[Ad – gifted. I was gifted a copy of The Fandom Rising for review by the people at Chicken House. Despite this, all thoughts and opinions are my own.]
A double feature, a first for my blog but one which I am really excited to talk about here on my blog. Back at the start of 2018 – when I become hideously ill with everything under the sky (seriously, I got normal flu, Aussie flu, tonsillitis, laryngitis and a really bad flare-up of TMD) -, the wonderful Anna Day was releasing her debut novel The Fandom. Despite having bought this book when it came out, unfortunately, due to deciding to read it in my ill-daze I wasn’t really able to retain anything about it but there was one thing I was sure off. The writing is good and I knew that I would always come back to it and read it once more when I was a lot better.
Fast forward now to 2019 and I got a lovely message asking if I would like to receive a copy of the sequel in exchange for an honest review on my blog and here we are. Before I dove into The Fandom Rising, I had to pick up The Fandom for a quick reread and all I have to say is that it certainly was a quick reread. I read it in a single sitting and in less than 4 hours so it is safe to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it! In fact, while reading I was challenged to a scabble match by my mother and refused to put the book down while we played – queue Mum getting very annoyed when it took me a bit too long to extract myself from the page and figure out a new word to play on the board. Anyway, onto the reviews!
Oh and there may be spoilers with my review of The Fandom Rising, so if you still haven’t read it then maybe skip the second half of this post!
The Fandom By Anna Day
Format: Paperback, 402 pages.
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: 4th January 2018
Violet’s in her element. Cosplay at the ready, she can’t wait to feel part of her favourite fandom: The Gallows Dance, a mega book and movie franchise that she and her friends know EVERY WORD of (canon and fanfic included). But at Comic-Con, a freak accident transports Violet and her friends into the story for real. And in just the first five minutes, they cause the death of the heroine and get taken prisoner by the rebel group she was supposed to lead to victory.
It’s up to Violet to take her place and play out the plot the way it was written. But stories have a life of their own, and when you change the script in one place, the rest gets revised too…
Imagine being thrown into a fictional novel which you are obsessed with… then imagine accidentally killing off that novels protagonist and you have to take their place to complete the story and get to go back home. Perhaps it’s exciting, to begin with until that is, it gets very dangerous and unlike Dorothy, you aren’t able to click your heels together and wish yourself back home.
When describing the Fandom the first word that comes to mind is addictive. Anna has one of those wonderful writing styles which means you are able to slip into the world she had created, albeit you are able to get out and put the book down unlike Violet, Alice, Katie and Nate. At first, I felt a little confused as unlike Violet and the gang the world of The Gallows Dance is an unfamiliar one – but one which is very intriguing.
The mix of fictional characters and Violet and her friends was an interesting one. In the beginning, they use their knowledge of the world and events to their advantage but there is still the occasional slip-up fangirl/fanboy moments. However, soon this changes with their being many different twists and turns occurring, I swear as I kept reading I was having heart palpitations for these characters because let me just say they go through a lot!
Overall, I really enjoyed my first foray into the world of the Fandom and meet Violet, Nate, Alice and Katie. For me, though I have to say I felt very much the same for the characters all except Alice who I found to be perhaps a bit too self-centred and annoying for my liking. If you like dystopia then this is certainly a book for you!
The Fandom Rising By Anna Day*
Format: Paperback, 278 pages.
Publisher: Chicken House.
Release Date: 2nd May 2019
Nate’s time is running out. Violet and Katie re-enter the Gallows Dance to rescue him, but when a rogue fanfiction writer emerges online – determined to put the dys back into dystopia – Alice is the only one with the power to save the story …
Perhaps I should just put SPOILER WARNING here and for the rest of this part of the review because OH MY GOSH! I thought I was having heart palpitations before but I was so wrong because despite The Fandom Rising being distinctly shorter than it’s predecessor there is still so much going on!
Katie, Alice and Violet all have gotten out of The Gallows Dance but Nate is still gone. Having the revelation that in order to save Nate the girls have to reenter the world they thought they had left behind. Honestly, I loved this twist and even more so when Alice got left behind and as a result, a dual narrative formed! If you know me, you will know that I love dual narratives in books and the differing perspectives that we are able to see. This especially surprised me for this instalment of The Fandom because as a result of this I had a dramatic 180 on my opinion of Alice. By the time the book came to a close Alice had become my favourite character by far and it was lovely to see how much she had grown from her ‘bratty’ self in the first novel.
But gosh there was just so much happening and still, at times I felt like I was losing my footing in an attempt to understand the world of The Gallows Dance which is immense, to say the least. However, nothing upset me more than the demise of Katie and because of this, I felt a little bitter. Bitter to the fact they came to save Nate and as a result, Katie died which made me furious because I loved Katie too! I feel really torn because part of me wants another book to be about how they bring Katie back and the other likes this tragic scenario which doesn’t often occur within young-adult fiction!
Despite my bitterness to a certain event, The Fandom Rising is a brilliant piece of work and in all honesty, I think I enjoyed it more than the first in the series. Honestly, I cannot wait for more by Anna who is a fantastic writer by all accounts!
Have you read The Fandom or The Fandom Rising? What did you think of them? Who was your favourite character?