Monday, 16 March 2015

Travel Glasses

Travel Glasses (The Call to Search Everywhen #1)

by Chess Desalls

3 out of 5

Calla Winston’s mobile devices sit in a corner of her room, covered in dust. Weeks ago, she shared photos and laughs with her best online friend. Now, after having felt the sting of betrayal, she prefers being hidden and friendless. She equates privacy with security and technology with pain.

Then she meets Valcas, an otherworldly time traveler who traverses time and space with a pair of altered sunglasses. When an ethereal being knocks Calla to the ground near her family’s lakeside cottage, Valcas uses the Travel Glasses to help her escape. He offers his further protection in exchange for a promise. Intrigued by Valcas and the possibility of time travel, Calla accepts. That is until she learns that his search for her was no mere coincidence.

Calla sets off on her own, taking the Travel Glasses with her. Torn between searching for her estranged father and reuniting with the rest of her family, she tracks down the inventor of the Travel Glasses in hopes of discovering more about Valcas’ past and motivations. The Travel Glasses take Calla’s mistrust of technology to all new levels. But without them, she’ll never make it back home. With Valcas hot on her trail, Calla hopes to find what she’s looking for before he catches up.

The Call to Search Everywhen is a serial series of novel-length installments. Travel Glasses is YA fantasy fiction with a literary bent. It's a thought-provoking narrative about trust, relationships, reality and illusion. 

Calla has worked very hard to keep her life isolate from others, and so far she's doing great.  Until a mysterious white light, and an even more mysterious man came crashing into her world.

The travel glasses are a marvellous invention, which allows Calla to explore every time that ever was; and never was.  I loved the creativity, it felt almost like Fantasia, where you move from one surreal scene to another (but without the flying ponies!).
It was an enjoyable ride through Renaissance Venice, turn of the century England, and modern America.

I want to say that I loved it, but I'll be honest, I didn't get it.
The initial meeting felt a little too stretched that, despite being a self-imposed hermit, Calla agrees to go to dinner with a stranger she has literally bumped into.  Then despite dinner being weird, when the strange guy says run, she runs.

Calla's main drives and objectives seem pretty blurry throughout.  She wants to avoid a certain bad guy, but does so by stalking his past and family connections.
There's a frequent thought that arises that she could use the glasses to track down her workaholic mother or estranged father, and I really wish she had pursued that route.  I'm sure it will arise later in the series, but I thought it would be more prominent in this book, especially as it's mentioned in the synopsis.

I felt that further into the book, I got more questions than answers.  Calla would hover around a topic and questions, then move on with no solution.  When she returned to her uncle's, how much time had gone by?  Why was the waiter at the restaurant a prick?  Why didn't Calla freak out when she agreed to get engaged?  Plus a few others that might be spoilerish.

Overall, I'd recommend it if you're looking for a very creative ride.

Goodreads link

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