Wednesday 6 May 2015

REVIEW; Down the Wormhole, by Ana Franco


Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology, Romance, Action

Recommend: Yes


Seventeen year-old Kitty arrives to live for a year in the orphanage. Here she meets other teenagers, Natalie and Anna, and Thomas and Andrew across the road in the orphanage for boys. 

However, they're not normal teenagers but Gods from another world, like Medusa and Amergin, hiding in today's reality. Soon, Kitty finds herself swept up in their worlds and fighting a magical battle against other evil Gods whilst also discovering love. 

My Thoughts:

It's been difficult to formulate clear thoughts on how I want to review this novel. There were some definite pros and cons throughout so I'll just split it up that way...

Negatives (to get them out of the way!):

  • Characters: I didn't connect with any of them to start... We never found out anything about Kitty or why she was  so special that the others wanted to keep her around. She also seemed quite naive and immature considering her age at times and a lot of her dialogue/reactions were quite childish. Same goes for the Gods, although they were hiding in our world, they were hiding as teenagers so it was possible that that was their true acting age or they could've been adults in younger bodies- but they too acted well younger than 17/18 years old at times and didn't seem to possess the maturity and sophistication one would expect from Norse/Greek etc Gods. At the start there was also too much flipping back and forth between their "human" name and their "God" name for me to keep up as to who was who.

  • Writing: Okay, this isn't a major negative- there were some brief typos, I believe a lot less than there were but I was reading an ARC so I don't expect a fully cultivated typo free story. Also, Franco's first language is not English so writing in a literary fashion to a standard of high degree is much harder to achieve. But, I felt there was way too much dialogue at times that skimmed over opportunities to insert a paragraph or sentence or two to just briefly explain what was happening in more detail/ describe the scene. The pace was rather fast and I often had to read back a page to double check where the scene was set and who was actually present at that time as the transitions weren't definitively clear.

  • Romance: I liked the little romance tied into all of this action and suspense but again, it was too suddenly thrown at us with little indication as to why. I didn't gauge from Kitty at all that she'd true feelings for Tom until towards the end after certain events, but felt the reader missed out on the build up of their flirting and chasing and seeing them slowly fall for each other. 


  • Research: What really made this work was the amount of knowledge behind all of the various Gods. I knew very basic amounts re Medusa and Aphrodite and it was quite interesting to learn more about others and how they were all intertwined and brought into the one realm. Franco definitely did research into the mythology behind the characters she included and this was a huge aspect to making the story alive. Put the time in before a word is written and it's a huge bonus to the finished product.

  • Setting: Although at times I was faced with confusion as to where the story was actually taking place, I liked how it opened in The Land Above All Clouds and then took place in our world with parts back in the other realm- down the wormhole! The different worlds really worked and I felt the story fitted together more nicely when in The Land Above All Clouds. It just had more appeal than the drama down in our world.

  • Characters: Although this appeared in negatives, it also deserves to be a positive. I may not have understood Kitty, but I liked the mix of the different Gods, good and bad, and then seemingly regular human Kitty. I think it would've been great if Colin, the other human, had more of a presence just to compare how they integrate with these great Mythological Gods. As an Irish reader, nice having an Irish God thrown in there too to mix up the Greek scene! 

  • Story: Throwing away analysing writing techniques, there was a solid story wrapped up in this. It definitely wins for being original and unique and such a good take on Alice in Wonderland. There was a great mix of casual story with moments of action and suspense and that's what keeps a reader turning the page.


I don't want this to be a negative review, and any negatives I hope came across constructively. I really want to see this novel and Franco do well and I think she's achieved a lot in publishing this piece of work. I'd say the main improvement is just to analyse the pace and pad out the dialogue slightly, whilst also really knowing the characters and what drives them. This would easily be a 5 star novel if those two aspects were improved.

Thank you to Ana Franco for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon UK