The cover caught my eyes first and made me have a closer look at it. The blue, turquoise, and purple shades are drawn together in a wonderful motive and it is obvious that it shows the main figure, Ellie. I found many things in here that are very familiar to me from other books. And that was it, what threw me into a state with mixed feelings. The fantasy in this novel is partly absolutely wonderful. It was so easy to imagine all the beautiful described places and the setting, and I could literally see the story as if I was watching a movie. And yet, I found too many things looked exactly like those I´ve seen in other books like The 100 or the City of-series.

Vortex-Der Tag An Dem Die Welt Zerriss*
by Anna Benning
Vortex Trilogy #1
Publisher Fischer KJB on March 4, 2020
Genre Fantasy
Pages 495
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher


The day the first vortex moved across our world changed everything. He changed our countries. Our seas. And he changed us. His energies awakened powers that should not exist. Powers of fire, earth, air, and water. Our world is different today. But the vortexes have remained. I learned to walk in their vertebrae. I learned to use their powers as my powers. But I didn´t know what kind of power it would create. Until I met him. And my world finally got out of joint … (personal translation by ©Vi at Inkvotary).

Elaine wants to be a runner. She wants to hunt down as many splits as she possibly can. Because they are a threat to society, she lives in. In her world, only those who can control their powers are eligible to live. But what about Luka? And what can she do to help those she cares about but can´t prevent from getting caught?

There are many similarities in this novel to other fantasy books. And I am not sure whether I like that or not. The story itself is new, yes, but many things in the actual plot were only too familiar. I can´t tell you exactly why it was, but I had my problems finding access to the main figure´s emotions. There was always some kind of distance, no matter how action-filled or tense the story was or became.

Anna Benning´s writing style is easy to read, contains some very well created scenes and sentences and shows, despite some very brutal scenes, a soft tone. The author has created a fantasy world I sometimes just wanted to explore myself. On the other hand, there are parts and pages in this book, I didn´t need. The fact, that the story is told from Ellie´s point of view, is no guarantee that you will experience the same things the main figure does. I simply missed the connection I usually feel when reading a book in that sense.

The world in Vortex is split. In all those who try to achieve a place at the curatorship where they can train to become runners. But not for fun. Runners hunt down all those who were born with mixed abilities and are seen as not even human by authorities. In fact, they are a thread. Maybe it was all those similarities that gave me a bit of a weird reading experience. I can´t deny that over many pages I had a wonderful reading pleasure. If I would have had that from the beginning of the book, this would have been a fantastic page-turner.

Elaine has gone through a lot throughout her entire life. She knows what it means when you lose a loved one only because someone else can´t control his powers. Or doesn´t want to. The first Vortex has created chaos and left some creatures as well as humans who have mixed abilities. Something, the powerful are scared of and don´t want to accept in their modern society. And for Elaine, it is a dream come true when she wins the race and shows that she has an ability someone is eager to get under his control. It was nice to watch how Ellie discovers her new ability and how she starts to change when she sees the other side of the fence.

I am ambivalent about this story. Good, the first half of the book asks a lot from its reader and there were several times where I was close to making this my first DNF. But I kept reading because there was something in the style and novel itself, that made me want to know what happened next. And the other half turned out to be exciting and diversified. I can truly say: this book isn´t like all the others, despite all the familiar things I found in it. And the cliffhanger … was that necessary? *smile* Yep, it wasn´t a full reading pleasure from the beginning, but after all an enjoyable book.

Happy reading

*This book was, at the time this review was published, only available in the German language. It was kindly provided to me by Fischer KJB in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thank you. Therefore, the cover of the German edition is shown first in this review.

Anna Benning
Anna Benning ©Viktoria Van Evert / Luma Photography

Anna Benning was born in 1988, the youngest of three children. While studying literature, she wrote book reviews for a magazine and also worked in a bookshop. She has been a publisher's editor since 2013. One day she took heart and put her own stories on paper. "Vortex" is her debut.



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