From American cardiologist Robert Louis Smith comes the unique fantasy novel Antiquitas Lost, peppered with more than seventy eye-popping illustrations by Marvel Comics legend Geof Isherwood. This epic fantasy tale tells the story of a boy named Elliott, a lonesome kid with deformities on his hands and feet who is uprooted from his home after his mother falls gravely ill. When they move to New Orleans so his grandfather can help care for her, Elliott learns that the old man's eighteenth century mansion hides an ancient secret. While checking out some eerie old paintings and strange relics in the basement, Elliott strays through an ancient doorway into a tumultuous parallel world, full of bizarre creatures and warring races. He has stumbled into Pangrelor, the most ancient of all worlds and "mother to all the stars in the sky." As he learns to navigate his new surroundings, he discovers wondrous abilities he never dreamed he possessed, and an abiding connection to the primitive, alien world that will forever change him. But he must proceed carefully. For he soon learns that his actions in the ancient world will impact the upcoming battle for Harwelden, Pangrelor's greatest civilization, and will also resonate all the way back to New Orleans, perhaps deciding whether his own mother lives or dies.
When I first started this, I was surprised at how quickly I got sucked in to the story. I admit, I wasn't expecting that. The world was very interesting and the story seemed a little like the Narnia books--a kid getting sucked into another world that is very different. I think things lagged just a bit in the middle. I found that I wasn't very motivated to pick up the book. I hadn't really connected with any of the characters. Things got more exciting towards the end, and overall I think the story was quite fun. I enjoyed the illustrations, and think they really added a lot to the book. It almost had a YA feel at first, but as I read on, it didn't seem very YA at all. It was quite violent.
I think if I hadn't received this book for review it's probably not one I would have picked up on my own, but I'm glad I read it, and would recommend it to fantasy fans looking for something to read. There's not anything really groundbreaking about this one, but the world was creative and the story was pretty action-packed. I give it a B-.