Crossing Over by Anna Kendall

The land of the dead is a dangerous place to be…
…and so is the land of the living.

So this is one of the books I greedily grabbed (heh that rhymes) at the Orion Indigo Evening It was originally published last year through Gollancz but is being re-released as a YA novel via the Indigo imprint.

The story is narrated in the first person by Roger who has the somewhat dubious talent of being able to cross over into the Land of the Dead, but only by causing himself pain. This talent is exploited by his utter bastard of an uncle who finds the easiest way to send him over is by administering severe beatings.

So when Roger has the chance of a new life in the royal court, it seems a gift… until he falls in love with the bewitching wilful Lady Cecilia. And in this courtly world he has no idea what he is letting himself in for. With every move to win Cecilia he is drawn deeper into political intrigue and war.

Trapped ina web of secrecy, Roger is torn between his own safety and that of his friends. He can save them, but only if he can bring himself to perform a deed so unthinkable that the living and the dead shrink from it alike…

Crossing Over is an entertaining, if slightly flawed novel the concepts are brilliant but the execution was clumsy in parts. Admittedly as a teenage boy Roger would be overly concerned about his erections – but they kept popping up (slight pun intended) and ruining the flow of the story. A number of things were not explained and sometimes things just happened for the sake of the plot – Roger falling in lust love with Cecilia and following her into the forbidding land of Soulvine Moor – ok this was actually believable especially when teens and rampant hormones are involved, but Maggie mooning after Roger and following him after only meeting him a few times? I don’t know…

On the whole there were more hits than misses with Crossing Over.

I am hoping that the sequel Dark Mist Rising will elaborate on some of the concepts that were introduced in this book.

Go on pick it up – it is a good read!

I will pass it on to some of the teen fantasy fans I know to see what they think.

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