Part One of the 400 DAYS blog tour: Book Review

5 Jul

I had signed up to participate in L. Carroll’s blog tour for her upcoming novel, 400 Days (July 15th). Haley Whitehall gave away a signed copy of my novel, Shapeshifting For The Win, after interviewing Carroll on her website. Today, I will share my review of 400 Days with you and plan to interview Carroll later in the week.

Here are a couple of things you need to know up front. Number One, I didn’t think it through before signing up to be a part of the tour. Taking the time to read an epic fantasy novel while in the midst of Camp NaNoWriMo, wasn’t the smartest thing I’d ever done. But, I was and am sooooo excited to be a part of a blog tour. It’s my first one and I can’t wait to do another.  🙂

Number two, I didn’t realize at first that 400 Days was actually a sequel. My coffee levels must’ve been too low when I read the information packet. With my limited amount of time, I had to skip reading the first book, Destruction from Twins, and let me tell you – it put me at a large disadvantage while reading 400 Days.

Destruction from Twins

Book 1 in the Lor Mandela series, Destruction from Twins

Here’s are the synopses from the book covers:

Lor Mandela: Destruction From Twins
Through the selfish acts of a twin enchantress, the world of Lor Mandela is sentenced to its untimely death. Only one can save it–the appointed Child of Balance, Audril Borloc. All hope seems lost, however, when shortly after her fourth birthday, Audril disappears without a trace. Audril Borloc must be found!

When a group of Lor Mandelan spies travel to Earth in search of the little girl with black hair and bright blue eyes–traits that on Lor Mandela are exclusive to the ruling Borloc family–they instead find sixteen-year-old Maggie Baker. While the age difference between the girls is obvious, Maggie has the Borloc traits–evidence enough for the desperate spies.

Suddenly, Maggie’s mundane existence is transformed into a thrill ride of twists and turns as she begins bouncing back and forth between her hometown of Glenhill, Iowa and the strange and diverse lands of Lor Mandela. Amid battling a ferocious two-headed beast, being abducted by a lawless clan of Shadow Dwellers and falling head over heels for the son of an evil warlord, Maggie soon discovers that her blase reality could be the REAL fantasy, and that the fate of Lor Mandela may depend entirely on her.

Lor Mandela: 400 Days
Maggie Baker has always wished for a more eventful life. Unfortunately, she is about to get it. Following an earthquake that no one seems to have felt but her, her mundane existence is thrown into a roller-coaster ride of twists and turns as she suddenly finds herself bouncing back and forth between her hometown of Glenhill, Iowa and the distant world of Lor Mandela.

On this strange planet, Maggie must learn who to trust, and who to fear. More importantly, she must find a way to convince the Lor Mandelans that she is not the Child of Balance, and her family and friends in Iowa (and herself for that matter) that she is not going insane.

Amid fighting a two-headed creature, being captured by a lawless band of Shadow Dwellers, and falling head-over-heels for the enchanting son of an evil warlord, Maggie sees the lines of the Advantiere unfold around her. It isn’t long before she discovers that her blasé reality could be the real fantasy, and that the fate of an entire world may actually depend on her.

My review of 400 Days
Regardless of the disadvantage I put myself in by reading 400 Days without having read Destruction from Twins, the world of Lor Mandela is a complex one. The time Carroll put into developing this world is self-evident from page one. While this series could be classified as a ‘Portal Fantasy’, a character going through a gateway (such as the wardrobe in the Chronicles of Narnia) to a strange and magical world, Lor Mandela is an Epic Fantasy. Between the world building, creatures, and serious levels of magic going on, Carroll deserves a gold star.

I only have two reservations about 400 Days and I take the blame for the first one since I showed up to the party late. (Bad, Jacquline!) I had trouble connecting to the characters at first, but things clicked for me once I got into the flow of it. Secondly, while Carroll’s descriptions are vivid and her word choices are beautiful, sometimes I found myself scanning though to the meat of the story. Either way, I finished this book, wanting to immediately reread the entire series. Sadly, it’ll have to wait until July is over.


One Response to “Part One of the 400 DAYS blog tour: Book Review”


  1. 400 hours to Four Hundred Days Book Tour Schedule « Woven Strands - July 7, 2011

    […] Jacquline C. (Adventures in WriterLand) – Book Review […]

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