In Church’s (The Early Scrolls, 2016, etc.) paranormal romance, a musician’s unusual visions lead him to a parallel dimension where he encounters a woman who may hold the key to his fate.
At 29, Dane Bainbridge, the successful lead singer and songwriter of the band Dark Myst, lives a life that many musicians would envy. Because he’s an avid reader with a fondness for history, he decides to visit a bookstore near his estate. There, he encounters an elderly woman who tells him that he’s actually the reincarnation of her brother, Lance Keagan, a Broadway star who disappeared on his 30th birthday, back in the early 1950s. For Dane, this is the latest in a string of uncanny encounters; since childhood, for example, he’s often caught glimpses of a beautiful woman beside him when he looks in the mirror. He also feels an affinity for a 17th-century knight named Kori Blackmore, who also disappeared at age 30. After an otherworldly encounter during a Dark Myst show, Dane returns to his estate only to face a new vision in his mirror that pulls him into a parallel world known as Mikaire. He finds himself trapped in a dungeon, and his only hope of escape lies with Meirah, a woman whose youthful love for Kori triggered a tragic cycle of death and rebirth. As their feelings for each other grow, Dane and Meirah must escape Mikaire before the cycle begins again. This first novel in Church’s Anachronistic Dimensions series offers an intriguing story and vivid characters and settings. The imaginative premise spans centuries as it tells the story of how Meirah fell in love with Kori and became fated to love and lose him again and again. Despite the book’s successes, though, the editing is uneven; for example, the name of one character is spelled three different ways on one page: “Caitlyn,” “Kaitlin,” and “Caitlin.” Still, Dane and Meirah are likable protagonists whose relationship forms the emotional core of the story, and Kori becomes a vital supporting player with a detailed back story of his own. Church’s descriptions give life and vitality to Mikaire, a dimension where time moves at a much slower pace and the blood of mortals sustains its ruler, Sakkana.
An intriguing start to a promising new series, although stronger editing might have made it an even more compelling read.