Across the Room: This story was a difficult read for me. The plot was a bit befuddled, and I had a hard time following the plot, as the flashbacks were seamlessly intermingled with the present. While this is an artistic choice by the author, I found myself confused throughout the majority of the story.
Temperature: Normothermic: This novella had a good balance of dark and whimsy. I definitely enjoyed the atmosphere here.
Heart Rate: Regular rate and rhythm: Considering the short book, I think Kai mastered the pacing of each scene and plot point. While the plot itself was difficult to follow, the pacing was definitely one of the strengths of the story.
Blood Pressure: Hypertensive: I just couldn’t figure it out. Blame reader-error in this case. I guess I just have a hard time with flashbacks unless they are separated from the main plot points, such as through a change in formatting, or a separate scene altogether.
Respirations: Regular rate and rhythm: These characters are so well-rounded! There isn’t one specific thing about each of them that stands out as the *only* aspect of their personalities. I found myself rooting for the sorcerer, even if I didn’t fully understand what was going on.
Oxygenation: Well-oxygenated: Kai did a great job with describing the settings. The feel of heat from the desert air, the sense of dread as the group meanders through the jungle…it was all super vivid, and I applaud Kai for his imagery.
Work of Breathing: Moderate shortness of breath: Unfortunately, the plot and dialog used throughout the novella made it difficult for me to stay immersed in the story.
Medical: Grammatically, this novella is great. However, the use of modern-day slang and the confusing plot made this read a bit difficult. There were a lot of things about it that were done very well, but the overall structure made it difficult to consider an "excellent" prognosis.
Psychiatric: The relationships between the characters were great. Especially between Demane and Captain.
Socio-economic: Marketed as adult and reads as adult.
Head to Toe Assessment
Head and Face: The cover is beautiful. I feel like if I’d seen this in a bookstore, I would have definitely picked it up. The blurb, as well, was intriguing. While I’d heard of this book through word-of-mouth, I think I would have come home with this book, regardless.
Neck: Nice beginning hook. I could vividly see what was going on, and it drew me in.
Chest: This is the point that I had a bi of a hard time with the plot. I couldn’t figure out exactly *when* the inciting incident happens.
Abdomen and Flanks: The imagery and prose is beautiful here, but the story itself is hard for me to follow. Combined with the modern-day slang used throughout the story, I started to lose interest here.
Perineum: Thing sort of come to a head, and I regained a bit of my surroundings here, when Demane has his breaking point.
Extremities: This was a great point of maximum impact. However, the big-reveal sort of confused me at this point.
Backside: A good amount of falling action. However, I had a bit of carryover confusion, and it made the ending a bit less impactful than it probably should have been.
Prognosis: I’m going to give this a solid "Fair" prognosis (3 stars). There were a lot of things that Kai did well, such as the multi-dimensional characters and the beautiful prose. However, with the confusing plot points and hard-to-follow dialog, I had a difficult time staying immersed in the entire story.
Once again, here is the formula of my "Triage", for those who are confused by this review:
Stay safe. Stay sane. Keep healthy. Keep smiling. Much love!