Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Corridor One by Rafael Derchansky

Corridor One by Rafael Derchanky. Self-published. June 2015. Ebook.

**I received a copy of this book from the author, Rafael Derchansky, in exchange for an honest review**

Rafael Derchansky reached out to me a few weeks ago and inquired about receiving a review for his novel. I read some summaries about the book and happily agreed. In short: I'm extremely glad I did.

Corridor One has a very complicated plotline, so I'll do my best to summarize: Dina is a sharp, hardworking woman who one day receives a random package at her apartment. This package marks the beginning of a long journey into her past. She endeavors to find out the identity of the man who left the package, as well as the fate of her long-lost brother and father, whom she has been separated from for a majority of her life. At the center of this intrigue is the question of missing treasure, which Dina and her fellow colleagues set out to recover. In order to find the answers to all of these questions, Dina must face her past and confront her emotions. 

There is so much detail in this plot. Derchansky has obviously taken great time and care in developing such an intricate and in-depth backstory, performing research on a wide variety of topics, and then relaying it all to us in an interesting and creative manner. Derchansky himself has a very interesting biography (found here) which I definitely can see as an influence in his writing.

One aspect of the novel that I really loved was hearing and learning about MirexGlobe and the sort of projects the company takes on. I was really fascinated by the world of authenticating art and various objects, and it really made me want to learn more about that particular line of work. I was also immensely intrigued by the Kerzhak Navigation exercises Dina so often practiced. The best way that I can attempt to describe Kerzhak Navigation is as a mental art that trains both the mind and body t focus on details, and it is through this exercise that one is able to train their minds to recognize and memorize maps and locations. This exercise eventually becomes an extremely useful and critical part of the story. I feel it is also important to add the organization of Corridor One creates an entirely new air of mystery and intrigue; who doesn't love reading about rather secret, unknown organizations? I'll leave it at that, as I don't want to give away too much.

The characters are also very well written. Dina is a strong, logical, and organized woman who wants things done right and will go to great lengths to make sure that they are done that way. Dina is not the type of woman to become emotional or let her true emotions show, but as we can see throughout the book, those are not always the easiest things to hide. Throughout Corridor One, we are given glimpses into the different sides of Dina, including both her strength and vulnerabilities, which allows us to see an honest, well-rounded person.

In ways her opposite, Tamara is quirky, animated, and extremely upbeat. She is the friendliest of the group, and brings her warmth and unique charm/sense of fun to each meeting and scene. We also have Gregory, who is much the opposite of this; he is rather quiet and keeps to himself. However, he is also prone to moodiness, preferring to spend his time working on his assignments in his laboratory, as he is extremely adept and intelligent. Lastly, we have Igor. Igor is also highly intelligent and extraordinarily loyal to Dina (though, to be honest, they are all extremely loyal). While all of these coworkers act as partners to one another, I personally see Igor as Dina's right-hand man who is always looking out for her and is also closest to her. This is a close-knit group of intelligent and strong colleagues who work in wonderful harmony with one another. They are matches made in business heaven. Each member plays to their own strength, and together they provide all of the necessary skills and tools needed for every successful business - as well as every successful mystery.

The pacing of this novel was fairly spot-on; it was never too fast, but also never too slow. It was on the slower side, but never dragging or slow. Derchansky did wonderful work in adding his immensely detailed and explanatory style. All of my questions were answered, and even more were created at the end of the novel, which the perfect setup for the second book in this trilogy, Corridor Two. The ending wrapped things up very nicely, while also creating an exciting new introduction to another book.

The only issue I seemed to find within the story was more structurally related, and that was with the dialogue. At times, the dialogue was a tad jilted and unnatural; it was very formal and somewhat stiff, which broke up some of the flow. Fortunately, it did not impede my enjoyment of Corridor One too much. In ways, this dialogue fit with some of the characters, as it only seemed to enhance how formal, educated, and lucid everyone spoke and acted.

Overall, I am giving Corridor One four stars. It was an extremely intriguing storyline, full of a wide array of interesting facts and mysterious questions. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys solving a mystery, going on adventures, or simply reading extremely in-depth and captivating storylines.

As a side note, if you enjoy any form of artwork, Derchansky actually has quite a few paintings up on his website that are simply beautiful, and I would encourage you to take a gander at a few of them. They can be found at rhdera.com

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