Cover Image: D (A Tale of Two Worlds)

D (A Tale of Two Worlds)

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Dhiklio notices something strange: the letter "D" has disappeared. One morning, everyone starts speaking strangely: door becomes oor; decide becomes ecie. No one else seems to notice that "D" is gone; they act like it is completely normal to drop the "d" from words. Then actual things that begin with "d" disappear, from dogs to donkeys. 

Meanwhile, an old professor from Dhiklio's school, Mr. Dodderfield, passes away, and Dhiklio decides to attend his funeral. When she sees some strange people there, she investigates. When she ends up at his home, she finds him there, alive, and with a strange companion which changes from a dog to a sphinx. Dodderfield and his companion, Nelly, tell Dhiklio where the "d's" are disappearing to, and how she can help by going on a quest with Nelly.

Dhiklio and Nelly travel through an attic door to the land of Liminus, where they encounter strange creatures, and try to save the "d" from the evil ruler, the Gamp.

While this book is listed as adult fiction, it would be completely appropriate for younger readers. It reminds me of Narnia and Wonderland and other imaginative worlds. The story is simple, but enjoyable. This is not a heavy read at all, which is nice in a time when it seems every news story is depressing!

Thanks to Netgalley for this advance copy!
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(3.5 stars, rounded up)

Dhikilo notices something is odd when her parents cannot say the letter "D" in conversation. On her way to school, she notices signs and newspapers are missing the letter as well.

Dhikilo is called Dickie by her friends and tells them to stop calling her Icky. Her English teacher corrects her essay by crossing out all of the Ds, including the one in her name. Soon after, things that start with the letter d begin disappearing -- drums, daffodils, donkeys, dogs... Even the local dentist's office.

Dhikilo attends her former history teacher's funeral and realizes that something is not right. She follows a dog that is not a dog, but a sphinx. Her curiosity leads to entry into another world called Liminus, which is occupied by dwarves and witches.

This novel is categorized as adult fantasy but is a good story for YA and middle grade readers who enjoy a magical tale. Fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit will enjoy Dhikilo's adventure.
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One morning, Dhikilo wakes up and discovers that the letter “D” has disappeared from the language. Her parents, teachers, and classmates no longer use the letter when they speak. The letter has also disappeared from print; it is gone from signs, books, and everyday objects. Eventually, many of the objects themselves disappear. There are no more dogs, dentists, or dolls. Dhikilo receives a request from her old history teacher, Professor Dodderfield. He wants her to pay him, and his Labrador, Mrs. Robinson, a visit. When she arrives at his house, he sends her on a dangerous mission to save the letter D. Professor Dodderfield’s home is the portal to the snowy other world of Liminus.

Liminus is controlled by an otherworldly dictator, Gamp, and a variety of other fantastic creatures. Dhikilo meets these creatures and deals with the challenges they pose…but will she be able to save the letter D?

D (A Tale of Two Worlds) seems to be written on different levels. On one hand, it seems to be saying how important it is to question government and conventional norms. The book encourages readers to be freethinkers and to question common wisdom. Things shouldn’t exist just because they have always “been that way”. On the other hand, this seems to be a children’s fantasy story reminiscent of Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. D (A Tale of Two Worlds) is a long, slow read at 304 pages.

This book will have fans, especially in readers who admire Michael Faber’s other work, but it seems most suited to upper elementary or middle school students. This book is recommended as an optional purchase for school and public libraries.
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This is a really great middle-year through to young adult fantasy story - or for those young at heart! There are echoes of C.S. Lewis's Narnia and traditional adventures of finding oneself and one's own power. Dhiliko is a very likable girl who doesn't really fit into her life - she is adopted, no one ever knows where her country is, and she has no idea of her roots. When the 'D's disappear from the language, and no one seems to notice or care, except her, she visits a retired teacher of hers to seek advice. Here, she finds the entrance to another world and an adventure to save her own! The world and its people are beautifully drawn. I would have loved to have more of a link to Dhiliko's feelings of not belonging and a more hard-hitting ending that would lead to more happiness, not to mention know more about the Professor himself and his dog, but that in itself would probably double the length of the book! While this is not a series, I can only hope that in future books, there may be more to come!
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This story was difficult for me to get into. Formatting issues aside, this story was very confusing. I couldn't figure out who was telling this story, or why this story was being told. It jumped around WAY too often for me to keep track of what was going on, and there were so many people mentioned so briefly, I couldn't figure out why they were even there in the first place.
I got about 5% of the way in the story before I decided I needed to move on and read something else.
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Although written for a young teen audience, this fantasy may be interesting to some adults as well, particularly in these political times.  The main character is a girl in her early teens from Somaliland, who has been adopted by an English couple. When the letter D disappears, she is very annoyed and can't understand why this has been allowed to happen. (if you think the letter D doesn't really matter, you'll notice how very irritating it is to read text without it)  Feeling like a misfit, she seeks out a retired teacher who has understood her, and she becomes his emissary to another world in order to bring back the letter D and all of its objects.  Read as an adventure story, this book has plenty of action with magical creatures both friendly and dangerous.  When read as a parable about good vs evil, the story resonates, particularly in these political times.  The  resolution is a happy one, a much needed bit of cheer and optimism these days.
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If you've read one Michel Fabre novel, you've read, well, one Michel Faber novel. That is to say, they are each wonderful in their own ways, and on the surface there doesn't seem to be much to connect them., What they all have in common, however, is fabulous writing, anchored by a deep know.edge of the classics, and an obvious love of them, too. 

D: A Tale of Two Worlds is the story of Dhikilo, a British schoolgirl who was adopted as a baby, from parents who came from Somaliland. (Not Somalia. They're not the same.) While Dhikilo has a nice life, and nice adoptive parents, there is no getting around the fact that she's different from most of the people around her - schoolgirls, teachers, and townspeople alike. Faber does a nice job establishing the minor physical difference between Dhikilo and most of  the rest of her community without belaboring the point and without casting anyone as overtly racist and nasty about it. Dhikilo looks different from what people expect, and on occasion she is treated slightly differently because of it. Mainly the difference that separates her from others is the fact that she's adopted. The fact that she doesn't know the people who bore her and their family backgrounds and stories compounds the differences and makes her feel a bit separate from others, even her friends. Faber is also paying a bit of tribute to Charles Dickens with the book and there's more than a dash of David Copperfield and Oliver Twist in Dhikilo (Bleak House finally lives up to its name and Is turned into a horrible hotel here, too.)

Like those intrepid orphans, Dhikilo also goes on a quest. One morning at breakfast, Dhikilo réalisés that her parents are dropping all the "d"s out of words, as her mother reads a newspaper article to her father: "GOOBYE CARS, HELLO SKATEBOARS." As the day goes on, it becomes very obvious that d's are disappearing all over the place, and Dhikilo is the only person who can still use them. Eventually, she makes her way to her former history professor's house, and in shades of C.S.Lewis' tales of Narnia, sends her and a companion through a door into another land, where they must find out what has happened to all those d's. This liminal land seems to run largely on the absurdist principles of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, and the frustrations and obstacles that the girl and her ally encounter will spark a frisson of familiarity with anyone who's read of Alice's adventures. 

Suffice it to say that Dhikilo and her companion, Mrs. Robinson, meet many obstacles, from belligerent people and buildings that try to trap them, to bureaucracy and populist authoritarian tyrants, and overcome them with intelligence, wit, and occasional derring-do. The ending was splendid, well-earned, and hopeful. These days, I'll take all the hope I can get. Recommended.
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D (A Tale of Two Worlds) takes us on an adventure with Dhilko to find out why the letter D is missing from the alphabet.  Nobody seems to notice or care except for Dhilko and a former beloved professor from her school. She must travel to the other world and find what is happening to the D and hopefully save it from disappearing for good. This book was all over the place and I could not figure out really who the intended audience is. I honestly felt it should be geared towards 10-13 year olds rather than the adult audience. At first it seemed like the narrator wanted to draw the reader in similar to Lemony Snickett by talking to the reader, but then that stopped as quickly as it began.  Then Dhilko finds out her beloved professor passed away and a funeral is scheduled,  she gets permisson to attend and ends up going to his home after the funeral and discovers he is still alive, never explaining why he had faked his own death or why he cannot go outside,  his companion is a Sphinx who he sends with Dhilko along her adventure. There was no real rhyme or reason of why they go on this journey, they meet a bunch of different creatures that I guess are there as fillers to add to the story and different obstacles for them to face but the characters were all flat and pointless to find out the main reason of where the D's went. Finally when Dhilko arrives to the main city where the evil leader lives who is stealing the D, there is no confrontation,  no reason why he is stealing the D's other than to use as fuel, but why the D? His character is revealed and gone within a chapter, no point. No real fight. Dhilko makes her journey back home and that is it, no climax, no finality really.  There is also a part when Dhilko has arrived to the city and is detained by the horrible police and they insult the color of her skin and her hair, she is described as coming from a land that nobody as heard of, Somaliland (not to be confused with Somalia) and described as dark skinned and has hair that she needs to use a pick for, they also call her a little monkey, which upsets her but she doesn't really say anything, this really bothered me, there was no point to this other than adding filler and to show how horrible and in a way racist this city is.  I found this story to be lacking in a really cohesive way, there was a somewhat promising beginning but a drawn out middle and a flat ending.  Thank you #NetGalley and #Harlequin for the advanced copy of this book
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A cross between A Tale of Two Cities and Narnia, this unusual tale begins with Dhikilo attending her old history teacher's funeral and the disappearance that day of the letter "D".  She has been tasked with traveling to the mystical world of Liminus along with the teacher's labrador who is really a sphinx and stopping the evil tyrant Gamp from stealing any more letters.  As soon as the journey begins we are introduced to a parade of new creatures, some who welcome the girl and her og and some who attack them.  It is a story full of magic, morals and mystery and you will become immersed in this new world quickly.  This book is one of those that is hard to classify as a kid's book, adult fairy tale or family read.  I was left with some questions as to how the two worlds were connected and why no one else seemed to notice or care about the missing "D" from speech and signage but it did not hamper my enjoyment.  My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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This book started out really catching my attention. A great idea with the alternate world and the author’s descriptions were very good, but there were too many characters in the second half of the book and the story got way too drawn out. I really wanted to like this and I was disappointed because of the length. 
The worst part was the ending. The adventure should have been shortened and the ending more fully developed.
Too bad. I really liked Dhikilo. Sh deserved a  better conclusion.
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