Wednesday 17 January 2018


The Fandom by Anna Day [blog tour]

There were a few excellent novels I read last summer that aren't published until this year and after Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan, The Fandom by Anna Day is another one that even six months down the line I'm still recommending to people because it was such a fantastic ride. It combines the geekiness of Comic Con (which I've been to so I loved reading about it and recognising bits along the way from my own experience) with an epic fantasy world. It was fun, exciting and surprising, but most of all it was a thrilling adventure – and I for one did not want it to end.

If you're an 80s or 90s kid, you're undoubtedly familiar with the classic animated series Dungeons & Dragons, were a group of teenagers and a young boy end up in a fantasy world through a roller-coaster ride in a theme park. Suddenly they have to turn into real-life versions of the warriors and heroes they always pretended to be in the game to defeat that world's greatest evils.

The Fandom is a contemporary take with a similar premise, with a group of teenagers at Comic Con ending up in a Hunger Games and Divergent-like world based on a fictional story in which the people are divided by classes named Gems (genetically modified people who are beautiful, stronger and more intelligent) and Imps (flawed humans treated as slaves... or worse).

The world is that from the popular fantasy movie The Gallows Dance and the characters have to follow in the footsteps of their heroes, ensuring the story follows its written progression to be able to return back home. But with one of the friends ending up with the Gems and the others in the harrowing world of the Imps – facing abuse and even death – the story goes off track, and they might never find their way back...

The Fandom combines the popularity of fantasy dystopian reads such as The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones with the geekiness of fandom, and especially fan fiction. There were lots of awesome references to popular franchises within this book, while creating its own multi-layered and eerily believable world.
Even though The Gallows Dance is a whole fictional creation (within another fictional creation, meta much?!), the depth to the world was incredible, and I was as much in awe with it while exploring as the characters were. Speaking of the characters, I loved the different relationships between them; there were siblings and friends and along the way their relationships were tested considerably, adding an emotional depth to a mostly action-packed read.

There were a few occasions where the story went a tad too far to depict the horrors of the fantasy world it was set in IMHO, but interspersed with the gripping mystery of how the teens ended up there and if they could ever return home as well as the tests to their friendships it was okay. Besides, I quickly skipped past these sections to satisfy my curiosity – and its eventual explanation was a good 'un (so, so original and cool!)

I also loved, loved, loved that fandoms and fan fiction was so integral to the story. Fan fiction is something which until not that many years ago was perceived as a bit strange but with an excellent novel like this taking it on board and creating a very cool story around it it's becoming normal and I love that.

The Fandom takes the best elements from contemporary quirky and geeky reads, and combines it with a truly epic fantasy spectacle to create a wholly original and highly addictive page-turner. More please!

The Fandom is published by Chicken House Books and you can order your copy now from Foyles (or your own preferred retailer).

This review is part of the official blog tour for The Fandom, so make sure to check out the other stops along the way for more awesome posts about this amazing novel!

🎵 Listening to: Nick & Simon – Rosanne
🔹 Mood:Sleepy

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