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Reviewed by Caleb Shadis
Red Phone Box was an interesting experiment. A whole bunch of authors wrote different chapters to this book. Some wrote only one, many wrote at least a couple. And Salome Jones is credited with editing them all to make a cohesive whole out of them. I think she was successful, though I imagine it is not a book for most people. As one might expect, the book starts off quite disjointed.
The first several chapters don’t appear to have much in common, other than that they are happening in London and seem to center around a Red Phone Box. Almost all the characters we meet early in the book seem to be having very poor luck with their encounters in and around the box.
At some levels this appears to be a book of good vs. evil, and at times it might be evil against evil or just innocent people meeting sticky ends. But each chapter builds and adds depth to the world we are being drawn into and the story that emerges sucks you in more and more. There are powers that be that have been around for millennia and most of them are using humans as pawns in an epic struggle for power and dominance.
There is a small group of heroes some of whom don’t even know what is going on or how important they are. They are brought together like the fellowship of the ring to fight the encroaching evil before it’s too late. There is a very good chance there is a bit of Dr. Who sprinkled throughout the book (the Red Phone Box!) but I have not watched an episode for decades so I would not be able to point them out.
For those who have read a bit of the Eternal Champion series (Elric, Count Brass etc.), this book has the same feel. At least once you start getting into it. This is just the first book in what is supposed to be a series. In some ways that is good because even after the climax there are still more questions than answers to what is happening/has happened.
Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.
Review and giveaway copies were provided free of any obligation by Ghostwoods Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.