Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Boy Who Walked Too Far’ by Dom Watson organised by Storytellers on Tour. I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE).
Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’
It’s the end of the universe, and everything has come undone. Entropy has won the war, but one last battle rages in the half-ruined city of Testament.
No one knows who created this last outpost and peopled it with billions of species. However, it is here, under a sky with no stars, that the last remnants of life in the universe live, love, and pray to their many gods. It is here where Godrich Felstrom dies.
Most residents of Testament care little for the affairs of a single, fragile human, but the event brings back bad memories for Heironymous Xindii.
It has been many years since the dreamurlurgy professor discovered his true potential and doomed four people in the process. Now, he lectures to bored students who dream of the many pleasures Testament has to offer. Xindii, on the other hand, becomes obsessed with the mysterious Godrich and his missing soul. As he and his valiant companion, the Neanderthal Solomon Doomfinger, look back at Felstrom’s last steps, they discover the shocking truth about Felstrom’s death, his destiny, and the future of Testament and all those angels, demons, liars, and dreamers who call it home.
This was a challenging review to write, not because I didn’t love the book – because I did – but because The Boy Who Walked Too Far is a book like no other. This is a book that has looked at the rulebook and laughed as it gleefully threw it out of the bathroom window, which has resulted in a book that refuses to be limited by rules or any form of constraint. It is new, quirky to the extreme, perplexing in places and utterly captivating.
This is a book that demands your attention and your focus because if it’s weird and wonderful, it can, might and will be somewhere in this book, and if you blink, it feels like you can be lost somewhere between dream and reality. It’s not hard to be caught up in this weird story though, and in the fascinating world of Testament which is an intricate melting pot of races on the brink of an ending universe, both sanctuary and cemetery for all that remains beyond Entropy. I liked that this ending place wasn’t a Utopia in any sense of the word, because it makes sense that those still clawing to survival in this world, will make for a dark, often savage world, and I will say that this certainly is not a book for the fainthearted. It is brutal, horrifying in places and touches on many sensitive topics as it explores a universe in its death throes, and life turned savage in an attempt to exist a little longer. However, while it can be a difficult read in places, it felt entirely fitting for the world that Watson had created.
The worldbuilding beyond Testament was equally fascinating and innovative. I particularly enjoyed the idea behind Dreamurlurgy, which allows things to be created and moulded from the subconscious and brought into reality, but there were so many concepts and ideas in this, adding to the melting pot feel of this world at the end of the universe. I liked how Watson has taken science and magic and faith, and smelted it all together into something new, continuing to break those rules and boundaries, and in such a way that works and creates a truly memorable book.
In terms of characters, Xindii and Doomfinger make for a commanding central duo as they are called upon to solve the mystery at the centre of this story, they are well-written, magnetic, and are the perfect guides for the unfolding story; and personally, I enjoyed the exploration of Xindii’s past although it was dark. The supporting cast is not left behind though, well-characterised and just as pivotal to the narrative, although be warned that this world is not kind to the female characters, and it would have been nice to see that as one of the things that was thrown out of the window.
This book won’t be for everyone, and I would say that it’s not an easy read – it’s brutal, it’s perplexing – but it is a fantastically weird book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to seeing what will happen next in the Xindii chronicles.
About the Author:
Dom Watson lives, writes, and dreams in Suffolk, England. He enjoys life with his wife, daughter, and three cats. He also doesn’t mind the occasional glass of Merlot.
The Boy Who Walked to Far (The Xindii Chronicles #1) – Dom Watson – **** (4/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.