Wrenna Stone
Published date
Wrenna Stone

“Vision” by Wrenna Stone combines urban and portal fantasy, mixing the real and alternative worlds. The protagonist, Eva, is the author of a fantasy novel series she created on the base of unprecedently vivid dreams she’s been having. The troubles start when the night visions stop, and suddenly, she’s finding herself anxious and unable to finish her story. But this will be the least of her worries because her sleepy little town gets plagued by bizarre and unsettling events that seem suspiciously similar to what happened in her made-up world.

Before we venture any further, a word of warning. “Vision” is not the kind of story where characters are teleported to their dream fantasy world to have adventures and time of their life. It is a dark and we-are-all-going-to-die-soon type of narrative. Astraela, Eva’s dream world, is dying, and its dark corruption slowly seeps into Earth. Sadly, it is not the best time to venture forth and discover this fantastic world, but Eva doesn’t have much choice in the matter, as she is swept by the events and forced to run for her life pretty much all the time.

The strongest part of the whole novel is the cast of quirky characters. Besides Eva, we have a Phoenix guy who loves setting things on fire but can’t figure out how to use a microwave; a devoted friend who owns a coffee shop and is a magician in the kitchen, though she is always keeping a tight leash on the others, trying to stop them from doing stupid things (which rarely works) and a half-goblin lady who loves explosives and hire undead to keep her expenses low. Despite the very dark storyline, plenty of hilarious scenes lighten a mood and make you snort with laughter.

From the main cast, my least favourite one was Eva. She’s not a bad character (though her helplessness was annoying sometimes), but she looks rather plain and boring compared to her colourful crew.

The storyline initially seems simple – one world is dying, the corruption is spreading to Earth, and we need to do something to stop it! But as the story progresses and we learn more about the characters and their past, the whole focus shifts from the world to the people trying to sort out their own histories and problems in the first place and save the world later. And that second part won’t be easy and certainly won’t happen in this book (it’s the first book in the series, so characters have a lot of work to do before they get to that).

The last act of the story was great. We got a roller coaster ride full of action, characters suffering and doom approaching inevitably. I liked the ending, even though I’m sure many people will find it a bit too depressing. In my opinion, it was a perfect closure for the first book.

If you like a dark fantasy and are not bothered by brutal things happening to poor, traumatized characters, I’m sure you’ll find this novel entertaining.