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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!