Great pacing, a dizzying climax, and a satisfying end!

Kayti Nika Raet

Alterni, the first book in The Alt-World Chronicles by Sunshine Somerville, starts off when Esme Kuchis finds herself naked in a room with a bunch of other women who look exactly like her, but then things get stranger when a terrifying creature enters the room and Esme seems to be the only one able to keep it at bay. She soon learns that the encounter will be the tamer part of her adventure when she discovers that she's been pulled into an alternate world filled with a secret order, a young king, magicians, elves and dozens of other paranormal races. Her burgeoning powers mean that she is one of but a few who are able to fight back the terrible malevolenci who are determined to tear great rifts into the world and consume everything within. But that power comes at a price and Esme must partner with the king to keep the tide of evil from being unleashed.

I enjoyed Alterni by Sunshine Somerville. The premise felt very unique and I delighted in learning the history of the alterni and their kings, as well as the fact that Esme - as an alterni - has several versions of herself (she is the ninth one to fight by the king's side). Somerville writes the emotional impact of such a revelation very well, showing how it affects both Esme and the king. The action is well written and paced in a way that doesn't drag or leave the reader feeling confused as to which character did what. My only quibble is minor; while I really enjoyed the lore that Somerville set up, I felt it was let down by the contemporary world setting. It left the book in an odd middle ground between urban fantasy and epic fantasy. The vagueness left me a little dissatisfied but, other than that, I really enjoyed what Somerville set up and I actually groaned when I reached the end of the book. More please!