Al & Rollu: Battle for the Astral by Vaidu Klis
Al & Rollu: Battle for the Astral by Vaidu Klis is a young adult modern fantasy about a young woman names Rollu who can leave her body at will and travel to a parallel dimension, known as the Astral. She travels to St. Petersburg in the hopes of winning a motorcycle meet, and the heart of her intended husband. Only catch is she doesn’t know who that is, all she has to go on are specs of details from an old prophesy. Her Granny always told her St. Petersburg was a place where wonderful things would happen for her, the question now is, was she right?
Well this was an interesting one. Number one thing I have to address first is the length of the book; its short. Actually, I can’t really call it a book, more like the introduction of a short story, a very short story. The books I review, that are marketed to be as novels, as usually about 200 or 300 pages (once converted into PDF format) This one was a whopping 40; I read it in two days (during my commute to work). The reader barely gets a chance to understand the world Klis has created before the story ends, promising to pick up again in the next book. The lack of immersion into the characters left me unable to relate to them, to care about them really, which happens to be a good thing because the book is so short that not a lot happens either. Al, or Albert, is barely present, and we only get a taste for his character. Then we come to the main course; Rollu. Instead of a well-rounded, strong female character, we get one who is preoccupied with finding a relationship. Klis created an interesting world, but maybe a pretty bland main character to inhabit it. The authors focus on her looks is at best boring, and at worst predatory. I understand the intent, Rollu is meant to be a beautiful young woman, with extraordinary talents, but most ordinary people, especially men, just see her physical beauty, and she clearly has had to deal with that kind of unwanted attention for a long time. I just think Klis could have c=gone about it in a different way. The short length of this first book also makes it problematic to try and show Rollu as more than just a pretty face too.
That said it was certainly not all doom and gloom here. Klis showed real promise with the world they created here. The concept of The Astral seems great, and the rest of this saga I think has amazing potential to develop for the reader a unique and interesting world. As I mentioned earlier this first book was very short, only giving us a taste for what is to come, and I am optimistic Klis will do great things.
To learn more about the author, click here.
To buy the book, click here.
Happy Reading Folks!