Imagine you could jump into your favorite book world and hang out with your number one book boyfriend. That’s what happens to Edie in Emily McKay’s creative Storybound. It’s a fun premise, nicely executed and will appeal to fans of YA Fantasy.
Edie Keller has moved nine times in the past six years for her mother’s job. Her one constant is her love of books but sadly, her favorite book series – The Traveler Chronicles – is over and shockingly, the main character, Edie’s ultimate book love, Kane, dies at the end of the series. A year later, Edie is still in mourning and is at yet another new school, having all her usual problems fitting in. And now, during Tae Kwon Do class, another girl attacks her, calling her an “Untethered child of the Kingdom of Mithres” and insinuates that she, Edie, has “no hope of finding the lost Ivah” and saving the Kingdom. Edie is stunned – is this girl crazy or is something else going on? Later that day, Edie enters an old bookstore and finds herself transported to the Kingdom of Mithres, home of The Traveler Chronicles.
When Edie enters the Kingdom, she arrives about mid-way through the final book. She’s confused, to say the least, and the Curator of the Kingdom of Mithres explains that all of the stories in Edie’s world are actually happening in alternate universes and have been given to the various authors, and sometimes the stories are altered a bit during translation.
“The story threads of the universe exist independent of the one who tells them. They are all there. Written in the tapestry of the universe. Storytellers from your world weave those threads into your books, your movies, your video games. Without the thread of magic woven between the many worlds, stories would not exist in the Dark World, and magic would not exist here.”
Edie is thrown head first into the chaos happening in the Kingdom of Mithres, but pretty soon realizes she has a chance to change the ending of the final book in The Traveler Chronicles, to save Kane. Lucky for her, Kane is just around the corner.
Edie is a charming heroine – she’s a loner who has hidden talents in inspiring and leading others. She loves her fantasy world but is realistic about her place there and her role in Kane’s life – she’s there to make sure he survives but not to become romantically involved with him. The story is told from Edie’s perspective and she has a witty inner dialogue running throughout the book. Once she realizes her power and gifts, she throws herself completely into saving the Kingdom of Mithres. Kane is a flawed and lovable hero. In the books, he is portrayed as a confident rebel who always knows what to do next. Turns out the real Kane has a much deeper side and can be a real jerk (until he trusts you). Edie has to figure out who the real Kane is and what that means for her heart.
The first quarter of the story was a little slow as Ms. McKay had a good amount of background to bring us up to speed on. But once Edie gets to the Kingdom, things pick up and I found myself sneaking away to find out what happens next. As I said earlier, the story is told from Edie’s PoV, but we also get to see Kane’s thoughts as the author intersperses the story with chapters from The Traveler Chronicles which are written in Kane’s PoV and which change based on what is currently happening in the Kingdom of Mithres.
Storybound is a fun read, but if you are looking for great world-building, it might not be a book for you. We get just enough description of the Kingdom of Mithres for the story to flow, but not enough to really feel lost in it. Also, some of the details on the magic and connections between worlds are a little fuzzy and sticklers for details may be disappointed.
The author has stated that this is the first of three novels about Edie and Kane’s world. And thank goodness for that, because this story does not reach a conclusion! Readers will have to wait for the next books to see how Edie and Kane’s story ends. I’ll definitely pick up book two as book one left me hankering for more!