Unimaginable (ParisDude’s Review)


Title: Unimaginable
Author: Iyana Jenna
Publisher: JMC Books LLC
Release Date: March 23, 2019
Genre(s): Fantasy
Page Count: 52
Reviewed by: ParisDude
Heat Level: 1 flame out of 5
Rating: 2.40 stars out of 5

Blurb:

Callum Saxon wakes up to a totally different universe where all around him is water. Strangely he can breathe it as if it’s air. The bad thing is he can’t remember how he got there. He can’t remember himself, either.

Ainsley Carlisle is more than a man with long blond hair. He’s a unicorn shifter with secrets as widely stretched as the rainbow supposedly coming out of his rear. Ainsley won’t help Callum uncover who he is because Ainsley wants him to remember it himself.

In this new universe, Callum has to survive the creatures that live there, such as vampires, shifters, werewolves, you name it. But there’s more to Callum than meets the eye.


When Callum Saxon wakes up at the beginning of the book, he discovers he’s in a strange underwater place but still can breathe. He’s lost all his memories, however, except his name, so he doesn’t know what has led to his being there. The first person he stumbles upon is stunningly handsome Ainsley Carlisle, who hints at some possible explanations without telling him everything he needs to know in order to understand. That’s somehow the major flaw of the whole story, I’m afraid. We readers are little by little informed about certain links, goings-on, past situations and events (informed, mind you, not shown) as the plot unravels (and there’s not a whole lot of plot either), but all in all, everything remains far-away and unrelatable. At least for me.

So. This place Callum inadvertently finds himself in is apparently a magical, parallel-dimension underwater world, some sort of safe haven for shifters (vampires, werewolves, unicorns, you name it). I won’t tell you more because I’d reveal the whole story in the process. Let me just say that I normally dig that sort of universe, but here I couldn’t get the look-and-feel of the place. The novella is only 52 pages, alright, but I’ve read shorter pieces where I was drawn in at once and kept with bated breath from start to end. This read didn’t provide me with such an experience, alas. At first, I thought I had missed one or several chapters. Checked, double-checked even, but that was not the case. So, I did read on feverously, but only because I wanted to simply understand what was going on.

And that’s when I became aware the whole piece was just too damn short. Now, less is sometimes more (short stories can keep you on edge with an even less important page-count). But for this novella to work for me, I would have needed to be told less and shown more. The emotional link between Callum and Ainsley? A wham-boom-bang-sort of sudden out-of-the-blue revelation for both characters that left me wanting. Callum’s background-story? Told during a conversation, alright, but almost off-handedly. Flash-backs or any similar literary technique would have been more satisfying. The place’s background-story, Ainsley’s background-story—ditto. A pity, really, because the basic idea is original and has much potential. Maybe the author should consider taking the material she has offered us here, considerably flesh it out (like, triple it?), use her writing skills and techniques—this isn’t here first book, after all, so I guess she has those—and make us live the story she has merely outsketched here… A full-blown Callum-Ainsley novel telling us in better ways what’s told in this short piece? I for one would give it a try. As it stands, I really was not thrilled.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Unimaginable provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

Author

Dieter, born and raised in Austria, studied Political Sciences in Vienna in the early 90s. He’s living in Paris, France, with his boyfriend and working as a graphic designer. In his spare time, he loves to write, read, cook, take photos, and travel as often as possible. He’s already published two short-story collections as well as four poetry collections. His first murder mystery novel “The Stuffed Coffin” featuring Damien Drechsler and the dashing Greek student Nikos has been released on Jan. 6, 2019, and is available in English, French, and soon German. Dieter is also writing reviews for Gay Book Reviews under the pseudonym of ParisDude.

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