Review- Society of Imaginary Friends

Screenshot (7835)“Belief is a powerful magic.

Valerie Diaz has a power that she can’t contain, and it’s killing her. Bounced between foster homes and the streets, she only has time to concentrate on staying alive. But a visit from the imaginary friend of her childhood opens a world of possibilities, including a new life half a universe away on a planet that is bursting with magic.

The Society of Imaginary Friends follows Valerie on a journey that straddles two worlds. In order to survive, she must travel many light years away to a realm where anything is possible. On the Globe, imaginary friends come to life, the last of the unicorns rules the realm, and magic seeps from the pores of all the Conjurors who live there. But choosing to embrace her potential will set Valerie on a treacherous course – one filled with true love, adventure and perilous danger.”- Amazon description

Doesn’t this sound like fun? Unfortunately what it sounds like and what it is are two very different things. I almost DNF’d it at 35% because it was boring, annoying, and not well thought out. One of the most annoying things in the first third of the book was the treatment of Valerie’s magic. Valerie finds out her imaginary friends that she’s had from childhood are really real and projecting from a planet, called the Globe, hidden in a black hole. They inform her she had strong magical abilities and if she stays on earth she will die because somehow living here stifles magic (for the most part).  But before she leaves she has to go to England and undergo a test of her abilities. Whut?

First she is told she has too much magic to survive on earth then she has to travel from the US to England to take a test to prove she has all this magic she was just told she has? Then she has to go to Egypt to find the last transport from earth to the Globe. Not only didn’t this make a whole lot of sense, it was boring.

Valerie is that most over used type of heroine- the Mary Sue, or in Val’s case more like a Super Sue. Because Val not only is stuffed with all this magic and has these not so imaginary friends and enemies but she is Alone In The World.  Yes, my friends, Val is alone, so alone. She is alone, aloner, alonest. No one, no where, no how, is more alone. On two different planets Val wins all three Olympic medals for being alone.

Except when she isn’t. No, really, it seems she keeps stumbling over another character that is alone for various reasons. This author desperately needs an editor or two because all this aloneness repeated endlessly just makes you want to throw something. Like Valerie. Out into space where she will be alone, so alone, no one will ever be… sorry, it’s hard to shake.

Like I said I almost gave up but I pushed on and it got marginally better. Val arrives at the Globe and meets her imaginary childhood friend, makes more friends, acquires a magical sword in the best sword-in-the-stone manner, and keeps putting herself in dangerous situations because asking for advice and/or help would be the smart thing to do and a Mary Super Sue like Val needs to be smarter than most everyone else but still dumb enough to get tied to the railroad tracks or the magical equivalent.

So Val and her friends stumble around the Globe doing their level best to put themselves in harm’s way and succeeding with tiresome frequency. She just can’t bring herself to wait for other more experienced characters to explore and investigate but that doesn’t matter because Val is a Super Sue and will prevail over all and manifest new powers or magics or whatever because that’s what Sues do.

In the end she triumphs over her not-so-imaginary enemy and does something that hasn’t been done in decades and good triumphs over evil and her magical power is awesome and rare and now she is the superset of Mary Super Sues. Except that evil isn’t destroyed just dented a little because this is a 4 book series.

Imaginary Friends sounded so good and ended up being just a not very good rehash of a Sue we’ve all read before.

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