Title: The Fandom
Author: Anna Day
Publisher: Chicken House
Release Date: October 5th 2017
Cosplay ready, Violet and her friends are at Comic-Con.
They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega movie, The Gallows Dance. What they’re not expecting is to be catapulted by freak accident into their favourite world—for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands…
A fast-paced, genre-flipping YA fantasy adventure from a brand new author, writing in homage to the best YA fiction.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
I received an ARC of this book free from Chicken House. It in no way affects my views on The Fandom.
My Thoughts On…
Violet and her friends are massive fans of The Gallows Dance, a dystopian fantasy standalone which tells the epic love story of Willow and Rose. While at Comic Con, meeting the actors who played their favourite characters in the movie adaptation something happens. Comic Con seems to collapse on top of them and next thing they know they’ve been transported into The Gallows Dance.
The concept of this book was what immediately drew me to The Fandom. Not only is it a fandom books, which after Geekerella and Eliza and Her Monsters I love, but it told the story of four fans transported into their favourite world. What bookish fan wouldn’t want that? The story itself was incredible as well; as Violet and her friends quickly discover, reading about the world and seeing it in the big screen is one thing but it’s a whole other thing living inside it.
Unfortunately their arrival has caused problems. After they get the hero of the story killed before she can live out her epic love story and save her people Violet, Alice, Katie and Nate find themselves drawn along by canon. The story wants to finish, and with Rose dead it’s found a new hero to take her place; to fall in love, save her people, and hang in one week.
The Fandom was definitely not what I expected. Despite knowing from Violet, Alice and Nate – all massive fans of the book – what the next steps in the book should be the plot still twisted enough that I was thrown off course by some of the things it revealed. What I loved most about this book though was the development, not just of the characters but of the story itself. The Fandom is not like any other dystopian fantasy books I’ve read recently, and it’s an interesting take in the genre having Violet and her friends living it rather than just reading about it, seeing the horror and injustice and cruelty with their own eyes.
Violet was by far my favourite character, and definitely the one I felt was the best developed. Before entering the world of The Gallows Dance she is quiet and self conscious, unsure of herself, and a large part of that comes with living in the shadow of her best friend Alice. However when they find themselves in the world of The Gallows Dance the canon seems to be making Violet walk the same steps as Rose, and she’s forced to step up in order to get her and her friends home again.
At first Violet remains unsure of herself, only this time she’s living in the shadow of Rose instead of Alice, but as the story unfolds she grows so much. The more she sees the injustice that happens to her people, to Rose’s people, the more she becomes a real hero instead of one just following the steps of someone before her. Violet knows how her story, how Rose’s story, is going to end, but she is determined. If it means getting herself and her friends home again she will hang in Rose’s place.
Unfortunately while Violet was an incredibly developed character the others weren’t as much. Alice’s motivations were hard to read. She’s a massive fan of The Gallows Dance, in love with Willow the way most fans love their favourite characters, but unlike Violet, Katie and Nate she can fit in with the privileged Gems who rule over the Imps. It creates an interesting journey for her character but it’s a journey that would have had much more impact on me if we’d gotten more of a look into her character rather than just seeing her through Violet’s eyes.
Katie didn’t really play any part in the story at all from what I could see. I feel like the author could have left her out completely and it wouldn’t have made any difference to the plot, and Nate’s main role seemed to be as a guide for Violet. He was someone to remind her of where the canon was leading them and keep her on track when she felt herself wavering.
The relationships in this book were well developed; there was the love story between Willow and Violet as she tries to continue Rose’s story, and the budding relationship between Violet and Ash, but more than anything there was the friendship and family bonds between Violet, Alice, Katie and Nate. While The Gallows Dance was a love story between Rose and Willow, The Fandom was a story that focused on the bond the friends had more than anything else.
The Fandom gives us a unique view of dystopian books from characters who weren’t there when the dystopia developed, who are seeing the cruelty fresh from the outside rather than having grown used to it. We got a lot of information on the world and its characters from Violet and her friends, who had read the book and knew things they wouldn’t have known otherwise. However sometimes it felt like instead of naturally developing the world and the characters the author chose to have Violet and her friends blurt them their secrets and histories as and when it suited the story. While the world itself was well developed some of the explanations left me wanting, for example when it was finally revealed what had drawn the friends into The Gallows Dance I was more confused than anything.
The Fandom is a book I would recommend to anyone who has ever wished they could be a part of their favourite world, to live through the same adventures as their favourite characters. As much as I still want to visit my favourite fantasy worlds and have epic adventures after reading this books I’ve come to realise it may be safer just reading about them in the comfort of my own world.
What did you think of The Fandom? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.
All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.