Cleverly placing an urban fantasy novel in the familiar setting and predicament of a kid entering college, R.T Lowe presents a tale that encompasses life as we know it in about 500 pages. The protagonist, Felix, is embarked on the path of higher learning at Portland College, hoping to survive the college experience in one piece. However, Lowe soon throws Felix for a curveball by introducing catalyst incarnate, and roommate. It’s all very CW until an imminent storm has Felix on its sights as its core strength, which propels the intricate plot from center base to way, way, left field.
It is important for an author to be ambitious with his or her storytelling tenacity. No idea should be considered too ardent or minuscule in gravity. In Felix, R.T Lowe does not succumb to the popular author stage fright that permeates popular fiction. Instead, beginning with the lengthy prologue that takes place in 300 A.D., the reader soon discovers that what they are about to get into is entirely unexpected and anti-formulaic.
Expertly weaving together plots that stretch both time, space, and character, Lowe has created an interesting tale that efficiently engages the reader. There is a camaraderie with Felix as he encounters secret societies, evil monsters, a manic serial killer, and assassins. He’s just a regular guy encountering the extraordinary, all the while trying to withstand the post-secondary existence.
The best kind of fiction ensures that it has a strong plot, believable characters, and a certain awareness of reality. All of these requirements, including colourful commentaries on youth violence and the presence of magic in the mundane makes The Felix Chronicles: Freshman an entertaining read. Looking forward to the next instalment in the series.