Book Review 149 // Verntropa by E L Clarke

When we dream, where do we go? 

It’s time for my first real #bookreview #ad. I recently joined @lovebookstours #booktour and received my first #gifted book in exchange for an honest review. Hopefully, I will be able to use this new resource to broaden my reading and discover new reads and authors to watch out for. Let me know if you are interested in doing this well and I will tell you how. Enjoy.

Title: Verntropa (The Balance) Part 1.
Author: E L Clarke
Format: Gifted Kindle
Page Count: 426 Pages
When we dream, where do we go?

Olivia Merton has only ever known Earth after the shift. For fifteen years there has been no sunshine, little rain…and resources are scarce.

A recurring dream provides an escape from her troubled monochrome life and leads her to a vividly coloured landscape, populated by four distinctive societies.

This world is Verntropa.

Her attempts to describe her dream memories are met with distrust and she fears for her grasp on reality - until she discovers that Earth is in danger and a mission on Verntropa awaits her if she is to fulfil her destiny.

Does Olivia have the prophesied power needed to strengthen the balance between her two worlds, or will it, and she, be damaged beyond repair?

As Olivia’s fate unfolds, she is thrown into a fast-paced adventure where she discovers the meaning of trust and true friendship. One thing is certain – her life will never be the same again.


Verntropa is a book that is ideal for those who love gentle fantasy/sci-fi settings. It explores where we go in our dreams and how the two places are linked. The cover is eye-catching and colourful, which is great for the target audience which is young adults. It features the title character Olivia, asleep, heading to the hexagonal city of Verntropa. A simple cover, but it gives the reader all the information needed to understand the setting and the base of the plot.

The pacing of this story was good and about a third of the way in, the story builds and interest is peaked and held on until the end. The main plot of the book simply jumps back and forth between Verntropa and Earth. This is achieved by having each chapter set in a different world. Which also aided to form a clear distinction between, “awake” and “asleep”, making it an easy read.

The actual setting of Verntropa is one described as full of life, colour and activity. This is why I was left a little disappointed that it wasn’t explored in more depth, especially with such a large page count. It wasn’t just the setting that suffers from this, but also the characters, a few of the main cast lacked description, leaving a lot up to the imagination (not always a bad thing). I just hope that the follow-up titles will delve more into the different societies and lifeforms of this new setting.

Overall there was also a lot to like about the title, which was full of political intrigue, spying and a big mystery that was fifteen years in the making. The area in which it fell short, was the actual world-building. This series has a lot of potential and has made me want to see what will happen next. I really would love to see themed books for each of the societies and some more time spent fleshing out the new world. But I am excited to see and read what E L Clarke writes next.

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Treat yourself to the story: Amazon Link

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