When Violet and her friends have a day out at Comic Con in London they imagine that they will just be meeting up with other fans and cos-players of “Gallows Dance”, their favourite book and film. What they did not envisage was finding themselves drawn into a parallel world; the world of “Gallows Dance”. They definitely did not think they would find themselves in a nightmare where they accidently kill the fictional heroine and Violet has to take over the role in order to save the story and get them all back to the real world. What follows is a roller coaster ride that subverts the story that they know and places strains on the relations between this group of friends.
I must admit that when I first saw this book it was a case of ‘not another dystopian novel’, however this has exceeded my expectations and in the end it was a really enjoyable read with lots to make you think. The central characters are well thought out and because of the changes in the expected plot line they have to develop and think beyond the known ‘canon’. It is fascinating watching characters grow and see them beginning to understand that this world they have entered is not just a version of the film they have watched; the protagonists that they think they know have in fact undergone their own subtle changes and this makes it impossible to keep rigidly to the original storyline. In many respects this is a form of morality play in which people gradually realize that real life can lead to long term consequences and that we should never mistake fiction for reality. Due to a couple of the scenes that have a slight sexual theme this has been marked as a 14+ (by the publisher as well) and school librarians might want to read the book before they decide on access. Having said all this it was an excellent read and I would definitely recommend it for the suggested age range.