Title: I Reach Through Time and Touch the Other Side
Author: Sophia Deri – Bowen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Buy Link: Buy Link I Reach Through Time and Touch the Other Side
Length: Novella (46 pdf pages)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
A Guest Review by Feliz
Summary Review: A modern fairytale time-travel story and a sweet romance.
The Blurb: Ari Rosenberg dreams about a special room, one that shouldn’t exist, and certainly not in his house. But when he wakes, he finds the room is real, and it’s the doorway to another world. In that mysterious space, he meets Kimi, a visitor with his own door into the shared room. After a rough start, they forge a friendship that sparks with attraction and turns to romance, leading them to try to find a way out together, into one time or the other.
The Review: Ari leads a quiet and even in his own eyes rather boring life. He has often felt as if he was waiting for something, but nothing ever happened to him until one day he dreams that there is a hidden room in his house which he can reach through his closet. Although he’s convinced this can’t be real, he checks it out – only to discover that his impossible room is there, and has another door, which Ari can’t open.
Could this be what he’s been waiting for? Instead of freaking, Ari furnishes the hidden room, making it a comfortable den where he can curl up with a book. Not long after he’s made himself at home there, his solitude is disturbed by a stranger from another time who enters the room through the other door and obviously thinks Ari is in his closet. On top of this, the other man seems to think Ari mentally impaired, judging by the way he talks to him. They argue, which results in both of them being put out and leaving. Not long afterwards, though, their mutual curiosity wins over. The more time they spend together, the closer they become. After they act on their growing attraction, they realize there is more than that between them. But what will happen if they leave their safe haven? Will they be able to survive in the other man’s time, or will some law of nature kill them the moment they set foot outside their room?
This was a quiet book that went pretty straightaway from A to B, without much fuss. The rough start which is mentioned in the blurb wasn’t really all that rough, merely a misunderstanding, which was settled easily enough by two reasonable guys who talked things through instead of just retreating into their respective corners to sulk. Both Kimi and Ari were likeable, straightforward characters; both were given enough background to make their mutual interest credible. There was a lot of world to create and a lot of goings-on to explain. ( Kimi’s origin was a bit of a surprise for me, and a pleasant one, at that, although I felt this could have been worked out some more).
Most of the story takes place in either Kimi’s or Ari’s house or even just in that one room. I liked the way how they started out narrow, in their secret room, and got bolder, exploring more of their respective worlds, until they were ready to actually share a life. This was a beautiful allegory to the “ideal” development of a loving relationship, having them go from mutual attraction to “consummation” and then commitment. Very cleverly done.
It bothered me a little that many things in this book just fell into place, like the conversation conveniently skipping over bigger events and circling around their day-to-day lives instead, or the way they dealt with Ari’s sickness, or how all of Kimi’s legal issues were solved with just one scratch of the pen.
The way this was written, it appeared very clear that the author had herself a good old time playing God with her guys. Although it’s Kimi and Ari talking and acting, the author’s hand is always there, palpable and still barely visible as if the guys were puppets whose strings occasionally flashed in the stage lights, disrupting the illusion of the dolls having a life of their own. This oldfashioned writing style fit the story fine, though, since it was a modern fairytale and obviously never meant to be taken literally. If you can go with the flow, you’ll have yourself a good old time alongside the author, just like I did. Recommended.