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Reviewed by Lexie Fox for Readers' Favorite
The World of Agartha: Cathedral of Time is a young adult fantasy novel by Stephen Thorpe. The book follows Makayla Brown as her investigation into local folklore leads her into a whole new world that exists aside from the one she knows. When she finds a hidden journal, she finds herself whisked away to a world of danger both familiar and unfamiliar. As she struggles to survive and find her way home from Agartha, her friends Tanner and Andrew are busy trying to solve the mystery of where she’s gone and how to get her back.
An interesting selling point of this book was its use of an app that allows readers to scan various QR codes throughout the book to access extra content which aids immersion wonderfully. The book itself is an exciting adventure filled with just the right amount of danger to keep readers invested and on the edge of their seats throughout. Stephen Thorpe has done some fascinating world-building in creating the land of Agartha, and the book stands out for its imaginative spin on existing tropes as well as some exciting new ideas that it brings to the table. I particularly enjoyed the sleuthing of Tanner and Andrew as they worked to try to help Makayla, though she is far from a helpless damsel in distress! Cathedral of Time promises to be the start of an exciting series and manages to deftly juggle the hefty task of establishing an entire world and its inhabitants and histories whilst also meeting the expectation of telling a complete and satisfying story on its own.