Author: Levi Stack
Publication: 02 May, 2013
Rating: O for Outstanding
Copy: Paperback received by Levi Stack
Review: Imagine having the power of taking an ordinary object, something that we barely pay attention to, and making it the most interesting and mysterious piece you have ever seen. I’m not even talking about the story itself, I’m talking about the author. The power and talent this author holds to transform something as simple as playing cards and turn them into this peculiar power is beyond what anyone can expect from a debut author. The story is about two peasant boys, Viktor and Romulus, who live in the Russian Empire and come across secrets that they wouldn’t dare imagine. Featuring mysterious cards, Romani Gypsies and a dark forest, the novel sets itself up for a world that can only grow into something spectacular.
Starting with the world, I loved the universe that Levi Stack created. It played like a movie in my head as I read it. We all know how movies have color tones to match the mood of the scene. Some movies will be played in blue tones, others in brown, etc. etc. The thing with Stack’s world, is that it changed depending on the scenes. At times it was blue to match the mood of Viktor and where he lived. To show the fact that the people weren’t happy and neither was he, and that it was a cold world. Yet when he went to the Romani Gypsy camps, it was full of browns and greens and reds, like the Earth itself, to show how alive the people were. And towards the end of the novel, everything got dark and it was amazing!
The characters in the book are everything one could ask for, plus more. From the main characters who make real choices and show real emotions, to the supporting characters that feel like our very own enemies and friends, to everyone else who is only mentioned in passing. I do have to say that out of them all my favorites have to be the Romani Gypsies who remind me so much of my family. Colorful yet dark and mysterious, and they have this thing that brings light to the novel and yet doesn’t ruin the dark tones. Reading about them was like sitting in front of a fireplace with a nice mug of hot chocolate while the snow fell outside. It made me feel completely comfortable and at home and that’s what we want books to do.
In the beginning I was a curious to find out how a playing card could ever make a story so interesting and make me keep reading. But, as I read, I began to grow more and more intrigued with the idea that this normal object held so many secrets and so much power, that I wanted to get to the end just to discover what was going on. And once I finally learned the bits that are revealed, I wanted more. Sadly though, the book was done and I was forced to wait for the sequel.
Levi Stack is a storyteller at heart, forming his words into sentences that pull you along and don’t release you until he says so. One can call this an evil villains plan, but I call this an amazing author. He’s an author that we have to keep an eye out for the amazing things that are to come. He got me hooked with his first book, and I’m “patiently” waiting for everything else he’s going to release.