Q-16 and the Eye to All Worlds by A.A. Jankiewicz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As I was reading this I was hit with a glut of all my past reading influences, thinking, most of the time, "Hey, this reminds me of..."
But this list in my head of old titles from Guy Gavriel Kay to Roger Zelazny to C.S. Lewis, all great classic Fantasy authors, doesn't quite EXPLAIN what this book is.
I could bring up Kay's fish-out-of-water epic fantasy style but make sure it is firmly on YA territory. Or I could bring up C.S. Lewis for his Narnia in almost the same way, with Q-16 being a bit darker and faster-paced.
But no, I'm going to focus on Zelazny. His amber books have a LOT in common with Q-16 in the same way that King's Dark Tower does, but this is not as crazy. :)
This novel has multiple worlds and these kids who travel between them must deal with spaceships in some, and a full gamut of telekinetic powers and magicians in others. Add a huge, huge training regimen to get good at all kinds of magic, throw in many discoveries and reveals galore, and then still force these kids to go back to school. In Canada.
Jeeze. No rest for the wicked.
Suffice to say, training leads to building an army and fighting off a really big bad that wants to rule over all realities, so there's no lack of plot here. :) However, be forewarned: it is a long, long book for a YA title, but at no point was it hard. We spend a lot of time in our reality, a high-tech space-opera reality, and more in a fantasy realm. I'm rather impressed with all the hats it takes on, AND it's a fully-fleshed epic to boot. :)
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