Rating: **** 4 stars
We live in a world where vampires are the most coveted fantasy; Werewolves are an exotic delicacy to be had, Fairies as well as pixies are the center of innocent imaginaries, where animals talk and magic is smoke like clouds floating over the horizon. Simply put, we live in a world where fantasy is sought and kept.
Asher Tensei has sailed beyond all of that with his debut novel Mana. He creates a symbolic contrast between our world and the fantasy of others, where magic, myth and fantasies collide.
I am a true lover of Mystery, thriller, suspense as well as personal conflict and Asher nailed all of these elements in the heart of the story where the lead character Eurich Aurion finds himself torn between the present and his destiny.
One of the things I dislike about most books is how characters are introduced. Many of the main characters have no real substance; the smaller characters have no value. But in this book, Mana, we are introduced to Eurich’s lineage. His father’s past is outlined so beautifully. We follow the story of his power, how he was created, where it came from, how he wields it against his enemies. We follow Eurich’s foster parents and how they came to care for a boy with inevitable power that he can use to save the world. Asher describes his fantasy world in so much detail I would swear it were real. He gives the reader intense detail on the power this world inhabits. He describes history of this magic, the culture, the atmosphere as well as the dangerous animals that dwell there.
The catch I loved most was the conflict between earth and the world Asher created. What would Eurich decide? Where would this journey of finding his past and figuring out his future lead us? There was no stone left unturned. From the moment I began to read I felt in sync with the characters, I was able to follow the plot, I was able to imagine the goings on as if I were watching it on a Flat screen in my living room with a bowl of popcorn in my lap.
Mana is a great read. I found myself not wanting to put it down. I did find some of the chapters to be long; I wanted to get to the goods! But after careful consideration I realized that Asher wants his readers to know everything. You get so much of an in-depth look into each character and their circumstance you find that after you are finished you wouldn’t want to lose such valuable information.
Every writer has their own style. While I did feel like I just wanted to skip a page of two, that’s not something you can do with this book. It’s like a puzzle, every piece fits and if you do happen to skip a page you will definitely miss an important piece. Good Job Asher! Waiting on the next installment!