Down World


Written by Rebecca Phelps
Published by Wattpad Books, March 30, 2021
My star rating – 4 stars


As the site of a former military base, there have always been rumors that East Township High School was the site of experiments with space and time. For years, students have whispered in the hallways of a doorway created within the school, one that can access multiple timelines and realities, a place known as the Down World.

As the new kid in school and still reeling from the unexplained death of her brother Robbie, Marina O’Connell is only interested in one thing: leaving the past behind. But a chance encounter with handsome Brady Picelli changes everything. He will lead Marina to a startling discovery. The Down World is real and the past, present, and future are falling out of balance.

Brady is determined to help Marina discover what really happened to her brother. However, what is taken from one world, must be repaid by another. And Marina is about to discover that even a realm of infinite possibilities has rules that must be obeyed.


Some books you know you’re going to like. But then some books (like this one) come out of nowhere and blindside you with how much you liked it!! The synopsis sounds great. And it’s been described as “Stranger Things” meets…. something….. I can’t remember what it was…. but you had me at Stranger Things, and I feel like that was quite accurate – minus the demigorgon and the bad ass Eleven character with her fantastic abilities. What I’m really trying to say is – this was a HUGE surprise and I really loved this!

I had just finished reading a book that was heavy in mystery, reality, and annoying teenage hormones. So I thought that I would pick up this book. It sounded sci-fi like and dark and it totally was. I did, however, almost throw the book across the room at page 8. Our main character is at a new school for the first time and is completely lost. Another student comes to the rescue (and of course he’s totally hot and she instantly falls in love with him. That’s not me assuming….. she literally says she’s in love with him after knowing him all of 5 minutes. Thankfully the teenage hormone trope and puke factor lessens after that!

But safe to say, after wanting to DNF this book after only 8 pages, my hopes weren’t high. And maybe that’s why this book was such a surprise. But I don’t think that’s it.

Number one – the pace was great! Something was always happening and propelling you forward. There were a lot of unknowns but it was never really presented in the way that it made you annoyed that you didn’t have all the answers at your fingertips. We pieced together this puzzle bit by bit, all the while getting new mysteries along the way.

The writing style also vibed with me in a big way. It wasn’t “basic” but it wasn’t super complicated. I FLEW through this book so fast! Which impressed me in a big way because I’ve been in QUITE the reading slump lately. This book brought me out of my slump without even trying.

As far as the plot – loved it! This was a bit like Stranger Things mixed together with a portal fantasy. We have doorways that open into alternate realities and the possibilities are endless. Someone you loved may have died in our own reality but when you walk through the doorway, there they are, alive and well. There are also consequences for actions. You stay too long and things start to happen. You take an item/person from one reality to the next and it can all fall apart. There were so many emotions thrown into the mix along with all the possibilities. You can find things that were once lost but in order to have it back, are you willing to pay the price and possibly put your own reality at risk. And since these “doorways” were in a part of the school, there are many different generations who know of its power, so there are ways to find others that understand it more than you. Exploring all of this was SO well done! And even more well done was how the author wrote about the differences between worlds and built them up in their descriptions. It also didn’t necessarily go into the science of it all either. So if sci-fi scares you, there’s nothing to fear here!

There were only two (small) things that made this book a 4 instead of a 5 star. And that’s the characters and the ending. There wasn’t one thing that I could pinpoint about the characters as a problem per se, but I just didn’t relate to them like I wanted to. They were fine. They were all easy to differentiate and you understood their personalities. But the emotional connection with them wasn’t there for me. And then there’s the ending. Once again – there’s nothing wrong with it really. It’s just one of those endings that finishes too quickly and leaves it all to your imagination then rolls the credits while showing you pictures of the characters telling you where they are now. It wrapped things up in the end, but it felt like there could have been another chapter or two putting it all together.

This book will be loved by many I think. If you are looking for a quick read to bring you out of a slump, if you love multiverse or portal fantasy stories, or are just looking for an adventure with a side of suspended belief, this is one I think you need to read!

Until next time, happy reading!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Mischenko says:

    Glad you didn’t give up on it! This sounds so good, and the cover is amazing. We love Stranger Things too. Thanks for sharing your excellent review. ☺️


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