Toddlers and playdates and white picket fences. Afternoons in the park, steak on the grill – all in the perfect neighborhood. Gabby was living a life that many people could only wish for and she was over it. It wasn’t that she disliked her world – it wasn’t that at all…she loved her family and the life that she and her husband had made. She just wanted more – more action, more stimulation, more excitement.
Gabby was bored.
But while she spent her days washing sand out of hair and making PB&J sandwiches, a battle was going on in The Realm, a cosmic tug of war over the most inimitable of prizes: Gabby’s very soul.
What people are saying about Cacophony:
Some worlds are so realistic and subtly detailed a reader can get lost in its characters and happenings to the point where their world and the fictional one within the pages of a story don’t merge or blur so much as they actually collide where divergences and similarities exist. This exhilarating entanglement of what is and what could be is the space where L. Marie Wood has, once again, not simply written a book: this sister might be rewriting existences and what we thought we understood reality and free will to be.
It isn’t just her magnificent wordplay that brings The Realm and Patrick’s family legacy into a clearer focus. Her masterful grasp of the nuances of characters and the importance of a fully realized setting is delightful…but that’s not the strongest tool she brought to play in Cacophony. The biggest master stroke in this book is Woods’ deconstruction of the often misunderstood idea that the choices one makes in their world can not only bring about repercussions in that world but they can also create and change that world in real time.
Placing a story within the story to showcase the increasing power and knowledge Patrick, Gabby, Doug, and Joanne grow into was the cherry on the top of an already decadent story of The Afterlife. So much of what we think we know about death and dying has been addressed here, in ways that resonate well after the book is done so that the reader is left wondering if Woods’ explanations could possibly be worth further exploration in real life. The mark of a job well done is these expertly raised, haunting questions.
The most important question is: where are you taking us next in The Realm, Wood?!!! I can hardly wait to see.
In Cacophony, book 2 of The Realm series, L. Marie Wood demonstrates an exceptional ability to manipulate storytelling elements to create a fast-paced compelling work of psychological horror. An intricately designed frame narrative, Cacophony seamlessly weaves together three stories: that of Gabby, our modern-day suburban protagonist, a busy, slightly disheveled wife and mother who stumbles across an unfinished manuscript left behind by her grandmother; the story told within the manuscript; and that of The Realm and its inhabitants, including Gabby’s deceased grandparents, Joanne and Patrick, and her father Doug, all of whom, unbeknownst to Gabby, are in a battle for her very soul.
As Gabby is pulled more deeply into the manuscript, at times to the detriment of her marriage and children, Patrick finds himself in a race against time to uncover ancient family secrets that hold the key to his family’s destiny. When old memories and curses resurface, Patrick must reckon with his own role in the destruction of his family as he’s forced to decide which is more important: power, or family?
Books in the series…
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