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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Into the Nanten - The Record of My Exile by Jay Swanson
Book Review

Oh man this book was so good! I don't even know where to begin. This long journey through the dark jungle of Nanten has been thrilling, magical, mysterious, dire, exciting, and so many more things. All the things I love in an adventure novel with all the things I love in an epic fantasy all rolled into one unique fantastic journey told with such a wonderful voice. You can tell the author Jay Swanson has spent time in the jungle. You really feel like you are deep within its dark canopy as you read this book. He does such an awesome job describing the character's surroundings that you feel like you're right there with them.

I loved how each section of story is a journal entry. It works so well. I was constantly left wanting to know what was coming next for the characters. I couldn't wait to read the next entry. Also when you see for several days that there was no journal entry you know that the next one is going to have an amazing story about what happened to prevent him from writing in his journal. I think the only other book I read where the story is told in epistolary format was Dracula and it was awesome. This book takes it a step further because before this was a novel it was a whole bunch of blog posts which were posted in real time as the character wrote them into his journal. Readers got to follow his journey as it was happening in a sense. How cool is that?!

Inside many of these posts are amazing illustrations made in a journal. The art is so good. The illustrations done by Nimit Malavia in this book will blow you away and really add to the story. They have such an amazing style that just draws you that much more into the story world. I can't say enough about how brilliant the artwork is.

Also the audio version of this story is amazing! That's how I read most of it, though I followed along in the blog so I wouldn't miss any of the awesome artwork. Dennis Kleinman is perfect for this book as the narrator. He has an amazing voice and a really cool accent. His voice pulls you into The Nanten immediately. It is so good. You can listen to the audio for free, or buy it as an audiobook. But the audio is great!

The characters in this book were so cool! They're all fleshed out brilliantly. They share tales of their homelands as they journey through the forbidding jungle the Nanten. When they fight it is so awesome! I found myself cheering often when a fight took place. They face so many vile creatures, both animals and men. The monsters were so cool in this book. They made the journey a frightening one. The characters are almost always about to die from any number of foul beasts. The places they visit in this book I wouldn't set foot in for all the gold in the world. It was kind of like Wesley and Buttercup in The Princess Bride going through the fire swamp, except every place was far worse than the fire swamp and once they finally escaped it the next place had new terrifying dangers of it's own that were just as bad. This was one amazing adventure.

It was like one of my favorite classics, Tarzan of the Apes, but filled up to the brim with some of the coolest magic and world building I've ever read in a fantasy novel. It's jungle adventure and epic fantasy and it's so good. You have to read this book. You'll love it! As soon as I finish writing this review I'm going to start the next one in the series. I'm so glad I found out about Into the Nanten. It may just be my favorite read of 2016.

Get the book at Amazon now! (Affiliate Link) :
Into the Nanten - The Record of My Exile  (Season 1)

Or read it on his blog for free:

Or listen to the audio story for free brilliantly narrated by Dennis Kleinman & also available on Audible

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