Restoration is the second part of the duology that began with the quite brilliant The World House, written by Guy Adams.
None who enter the World House leave it unchanged. The purpose behind the reality bending dimension has finally become clear but in the same way that you can't observe an event without effecting it's outcome, this knowledge has come at a price. The infinitely evil being known only as "the stranger" has been let loose into the real world and unless recaptured could spell the end of everything.
The World House novel was an incredible work of fiction, I was lucky enough to review it way back in February 2010 and found it utterly compelling - so much so that it became Book of the Month. Since then I have been very eager to continue the journey of the unlikely hero's (my personal favorite being Carruthers, the intrepid Victorian explorer extraordinaire) and I am happy to say that Restoration doesn't dissapoint.
Picking up right where the first book ended, much of the story takes place outside of the house with lots of time travel and continent jumping which ties in with a number of events from the World House and replays some from a different perspective. I would seriously recommend reading these books in order as otherwise you will miss out on a lot of whats going on in Restoration.
I just love the convoluted time travelling escapades and the strange separate identities of Alan / Ashe / Chester, which are explained in more detail along with the characters purpose (simply brilliant idea by the way). The way that the house interacts with our own reality is also one of the highlights, but the sinister presence of "the stranger" has to be the star of the show, the creepiness and general evil nature is somehow reinforced by his mundane appearance, the casual violence and the very "toybox" view of the world - it feels almost like looking into the mind of a (not very nice) god.
The book is very fast paced and wastes little time in moving the quite twisted story forward whiled the quality of the prose is beyond reproach. Adams has such a friendly and easy reading style that really lifts the text off the page and keeps the reader stuck to the pages better than a bottle of super glue.
As far as the actual story goes its full to the brim of twists and turns, action and adventure with a high body count and a general dark feeling which is alleviated in places with some nice humour (Carruthers experiencing modern America being very amusing but slightly underplayed).
There are some real genius ideas here, Sally's role is just perfect and as mentioned above the whole concept of Alan's life being used to further the goals of the house / Stranger is just brilliant while the powerful ending is completely surprising.
Restoration is an incredible conclusion to an astounding duology with smart dialog and wonderfully rich characters, a truly mind bending experience.
Written on 04 June 2011 by Antony Jones.
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