The Other Side of Magik
Author: Michael Lingaard
Length: 411 pages
***THIS BOOK WAS RECEIVED FROM THE AUTHOR***
The “fish out of water” plot device is not new by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, it’s an interesting way to provide exposition in a fantasy world when an individual from our world comes to visit, but often the differences aren’t fully considered. Of course, there are good examples of this form of storytelling. From Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court to Marvel’s Thor (2011), both directions of the “world swap” transaction can provide entertainment. Unfortunately, The Other Side of Magik tries to have its cake and eat it too.
If The Other Side of Magik had merely focused on the adventures of a single teenage boy unknowingly thrust into a parallel dimension, it could have made sense. Instead, while the majority of the story was in the “magik” realm (of which I still don’t like that spelling), occasionally it would swap back over to our world and give the reader a short break to see how the “magik” teenage boy was faring in modern-day England. At times, this flip-flop was quite confusing, even to the point where the author himself swapped the names of these two characters mid-paragraph.
There were some formatting decisions that I found distracting in this book as well. The bolded text was a good way to convey powerful magik, but often it was confusing if it was the antagonist or the protagonist speaking through it. Furthermore, the punctuation needed quite a bit of work. I would have accepted that a “mirrored” world to our own would have single quotation marks for dialogue and double quotes for quotes within that dialogue, but it maintained itself throughout the book. Occasional proofreading errors also gave me pause, as I wondered if they were intentional to the “mirrored” dimension.
A tried-and-true plot that tried to do too much, I give The Other Side of Magik 2.5 stars out of 5.