Read from March 02 to 12, 2014 — I own a copy, read count: 1
Synopsis: A collector of kaleidoscopes and lousy relationships, Dahlia Kasper leaves her possessive alcoholic mother and moves from New York to Barcelona. In search of lost bits of her childhood, she starts living in an apartment where her father was murdered when she was four. As soon as she enters the apartment, strange things begin to happen.
Her favorite kaleidoscope becomes a gateway to another dimension where she encounters a ghost of a famous physicist from the 19th century who tries to persuade her that reality is like a moth-eaten sweater – full of holes. He needs her to help him plug up these holes and save the world from vanishing, while the only thing Dahlia really wants to save is her sanity.
This is just a part of Dahlia’s problems. An elderly cello-playing neighbor turns her emotional world upside down and her longing for lost home takes her further than she ever imagined she could go. To collect all the scattered kaleidoscope-bits of her life together, Dahlia needs to go through an intense inner transformation that takes courage and a sharp sense of humor.
Bookish things: 261 pages. The cover ties in nicely with the story, but I would have liked to see something a little trippier?!
Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $3.73
Kaleidoscope World is an intriguing read.
It was also a complicated reading experience and one I don’t think I came through unscathed. Be prepared to have your senses overwhelmed and your brain exploded into the realm of astral bodies, ghosts, lucid dreaming and a large number of other New Age themes.Along with this ‘enlightenment’ comes the the darkness of Dahlia’s past and present. Her emotionally abusive, manipulating and neglectful alcoholic mother, Dahlia’s complex reactions to the absence of her father, and the ever present shrink that she uses like a crutch, all add to the complexity of the story.
Much like a kaleidoscope, Kaleidoscope World had many different pieces that shifted and fit in together, and then with a slight movement, they’d shift and fit in a different way. I liked how that seemed to occur throughout the book, but it also made it feel a little disjointed.
I didn’t really like Dahlia, I couldn’t stand her mother, and I didn’t really love or hate Javier. The one character I actually liked was Felipe, yet I felt he was under developed and underutilised. This left me feeling a little lost as to why I kept reading. If I didn’t like most of the characters, why would I want to know what happens to them?
I quite enjoyed the way Tomica writes, the way she paints pictures was very clear and often came about in the most amazing way. Poetic comes to mind. I enjoyed the picturesque visions Tomica painted of the scenery and Dahlia’s surrounds (including the other senses outside of vision) at times it felt like I was actually there with Dahlia in the bustling streets, the serene island or as the sun broke over the streets of Barcelona.
I made a couple of notes about the disjointed feelings as I went, one instance of a weird jump was at around 20% through when Dahlia found herself in one scene only to be whisked to another on the next line with no indication of a change. This also occurred at the end of the book – 95-100%.
These could be addressed by some additional formatting in the eReader documents to allow the reader to see a break. This would help with the disjointed but smooshed together feel of some of the scene changes.
There was one typo I picked up at 69% – ‘…would thinks (think) they’re not.’
**Note: I was provided with an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**