This book definitely has a bit of potential. The story follows Rascal, a young girl who is part of the thieves’ guild. Prince Arthir, a young boy born into royalty, befriends Rascal and spends time with her. It is assumed Prince Arthir doesn’t like being part of the royal family or having all of the wealth his family has. Both Rascal and Arthir fall into ‘The Umbral’, which is a gate into some sort of gate into an alternate reality. In this alternate reality dark shadow creatures go after Rascal, and ‘the mist’ she has acquired. The writing in this book is a bit quirky, and not very serious at all. Johnston does a good job at developing his characters relationships throughout the book, and Mitten’s artwork definitely brings out the dark theme of the alternate world and dark fantasy themes.
Overall the structure throughout Umbral is just not there. The story is really hard to follow, and at times may have the reader wondering what exactly is going on. There was so much going on that I found myself getting lost throughout the book, which definitely took a lot of enjoyment away from the reading.
I think this book can be given a chance, for a few more issues at least. Although it’s not the most enjoyable read, fans of Johnston and Mitten’s Wasteland, as well as fans of dark medieval fantasy may enjoy this book. I’m giving Umbral a 2.5/5
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