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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Title: Storybook is a work of fantasy fiction written for adults by author J. A. Alvara. With graphic violence and some usage of sexual imagery and explicit language, this compelling and often darkly fantastical tale recounts the adventure of Aliya Remva. She is returning from a forced solitude after a series of shattered dreams, and in order to survive in the new world to which she has returned, Aliya will have to grow her strength from places in the stories of her past. From strict beginnings to the true discovery of what those influential storybooks from our childhood could really mean, this is a dark and well-developed adventure for all fantasy readers.
Author J. A. Alvara crafts beautiful scenes in which to set the events of this tale, right from the moment where we meet Mrs. Primrose and encounter the drab realities of Aliya’s life with her. Dreams and stories make key themes for the tale, giving it a gorgeously ethereal quality that can shift the atmosphere between the idyllic and the nightmarish very sharply. This makes for exciting reading, and Alvara crafts the characters with believable dialogue and motivations to keep an element of relatability and realism amongst the more fantastical goings-on. There are some genuinely frightening and poignant moments, and all of this combines for a multi-layered story that offers personal drama, empowerment and psychological themes with just as much impact as its many fantasy elements. I would definitely recommend Title: Storybook to curious fantasy readers seeking some new.