Journey to the West Valley Wall


Fiction - Science Fiction
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 02/03/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite

Jack Van Horne, a science fiction writer, has been plagued with agoraphobia for the past ten years. Jack has been unable to leave the street where his apartment is located, only venturing to the local coffee shop and his doctor. Whenever he tries to write the third book of his space fantasy series, he struggles with panic attacks. His roommate and friend Shelley provides a great deal of support to him while encouraging him to finish the book. In Journey to the West Valley Wall, written by Mark L. Lloyd, Jack’s plight reaches a climax when he is charged with watching his niece Tessa for a few days. Not only does he have to travel to get to her home, he is soon faced with an unexpected situation that forces him to act outside of his comfort zone.

This book is a compelling read for several reasons. The day-to-day consequences of Jack’s agoraphobia and anxieties are well described. Including sections of his science fiction writing adds an intriguing depth to the story. The setting of a small town in British Columbia is also interesting. The development of the main characters, Jack, Shelley, Tessa, and several other characters is fascinating, as each one grows as a result of daily and life-changing events. The author writes in a fast-paced, easy to read style, engaging the reader from the first page to the last. Author Mark L. Lloyd has crafted a wonderful novel in Journey to the West Valley Wall. It is a unique book!

K.C. Finn

Journey to the West Valley Wall is a work of dramatic and psychological fiction penned by author Mark L Lloyd. The action centers on science fiction author Jack Van Horne, who has been lucky enough to make decent money as a full time writer. This is fortunate for Jack, who suffers from extreme agoraphobia and cannot leave his house except for a few ‘safe’ places that he knows well. However, the illness has now progressed to a stage where he is also struggling to write. But life forces him to change when he is tasked with caring for his niece at the West Valley Wall, a challenge he takes on despite knowing that he might not even be able to get to her.

Author Mark L Lloyd has a superb grip on mental illness and the difficulties which it puts upon those who suffer with it. I really related to Jack’s struggles throughout the novel and the perception that some people on the outside had of him, especially in suggesting that his condition wasn’t real or serious. The harrowing emotions that he goes through even trying to do everyday things were powerfully accurate, and the journey he goes on to try to overcome his fears makes for excellent reading in itself. Then, the wider plot which over-arches the tale takes over, making for a really surprising ending that I didn’t see coming. Overall, Journey to the West Wall is a powerfully human tale but also a surprising and thrilling psychological read.