Author Kimberlee Ann Bastian dedicates her debut novel to a group known as the Bastian Loons, which includes her mother. The story is contemporary fantasy akin to Harry Potter in that it takes place in our world, albeit in the setting of Chicago in 1934, where protagonist Bartholomew, who has lived for centuries as an immortal soulcatcher, once had a decision to remain obedient to his masters or rebel and reveal a dark secret, choosing the latter path, for which he became imprisoned for a sizeable intervention. He ultimately breaks out from his confinement and finds himself in the human world, where he must seek a new magic, relying solely on an enigmatic message along with a street-smart orphan named Charlie Reese.
Before the story is a quotation from Theodore Roosevelt about what choices to make in decision-making, the best being the right choice, the second-best being the wrong one, and the worst choice being to do nothing. The first chapter opens with a female Tales Teller seeking an Apothecary, with some expository backstory revealed such as the Fates purloining the powers of the Elements. Another early chapter introduces Charlie and his young cousin Jimmy, with the former having fitful bouts of slumber plagued by negative dreams. Bartholomew also gets his opportunity in the spotlight, having once been bound to the Eden Wanderer, nicknamed Stingy Jack, and the story unravels from there. The story is generally enjoyable, even if some of the mythos is difficult to follow and the plot itself is incomplete, although fans of modern fantasy will definitely digest this tale.
Kimberlee Ann Bastian has a unique love affair with American nostalgia, mythology, and endless possibilities. This melting pot of elements is what prompted the creation of her epic ELEMENT ODYSSEYS series, starting with the reboot of her debut novel now titled THE BREEDLING AND THE CITY IN THE GARDEN.
When she is not in her writer's room, working her current "day job", or consuming other literary worlds, she enjoys hiking and cycling around the bluffs of your Southeastern MN home and catching up on her favorite pop culture.