Forest of the Mist: Travelers

Young Adult

TIME TRAVEL/FANTASY:  In this story the souls of comatose patients ‘travel’ to one of two places: if heaven-bound, to a place called Paradise Valley; if evil exists in their souls, they go to the Dark Lands. Paradise Valley is a bright and colorful place with kind hosts, while the Dark Lands are absent of all light and ruled by cruel tyrants. The travelers remain until they wake from their comas or die, and move on to heaven or hell. Seventeen year-old accident victim, Lily/Lillith, travels to the Valley, leaving her boyfriend behind. She falls in love with Texas rich boy Connor, whose bad-boy twin brother resides in the Dark Lands. Connor devises a plan to insure they retain their memories of the Valley and each other when they wake from their comas.

Although “Travelers” has a promising premise, the story is laden with head-hopping points of view and coincidences that discredit believability. There were noticeable discrepancies, i.e. how someone’s hair and eye color can be described in a land devoid of all light. The “coupling” of people, (or maybe it’s just their souls?) in Paradise Valley, with benefits such as marriage, sex, and even childbirth, was a little out there for a place supposed to be the last stop before heaven. Unexplained occurrences run rampant back in the real world, where comatose patients in hospital beds undergo the same transformations they do in Paradise Valley, such as tattoos, scarring, and swelling abdomens. It does keep one reading, and with the help of an experienced editor, this could be an entertaining series.

Lori Leger