04 August 2014

Readers’ Feedback: Kuan’s Wonderland

The following extracts are taken from Customer Reviews posted on the 'Kuan's Wonderland' page on Amazon:

“This book is not what I expected, it’s fast pace and adventurous. Thinking I would be reading something of a dystopia fantasy novel, which I must say this has many elements of, it’s also has a good mix of fantasy in there but with thought provoking reflections on society. The only thing I think you could compare it too would be the 'His dark materials' series be Philip Pullman.”
By ‘robert a segrott’ (5 out of 5)

Wonderland Indeed
“I can't remember the last time I was so gripped by a book. It kept me up late three nights in a row while I finished it. Indeed I contemplated abandoning work for a day just so I could find out what happened next. It's a very seductive read - you don't have to suspend your disbelief for very long before you're a part of its world. And the main characters are so carefully drawn that you engage with them immediately, so you want to find out what happens to them.

It's clever without being clever-clever. It covers a range of emotions without being melodramatic. It's by turns funny, moving and frightening. And the end, and the book's message, are very powerful. (The message is lightly delivered though - this isn't a tub-thumper.) … The fact of the matter is I don't know another book like it. I don't think it has a "kind". Get reading. You won't regret it.”
By ‘A.J. Marks’ (4 out of 5)

A Good Mystery
“I'm always on the look out for a good mystery and this fits the bill. I enjoyed not knowing what was coming next and the way it all came together in the last few chapters was something else. Not sure it fits into the usual fantasy genre, it's totally unique.”
By ‘Pete7Reviews’ (5 out of 5)

Beautifully Descriptive
“This book is beautifully written and paints the surreal landscape with vivid imagery. A page turner which left me thinking... You can't get better than that!”
By ‘GazzaBee’ (5 out of 5)

A political allegory with overtones of Vonnegut and undertones of Kafka
“I was 16 when I first read 1984. I loved it. As I grew older, each time I re-read Orwell's book, I saw a story that was subtly altered. I drew different comparisons, based on the way my life was changing, and my new experiences. Although Kuan's Wonderland has a less straightforward narrative arc than 1984, it's the same kind of book: there are so many layers of meaning, intertextuality, and interwoven themes, that a reader will be able to return again and again, and see fresh details each time. As soon as I'd finished Tam's novel, I had a huge urge to go back to the beginning and start all over again.

Although this book may on cursory inspection seem like a science fiction novel, it's a lot more than that. Even if you don't usually like the genre, if you're interested in society and politics, you're likely to be hooked right up until the end.”
By ‘Helen M’ (4 out of 5)

Great Book
“Tam has created an extraordinary world and a story line which makes the book a delight to read. The plot is full of action and constant surprise. But more than that, there is a depth to the book and a clear moral and political challenge for each of us to consider. In short a very enjoyable, stimulating and worthwhile read.”
By ‘Anton’ (5 out of 5)

A many layered masterpiece
“This is a great story you can enjoy at a number of different levels. You can follow Kuan and his collaborators as they move breathlessly through an ever-changing worldscape of technological and psychological challenges. You can enjoy the characters, well-drawn despite their constantly changing external form. You can be intrigued by the religious references in the chapter headings and some of the locations through which Kuan moves. You can reflect on the underlying political analysis, which is evident but not pushy. And you can read to the end (which you must do) and (in my case, at least) still have an intriguing question mark in your mind as you close the book.”
By ‘Charles W’ (5 out of 5)

Fascinating Book
“A dark and worrying fantasy tale … more suited to adults than children.”
By ‘G. Samuel’ (4 out of 5)

Real page turner with a great twist
“Imagine the bastard lovechild of Pan's Labyrinth and 1984 - if you can - and you might get a flavour of what's waiting for you with Kuan's Wonderland. You'll be glued to the page as Kuan is snatched from home and transported to a bizarre, parallel world, full of sinister characters where nothing is ever quite as it seems. The twist at the end is inspired - it will be playing on your mind for days after you finish reading.”
By ‘YakinaMac’ (5 out of 5)

Brilliant Surprise
“Came across Kuan's Wonderland by chance and really loved it. The more I read, the more I realised that nothing was what it first seemed - it's packed full of twists. The first few chapters are a good read but make sure you read it right to the end, you'll have missed out on something special if you don't. It felt a bit Doctor Who in places (the good episodes)... I've recommended it to my friends.”
By ‘pageturner’ (5 out of 5)

A gripping tale of changing worlds and extreme loyalty
“This gripped me from the start and whenever I picked it up, I was straight back in the story with Kuan as a force for good, fearless and challenging to the different powers trying to crush him. Kuan moved swiftly between different worlds, their rules and his dilemmas becoming clear in each place. Shape changing characters and high-speed action kept me curious throughout about the complexities of Kuan's quest. The echoes of our own political world, where cruel power priorities fight with altruism and equality, were portrayed with both horror and a wry humour, making it an enjoyable read, full of political and human depth.”
By ‘freedom22’ (5 out of 5)