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Book reviews by Dominic Stevenson

Book Review

Exit Darkness Enter Light: Book One of the Earth Cycle, by Kion Ahadi and Who is Tom Ditto? By Danny Wallace

Exit Darkness Enter Light: Book One of the Earth Cycle, by Kion Ahadi, follows the journey of Cyrus Zade, a young man who appears to have the world at his feet, as he is forced on a journey of self-discovery in the bowels of the earth beneath the island of Malta.

The opening chapters of the book felt rushed as the author tried to launch the reader headlong into the action. Because of this I had to learn to engage with, and feel for, the characters on the go rather than having an opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat. This meant further on in the book that when their families were introduced I felt disconnected from them and couldn’t really invest my energies in caring for their wellbeing.

The transformation of Cyrus to the light, from the darkness he lived in for many millennia, is a good narrative for this tale, but again it all comes too quickly. I wanted the story, the enemies, the history of it all to have to be teased out as I went along – I wanted it all to be shown to me, not to be told. His partner Nadia seems just too perfect for him, and her own journey seems contrived to fit Cyrus rather than her being the strong and independent woman that she obviously is.

It was perfectly enjoyable, and at times this novel was a real gripping page turner. As this is one novel in a series, I have every optimism that as the pace slows and we delve deeper into the story, that the audience will have a real enthusiasm for Cyrus and Nadia and be backing them to the hilt as they fight to be able to live the life the deserve.

Who is Tom Ditto? is the most recent novel for adults from the man who started a cult of kindness, said yes to everything, and cameoed in the film of his own book alongside Jim Carey, Danny Wallace.

Danny Wallace is better known for his autobiographical work, but in this fiction Danny writes like you’re his only reader. Who Is Tom Ditto? covers such a breadth of topics, from love and loss to career insecurity, that there is something for everyone to relate to. The story follows protagonist Tom as he navigates a world that is quietly removing any sense of control that he has.

As the story goes forward you feel yourself descending into the same madness, sadness, and chaos as Tom as he searches for his girlfriend Haley.

As with all good fiction, there are chance encounters and plot twists, but what Danny does well is to keep you on your toes by making every detail of the book relevant, and forcing you to keep observing throughout. And something important to me, as I don’t cope well with a cliff hanger, there are no loose ends in this book. It’s infinitely satisfying, if not for the gripping story, but for that alone.

The author knows his readership, and he serves them well with Who is Tom Ditto?. Danny has done in this book, what many fail to do, he has written an excerpt of real life.

Dominic Stevenson
About Dominic Stevenson (19 Articles)
Writer, Humanist and creative educationalist