Series: The Labyrinthian Trilogy #1
“I felt as though I was at the bottom of a mountain, knowing I had to reach the top, but only a couple of footsteps into the journey.”
You know those escape room games where you can go and get locked in and have to find your way out by using different things in the room to solve riddles and puzzles? Well, that is basically the entire construct of this book. But that’s what made it fun and unique to me, I’ve never read anything like this before.
As a person who loves this sort of stuff (I’m a nerd, I admit it ;P) I was so surprised that someone would undertake trying to create such complex puzzles and then try to describe them through the characters eyes to the reader. The reader isn’t solving the puzzles, Kim and Nate are, but you still very much feel like you are a part of the plot and like you are trapped in the Labyrinth alongside her and Nate as they struggle to find Kim’s brother, Elliott. A couple of times I even felt myself getting anxious or upset when they couldn’t solve a puzzle fast enough and there was even a point my heart was beating so fast because I was so enthralled at what was going to happen next! The characters struggle against time, the limits of their own bodies and the real-but-not-present antagonist in Ezra Harland, feels so compelling and gripping that you want to help them and are so drawn into their story.
I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the author chose not to get bogged down in explaining the backstories of the characters too much ahead of time. It was nice to watch their inner lives unfold as Kim and Nate got to know each other through their struggles with the Labyrinth and their subtle romance developed in a very natural way, even considering the circumstances. At first I was worried that it would be awkward, but everything made sense as the story progressed and I liked that Nate and Kim were not your typical hunky guy meets attractive girl archetypes. She seemed shallow on the outside and he was more of a nerd, but as they got to know each other it was more important that they worked together and became a team.
I don’t know if the author is planning to have these characters be in the next installment, but I really hope she is because there is so much more I think I could enjoy reading about them. If not though I think that this book was a great stand-alone piece just as it is. With well developed and honest characters that pull at your emotions, to the interesting and complex nature of the puzzles within the rooms of the Labyrinth, this book was an exciting, unique and captivating read. I can’t wait to see what Armitage has in store for the next book!
*I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley from Patchwork Press in exchange for an honest review.*