Return To White Catcliff

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

A fascinating and unusual novel of life; the struggle for companionship and the troubles facing the world today. Fantasy, friendship and faith in the future theme this story about a young man and his dog who witness a grocery store theft and get caught in the cross-fire.
They wake up in a strong new world where animals can talk and function as equals and where Nick and BD are made to feel at home.
Although, never far from Nick’s thoughts, the reasons for them being there go unspoken as they get down to forging a new home in this strange but welcoming environment.
Nick has always been troubled by recurring dreams and as he starts to find his way around White Catcliff and makes new friends it seems that he may have been here before.
In the realm of fantasy and dimensional travel nothing can be discounted but nothing is revealed in these early days. Other that a feeling that the future holds some important task for him. Has he been chosen or spared for this special role?
Later he says. “I understand the past because it’s my present, and the present is my future.”
I love this nonsense that can become a reality it books such a these. Where the author has to work so hard to maintain a timeline but ultimately all things are possible.
Inns Van Helm does an incredible job and her imagination and desire to tell a story or three carries the narrative. Wonderfully supported by the odd illustration by Leni Prouse to mark this out as a special book.
Never a dull moment here. The story is so different and compelling you can pick it up again with ease. A joy to read and a jumble of emotions stirred up in the process.
I was entertained immensely but it also prompted me to reflect on bigger issues quite independently or by author’s design.
I should also counter that this also seems to be the beginning of this tale no quite the end but hopefully the end of the beginning. I would welcome to learn more about Nick wherever he turns up next.
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I liked the atmosphere of this book: both charming and unsettling. To reveal anything about the plot would be a shame. Let us just say that it is more than it seems at first, and in good ways. I liked the resolution and the explanation for the core mystery (what is going on? Where/what is White Catcliff?) It might not pass scrutiny of the seasoned SF readers or scientists, but I don't see it as a problem. It was exciting and satisfying enough. 

The book is not without its flaws. Some things are too convenient and some characters flat. The first part is slow, although I didn't find that to be a problem. I enjoyed animal characters more than human ones, but this might be just me. A solid story: not without its flaws but charming enough.
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