Book review: Endworlds by Nicholas Read

Note: My review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. I can no longer seem to find the publisher’s website, so unfortunately I can’t link to it.
Another note: This is actually a series, so “book 1.1” won’t get you the whole story.
Amazon blurb:

Billionaire industrialist Raef Eisman loses his daughter on an airliner in midair after flying through a strange electrical storm. With no body, no ransom and no explanation, he embarks on a crusade to find her . . . which sees him ousted from his company, stripped of his fortune and vilified by the world press. Only his faithful assistant, retired special forces colonel William Hills, stands at his side as they uncover primitive legends of ‘skypeople’ in the clouds, the trafficking of humans between dimensions, and a worldwide conspiracy of revisionist history that obscures our race’s true origin and purpose.Thought mad by his peers, Eisman inexplicably disappears as his vehicle plunges into the Thames. Instead of the 50-year old corporate raider emerging from the depths, a soggy 15-year old amnesiac rises in his place. A boy with no identity and no past.Dubbed “Eastwood” by those who find “the boy with no name”, he is conscripted by an underground army of teen refugees in the tunnels below Waterloo. Wards of an ancient organization intent on protecting the world from an increasing alien and inter-dimensional threat, these “Longcoats” induct Eastwood into a new life, with new allies and deadly enemies: the Fae’er of the First Age; the ageless Cassandrans; the shadowy Dae’mon; and a covert military junta known only as GRID – all on a collision course.

So…okay. This book has an interesting premise, that’s for sure. Raef’s disappearance early on was a little weird, especially considering an amnesiac teenage boy seemed to take his place. (Although that whole process was interesting, too.)
It took me a long time to read even a small part of this book. That in itself is usually not a good sign (well, for me, anyway; YMMV). I only got a quarter of the way through before I stopped reading.

I couldn’t find anything mechanically wrong with this book–the writing is okay, the premise is interesting, and it’s got an actual plot. So why didn’t I finish it? The short answer: I just couldn’t get into it.
The long answer: I felt that it took quite a long time to get the story going–and it was too long for me. Now, I understand that Raef Eisman’s grief and eventual possible madness is central to the plot; after all, there would be no Eastman if Raef hadn’t driven into the river. But at the same time, I felt that we spend too much time with Raef, which just slowed down the story for me.
Basically, I wanted to get to the action. And it took a while to get there. By the time we do get to the action, I’d lost interest and couldn’t really get invested in the story.
This is, of course, just my opinion. What didn’t work for me might work for you, so if the book interests you, I encourage you to give it a try. Download the Kindle sample and see how you like it. You might just love it.
Since I didn’t finish the book, I don’t feel I can give it a proper review.
Rating: DNF

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