Screamcatcher: Web World by Christy J. Breedlove takes the readers into a world devoid of colors and packed with dangerous creatures. The story begins with Jory, the protagonist, struggling with the horrid nightmares that would not let her sleep. Ever since she lost her parents in a car accident, she hadn’t gotten a decent sleep. The lack of sleep, however, was not the only problem she was trying to tackle; no matter what she did, Choice Daniels would not stop following her around. She ignored him all the time, and yet he was always finding ways to be around her. He even bought her an expensive dream catcher to rid her of the nightmares that would not stop bothering her. He did not know at the time that the same dream catcher would throw them all into a hellish world devoid of happiness.
When Jory, Darcy (Jory’s friend), Lander (Darcy’s boyfriend), Choice, woke up after a fun sleepover at Jory’s place, they found their world had turned into a black & white place. Soon they realized that colors were least of their worries as every other person around them was out to kill them. As if being chased around by these humans weren’t enough, many ancient creatures were hellbent on killing Jory and her friends.
The plot moves at a normal pace with lots of surprises. Although the action is the primary ingredient of Screamcather: Web World, romance is sprinkled to keep the plot from becoming monotonous. Regardless of the size or hype of the opponent, the author has executed the characters’ fight for survival with an unbiased perfection. If their encounters with legendary creatures like shapeshifters and thunderbirds were fascinating, their struggle with huge insects and bats was equally chilling. Amidst such dire atrocities of this nightmare world, the subtle romance of Choice and Jory felt like a much-required getaway for a few minutes.
Screamcatcher: Web World is a YA portal fantasy that has many strong elements working in its favor. Christy J. Breedlove, the author, has remarkable attention to detail. When the world turns black & white and the characters are bleeding, the author doesn’t fail to mention that the blood appeared like a dark smear. Introducing ancient creatures from Indian culture not only empowered the plot but also added cultural knowledge. The role of Jory’s grandfather was small, but it was far from an insignificant one. His frustration with Jory not paying enough attention to her cultural heritage resonates with the frequently heard comments from older generations.
The author’s excellent efforts in creating genuine characters is visible in the way they interact and think. Darcy is sixteen years old; whereas, her boyfriend, Lander, is eighteen years old. This age difference along with Lander’s attitude does not sit well with Jory. Being older than Darcy, she does not shy away from sharing her insight from Darcy. Needless to say, Darcy discards her opinion as she is “in love.” Doesn’t it remind you of one of many real life conversations? Choice is crazy about Jory, which is not a hidden fact. His actions have made it quite obvious, but Jory does not even consider him a prospect. She is attracted towards the silent macho kind — or at least she think she is. This is definitely another relatable aspect.
The edge-gripping story of survival of Jory and her friends, Screamcatcher: Web World by Christy J. Breedlove has all the ingredients of a bestseller. The flawless storytelling, action, adventure, twists, drama, and a little bit of romance all add up to create an entertaining YA portal fiction. I would recommend this book to the readers who enjoy reading tales of survival in an alternate universe.
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