Book Review

REVIEW: The Many Lives of Lilith Lane – Episode I

I mentioned in my most recent post that I was approached to check out a serialized novel.  Well, here is my review on the first installment (which they call “episodes”).

lilith laneI’m including the Goodreads synopsis so you have some general background:

Seventeen-year-old Lilith Lane has a hunk of a boyfriend, a wicked tongue, and a talent for solving the mysteries that pop up in her small home town of Mirabalis. But when her little sister goes missing in the middle of the night, both Lilith’s detective skills and her recall of sophomore year physics are put to the ultimate test.

To save her sister, Lilith must race against the clock with the help of Dr. Hammer, a mad scientist who pushes Lilith off the edge – literally – of his reality-bending skyscraper. Lilith’s world is turned upside down by her sister’s disappearance, and a skyscraper that is also a portal to a parallel universe suddenly doesn’t seem that surreal. With Dr. Hammer’s help, Lilith must put her girl detective skills to the test and try to save her sister.

A dashing snail expert, a scheming beauty queen, and the heir to a great advertising fortune are just a few of the unforgettable characters who round out the cast in this rollicking tale of love, loyalty, and multiple Earths.

Note: This book was initially released in episodes as a Kindle Serial. All episodes are now available as a complete book.

In the first installment we get set up with the major plotline of the story: Lilith’s little sister Beth is kidnapped and her body is found 2 weeks later.

We meet Lilith, the protagonist who is a senior in high school.  She’s pretty smart and kind of funny.  We meet her parents: an alcoholic (mother) and a philanderer (father).  We learn that her family life isn’t all that great. We also meet Lilith’s boyfriend, (a real dummy), as well as the school principal, who is kind and used to be a close family friend.  About halfway through the first installment we meet Dr. Hammer, the mad scientist, who shows Lilith that she can jump into an alternate reality; but of course things aren’t exactly the same. (I kind of pictured Christopher Walken from that Adam Sandler movie “Click” when we met Dr. Hammer).

Lilith mentions that she used to do detective work around the small town, so I wonder how much of a “sleuth” she really is.  I wonder how realistic the character will be as the story continues.  (Let’s face it, we all love Nancy Drew, but would she really exist in real life?)

By the end of the first installment, we’ve met a number of characters (though we haven’t met the snail expert or heir to the advertising fortune mentioned in the synopsis above); discovered that it is possible to move between alternate realities, but that there are rules and limits (of course); and were left with a: “that can’t be right” kind of reaction; or at the very least, we would hope it’s not true.

So far the story is decent.  The writing isn’t extraordinary, but it is entertaining.

Questions I was left with include: Is that person really the kidnapper/murderer? How many questions will be answered at each installment (whether the reader’s questions or the characters’)?  How many more questions will be raised (for both readers and characters)? How much will we learn in the next installment? Will we see more than one alternate reality?

I guess I’m a little spoiled with my first serialized novel because I received the first 4 installments (out of 5) at the same time, so there is no long waiting period for me. But I’m going to be good: I won’t read the next episode until I’ve written my review. I mentally patted myself on the back, because I stopped at the end of the first episode even though I still had more of my train ride before I got to work. 🙂

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