Nota Bene: Irene gave me a free copy of the trilogy in exchange for an honest review.
Now I really didn’t know what to expect with this trilogy, as I am not a big sci-fi reader. My knowledge of sci-fi goes as far as the writing of Stephen King or Suzanne Collins. So not very far. As with most novels, Helenowski sticks to the generalisation of villain, hero/heroine, and dimension travel. Wait, what? Okay, so maybe dimension travel isn’t so general and isn’t found in many novels, but it should definitely be something that is explored more often!
The first novel in the series, Order of the Dimensions, is an introduction to the idea of dimension travel and to the main characters, namely Jane and Dr. Anton Zelov. Jane, with the help of some other very clever people, has created a machine, the Multiverser, that allows travel between various dimensions of the same world. However, Dr. Anton Zelov has become power-hungry and, due to his rather unhealthy obsession with Jane, wants complete control of all the dimensions, allowing him to move people around when he wants them gone. Anton wants to find his ‘perfect’, utopian-sequel dimension in which Jane is his wife. The novel follows Jane and her attempts to stop Anton from controlling her, wishing to find peace and her own perfect dimension in which Jane and her husband Randy can be happy. However, Jane appears to be fighting a losing battle. The first novel, without giving away the ending, appears to be happy, however Anton returns in the second novel more determined than ever to win Jane over. This second novel is more from the perspective of Randy which I found really interesting and unexpected! The third and final novel steps everything up a notch; whereas previously, Anton was only out to get Jane, he now has complete control and sends criminals and other such people to a “null space”, similar to a black hole where they stay for eternity. Will Jane ever be able to defeat him?
I thought the story and the plot were completely original ideas, however the execution could have been a lot better. There are a multitude of writing errors, including syntax problems, such as: “they claimed my parents would be safe, but in a world where I was never conceived, where they never would know me.” Perhaps it should be “was not conceived” and “where they would not know me”. There are also grammatical errors that would only take a couple of days to fix. As an aspiring editor, I would love to make all these changes for Irene! I think at one point, Hor D’Ouerves was spelt “Hor’ Dourves”.
At first I found the plot slightly confusing. Jane is a physicist, and so she did not need to be told how the Multiverser works. All her friends and co-workers were also physicists. The reader needed to be told in some way, through the narrative, about the science behind the machine and what it did. This meant that the reader does not fully grasp the idea of the machine, because it is never explained to us by Jane. Another way in which the narrative could be improved, is by using more dialogue to explain things. Helenowski often starts sentences with “In this dimension…” While this is good for the reader, as it explains who is who in the new world, it makes the narrative run not quite as smoothly as it could. Another example comes from the second novel “Revised Orders”, when the narrator says “He [Anton] had become freed from the black dimension.” The narrator knows this because Anton is stood right in front of her, however perhaps it would have been better to have Anton tell us in some form of dialogue or narration change.
Overall, I really liked the uniqueness of the plot, and I was very impressed with the ending of the whole trilogy. There were a lot of grammar and spelling errors that could have been untangled before the books were published, but apart from that, a really enjoyable read.
Overall rating – 3/5
Buy the series now! Available on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Order-Dimensions-Irene-Helenowski/dp/1105654443
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Next review: the Turn of the Screw, by Henry James