When John opens a letter addressed to his missing roommate, Kyle, he expects to find a house key, but instead he is swept into a strange realm of magic, mysticism, revolutionaries and assassins. Though he struggles to escape, John is drawn steadily closer to a fate he shares with Kyle—to wake the destroyer god, the Rifter, and shatter a world.
The truth is, no review can do this series justice. I can scream from the rooftops how awesome this is, and it’s not enough. I can social media the crap out of it, and it’s not enough. I can chain you to a chair and tell you all the reasons I love it, and it’s not enough.
Yup, the Rifter series by Ginn Hale, 10 digital novellas / 3 paperbacks, is just THAT SPECIAL.
Brilliant might be a good description. Mind fuck. Wow’zer. Epic. Yeah, those all could work….and this from a reader who’s not a big Fantasy genre fan, who typically likes a lot more obvious romance-ing in her books, and who avoids time travel like the plague. And yet…I was blown away.
The series, at it’s very core, is built around a relationship that spans time, space, worlds, wars, ages. A connection between two men that is inevitable in purpose, in calling, in love.
From the beginning you meet John, mild-mannered geology student. And you meet Kyle, freaky, mysterious roommate. There is an attraction. And that’s almost the only normal thing that happens from here on out. They each find themselves in otherworldly situations, in out-of-sync timeframes, in danger, in acts of heroism…the list goes on and on.
I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the details throughout this series. Here’s my best advice: don’t try and understand everything the moment you read it. Keep going and let the secrets and the answers unfold and reveal themselves when the author decides for them to. She lets nothing go unanswered and everything feels complete by the end. But, in her genius, she gives enough nuggets along the way that it always feels satisfying.
The writing is some of the best I’ve read in a really really long time. And damnit…doesn’t EXQUISITE writing just trump any and all else?
Since my “review” ultimately failed, I’m linking you to some amazing other reviews (and a stellar interview with the author) to help you out:
- The Novel Approach‘s spoiler-free review of book 10/series
- Boys in our Books‘s spoiler-free review of book 10/series
- GR Reviewer, Xing’s spoiler-free review of Vol 1 (books 1-3)
- Dear Author (spoiler’ish review of books 1-5 and 6-7)
- Interview with Ginn Hale about the series at Boys in our Books
- Holiday coda w/ the characters (after reading the series) at Live Your Life Buy the Book
- Following author Leta Blake’s fandom of the series (mild spoilers, but lots of visuals and FUN!)
The world-building in this series is AMAZING. It rivals, in my opinion, brace yourselves, that of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. It really is that vivid. It’s also surprisingly funny! How the author is able to sprinkle in humorous situations and hilarious dialogue throughout an otherwise INTENSE read is impressive
I think it’s easy to say this isn’t a “romance” per se. But, I think I disagree. I think it’s the ultimate romance. When two people are so intertwined and (as my friend and I describe it) INEVITABLE…when their love withstands everything seen and unseen, when they love each other at any and all times throughout their lives…whooooo wheeee…it is sweeping. Book 6, especially, has some of the most romantic interaction and dialogue between the main characters. I’m swooning.
I’ve read other reviewers say that it took them a few books to get into the series. Again, there’s a lot of world-building and a TON of details. And it’s impossible to NOT be confused. However, keep going! The payoff is WORTH IT! Also…beware of the crazy book hangover and the itch for a reread immediately. I ended book 10 and started book 1 right after. Your entire reading schedule will be thrown off!
I would easily say it’s for those who love reading Fantasy (not just m/m). But, I would also say it’s for those that want to read something that will sweep them off their feet. That will take them out of their comfort zones. For those craving something to take over their lives, their thoughts, their dreams. But really…I think this series is for EVERYBODY. Because I was not the obvious target audience for it…and I am obsessed with it!