Title: In Another Life
Author: Carys Jones
Published: May 13th 2016
Length: 316 pages
Source: eARC from author
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
Pans Labyrinth meets Once Upon A Time in this fantasy thriller from Carys Jones
Returning home one weekend Marie Schneider’s life changes forever when her car collides with a lorry on the motorway and she is left fighting for her life. Whilst in a coma, Marie awakens in the fantastical world of Azriel which appears to be right out of the pages of a Fairy Tale book. Here, Marie learns that she is their long lost Princess North, and that Azriel is where she truly belongs.
When Marie eventually wakes from her coma her thoughts of Azriel are still very present in her mind and she struggles to adjust to her ‘normal’ life. Everyone around her insists that Azriel is just a figment of her imagination but as she tries to recover from her wounds people start approaching her on the street, insisting that Azriel needs her and that she must return there at once.
Confused, Marie tries to discover which reality is the right one. Could she truly be a long lost princess from another world or is she just losing her mind? As the world of Azriel starts to creep in to her current life it gets harder for her to ignore that perhaps she really is Azriel’s Princess after all…
I was really intrigued by this book when the author first approached me about it. The idea of a girl caught between worlds really drew me in. While I didn’t fall in love with Jones’s other book, I still wanted to give this one a chance because there are elements to her writing that I really love.
Marie has a great life: loving parents, a wealthy fiancé, a great job in London. But when she falls into a coma after a collision with a lorry, she wakes in a magical world and is told that she is the princess of the land. It thrives with her presence and is filled with beauty. So when Marie wakes to find herself back in the real world, she can’t help trying to find her way back to the magical world of Azriel. But which world is actually reality? Is she really a princess of a beautiful realm, or is she simply losing her mind here in the real world?
Unfortunately for me, I have the same issues with this book as I did with Jones’ other book. The story feels like it’s in two parts and those parts are vastly disjointed from each other. While I enjoyed Marie’s journey, her utter belief in her royal blood, and the effects this had on not only herself but those around her, I couldn’t help but feel like the two sides didn’t mesh well. The ending in particular was a huge issue for me.
One of the best things about this story is that it’s not just Marie who is confused about the realities, the reader is too. I was constantly wondering if Azriel truly existed or if Marie was simply imagining the whole thing. The subtle hints here and there, the blatant way that no one around her sees anything untoward and immediately assumes she’s delusional because of the after-effects of her coma… it was a truly confusing thing to wade through and try to sift out what was really going on.
Now, the end. I could vaguely see this being built up to and I had hoped I was wrong. It seemed like too harsh a way to end the book. The tone for the most part, was quite light throughout and then it took a sharp dark turn. I wasn’t a fan.
Seeing the fallout of Marie’s decision was brutal as well. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel, despite the brief attempt at the very end. It left me feeling… well, numb to be honest. I had been enjoying the book mostly but the ending kind of ruined it for me.
I didn’t wholly hate this book, I didn’t entirely love it. It’s one of those books that falls in the middle.
About the Author
Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband and her adored canine companion, Rollo.
When she’s not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science- fiction films or playing video games.
She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.
To Carys, there is no greater feeling then when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.
*Picture and Biography from Goodreads