SpecMusicMuse Review—The Man in the Box by Andrew Toy
The Man in the Box by Andrew Toy is reminiscent of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe only darker. The protagonist, Robbie Lake, finds himself dealing with family problems combined with getting fired from his job as an editor for Cipher Mill Publishing House, when he discovers a magical box after breaking into his old workplace. The box transports him to another world, one he had visited before when he was a child. And, of course, an adventure ensues, but one that threatens to ruin his life in the real world as the box proves to be a two-way portal. Unfortunately, the residents of the magical world don’t want him to leave, and are willing to do anything to make him stay.
For reasons that I won’t go into, so as to avoid spoilers, I had trouble liking Robbie. He makes the right choices in the end, but only after he’s faced with losing everything. The whole entire time, I couldn’t help but think, “Well, you got yourself into this mess, dummy.” His almost childish irresponsibility made it difficult to sympathize with him.
Once in a while I ran into some clunky sentence structures, but fortunately those were rare occasions. While the casual reader probably won’t notice half of them, people like me, editor-brained, will flinch once or twice.
On the plus side, Toy shows a remarkable skill with dialogue and character interaction, and maintains the story’s narrative flow, providing all the information the reader needs without having to sacrifice pacing.
In the end, it’s a good book to have around when you’ve already read your first picks and need to pass some time. But I expect, over time, Andrew Toy will become a recognizable name among the small press community.
Best to read while listening to: nothing specific comes to mind; maybe something Narnia-ish but darker. Or “Man in the Box” by Alice In Chains?
The Damn Disclaimer is over to the right –>