Altar of Reality

Mara Valderran
Sixteen year-old Madeline has struggled with epilepsy for most of her adolescent life, leaving her something of a social pariah. Things go from bad to worse when she wakes up from her first grand mal seizure in an extremely unfamiliar world but surrounded by familiar faces. Her hometown is in ruins, the aftermath of a Cold War turned hot.Thomas, the boy that stomped on her heart a year ago, and his brother Brandon have been hiding her away since the explosion that killed her parents. The Lord Commander, now running the southern territories, believes Madeline died with her parents, and the brother need to keep it that way. The biggest problem? The explosion happened when she was twelve.Madeline isn't sure what to believe. The brothers insist her memories must be of a dream life she created while in her coma. But when she returns to the reality she knows, they insist this war-torn world must be the dream. She doesn't know if she's truly caught in the middle of a brewing rebellion or teetering on the brink of insanity.As she finds herself flipping between the two lives, her heart becomes torn between two versions of the same boy and the lines between her realities begin to blur.


Reviewed: 2016-05-31
There were things I liked about this book and things I didn't. I loved the front cover which caught my attention as soon as I saw it, and I enjoyed the movement between the two realities. I also thought Madeline was a strong female protagonist, however I did not like the brothers, in either world, and the love triangle annoyed me. Thomas and Brandon were both patronising in their own way. For me, the characters in the 'alternate' world were more interesting and better developed, but I still can't say for sure which was the real world. While the premise of "Altar of Reality" was good I felt that the book finished leaving the reader hanging and overall it ended up being just another fairly mediocre YA novel. I won't be bothering with the sequels.
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