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Altar of Reality

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Sixteen year-old Madeline has struggled with epilepsy for most of her adolescent life, leaving her something of a social pariah. Things go from bad to worse when she wakes up from her first grand mal seizure in an extremely unfamiliar world but surrounded by familiar faces. Her hometown is in ruins, the aftermath of the Cold War turned hot.

Thomas, the boy that stomped on h
Paperback, 209 pages
Published February 22nd 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press (first published January 21st 2015)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Ben Alderson
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was an extremely interesting read. I can not compare to any others! I loved the Sci-Fi / futuristic aspects that run through out the novel!
I will be reading the sequel when it comes out to get a better grasp of the story and how it will keep unfolding!
Sharon Bayliss
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review
I had a lot of fun reading this story. 16 year-old Madeline has epilepsy, which already makes her feel like a bit of a freak, but things get weirder when her seizures begin transporting her into an alternate timeline. After a seizure, she wakes up in a hospital in an abandoned, post-apocalyptic world where her parents are dead, her uncle is the evil Lord Commander, and the only constants are her best friend Brandon and her crush Thomas. The alternate world seems too crazy to be real, and she ass ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy-uf
received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Madeline: I need to please everyone.
Thomas: I love you but I will cheat on you.
Brandon: I will protect you.

I really tried to finish this novel. Really. But I just could not.

The novel does not have a fertile setting. Granted, the ideas in it are original, but the novel just lacks life. The characters do not seem serious. It's like if they're on stage trying to come up with a good love story and failing miserably.The writing style does not mak
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Find out everything on:

''My problem with this book is the execution.
Not the writing. Not the passing. Not the characters.
But the decision to make the book about a love triangle more than about the – ever more interesting – existence of alternative realities. But even more than the excessive focus on Thomas-Madeline-Brandon, the jumping around from reality X to reality Y annoyed me profoundly.
I feel like I’m always saying this, but it’s true, this i
James Wymore
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. With the recent push of fantasy and urban fantasy in YA, I think there is a stark lack of good YA sci-fi. This book fixes it. With a compelling protagonist that is yanked back and forth between two different dimensions, it kept me fascinated as the plot raced between two polar ends.
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scookie-reviews
Verdict: A romance novel with dystopian on the side.

Madeline jumps between a hectic teen life and a post apocalyptic reality every time she has a seizure. It’s a fantastic idea but I’ll give you two warnings about the novel before you start: the romance-drama is high and this isn’t a standalone novel. If I had read it with those expectations it would have been five stars without a second thought whereas now I’m tempted to put 4.5 because I find fences rather comfortable at times.

Madeline has st
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted at Revenge of the Feels

*Thank you to Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a honest review.

This is one of the best YA novel I have ever read since Catch Me When I Fall and Charming!

Also, Altar of Reality is one flipping-crazy-ass story that will make you question your own reality and sanity!

That…and I promise you this – your heart will stop MORE THAN A FEW TIMES AND YOU WILL PROBABLY BE SOBBING UGLILY TOO!

This book got me so crazy and I could not
Marlene Moss
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Altar of Reality has a unique concept in that the main character switches reality during epileptic seizures. Not a fun way to visit another reality, but boy, what a great way to imagine what craziness could be happening during a seizure.

I like alternate reality stories and this had a nice combination of fantasy and sci-fi. To me, the concept was more interesting than the relationships, which felt a bit off and hard to keep sorted. I didn’t feel an emotional tie to any of the male characters, so
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publish Date: 22nd February 2015

Full review can also be found on: Paein and Ms4Tune’s Book Blog

The book has a good, solid start to it and while the concept was something I thought I'd like, I struggled with this book. To be honest, I thought I may, as there was a sort of love triangle mentioned in the blurb but as it was two versions of the same guy I thought it would be fine.

I discovered
Alyce Hunt
Just picked this out of my TBR jar to discover my NetGalley version has disappeared off of my Kindle and it no longer seems to be available anywhere. Oops.
Author also hasn’t carried on with the series so even if I could find a copy to buy I probably wouldn’t feel inclined to.
Reveiws by Marybeth
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Is the first of the new series. Hopefully.
Kriselda Gray
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The book started a bit slow, and I kind of had a hard time warming up to Madeline, Brandon and Thomas, but I was reading this as a review copy so I wanted to be sure I gave them a fair chance to grow on me. It took me a few days to read the first several chapters of the book, but once everyone got settled in an the story really got going, I read the rest in just a few hours - it hooked me that well.

The three charac
Emmeline (The Book Herald)
Thank you to Curiousity Quills publisher for kindly sending me this book for an honest review.

Okay so this book...i had a lot of mixed feelings

For example:


and then:


and then:


and lastly:


Yea lots mixed feelings. This story is a tale of parallel universe, Madeline has epilepsy and somehow when she goes into a coma, her mind is transported to an exact copy of herself in a place that was ravaged after World War 3.

In terms of world - building it was freaking brilliant. I mean normal world Vs. Worl
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah-Jayne Briggs
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).

(This review may contain spoilers).

Although I wasn’t too thrilled on the romance in this book, I did find the plot idea for this book to be a quite unique twist. Dreaming of different realities that seem real isn’t a unique plot in and of itself, but the way Madeline entered the dream world was different.

It was really interesting to see the different versions of the people Madeline knew in the other reality. I would have liked to see
Casia Courtier
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
I love this book. It's true. I haven't read a character quite like Madeline and I love her. She's strong, opinionated, and doesn't let her epilepsy prevent her from doing what she believes is right or trying to live a normal life. Despite her crazy love drama, which isn't that important in the book and isn't treated as a focal point, Madeline is amazing.

From the very beginning, the reader is catapulted into a world that is desolate. It's hell. Mara Valderran pushes the reader and herione into a
WTF Are You Reading?
Alter of Reality offers YA readers that rare chance to experience the coupling of first-rate fantasy and contemporary elements.It is quite refreshing to have an imperfect heroine. Not only that, but one who's imperfection (in this case grand mal seizures) gives her the key to her power.

This fast paced read puts readers in the thick of dimension-travel goodness from page 1.

One of the thing that makes Madeline a wonderful heroine is the honesty with which she is written. She makes no promises tha
Katie Hamstead
This story starts strong, very, very, strong. The premise is intriguing, the characters catch the attention, and the writing is solid. It kept me glued.
But somewhere in the middle, I got a bit irritated with Madeline. During one of her times in the post-cold war reality, she started to bother me, and Hayden got on my nerves too. I think she came across as kind of too much of a pacifist considering her circumstances, and a bit on the whiny, and dangerously headstrong side.
But returning back to he
Veraccolacci Astanei
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Have you ever fall in love with two different persons that are actually the same person and fall in love with them both in two different times and two different situations?
Well, I didn't thought that was kind of possible but with this book, it just happened.

Have you changed realities and find out that the one where the people you love are dead, the world is chaotic and you seem to be in danger... You find it the right place to stay? I believed that.

Altar of Reality is a very creative story it
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Madeline has always had seizures, but now her seizures include vivid dreams of an alternate reality where nuclear war has turned everything she knows into a dark and threatening place. The one constant is her best friend, Brandon, an ally in life and dreams. When her decisions in the dream world threaten her relationship with Brandon in both worlds, Madline must decide which world is the one she wan ...more
Lori Murray
I really liked the book. While it wasn't my favorite book this year it was a lot better than some I read. My favorite had to be Brandon, what an awesome guy at least to me. His the type of guy's that I love to read about in my stories. His my favorite and I hope if there are more stories to tell in this storyline world that his the one Madeline ends up with.
I gave the book 4 stars, even though I would really say it deserved 3 3/4 of a star rating. The reason why is due to the fact that I got co
Cheree Castellanos Edits
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A dystopian sci fi. I have personally never read anything like this before. Madeline is a 16 year old girl who has epilepsy, but it’s manageable. She has what are called absence seizures, where she just looks like she’s spacing out. When suddenly she starts to have full blown seizures when she gets very upset. And that is when her whole world changes. She wakes up in a completely different reality, a very ugly reality. The people are the same people, but they are not the same. In a world ravaged ...more
Nov 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-favorites
Thanks Netgalley for providing me with a copy off this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is one of those books that knocks you of your feet, that has you talking out loud to yourself and after finishing this book I was already begging for the sequel.

Dystopian and alternate universe makes the best combination EVER.

When Madeline starts getting epilepsy she loses consciousness for some time during these times she has vivid dreams where her life is nothing like it is today. Here in this lif
Naturalbri (Bri Wignall)
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
What I Thought:

I loved this book! From page one, we were thrown straight into the action - swapping between the lives of our main character, wondering if she was cracking or if there was truly a lot more to her story.

This book gives a condition of our world a definition and understanding that we could never come to believe. We read a long as Madeline swaps between the two worlds more and more often, and trying to keep them separate is no longer the least of her worries.

I thought that the story
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
ALTAR OF REALITY was a fun read. It was very easy to follow along to and the world was interesting and engaging.

Madeline has seizures and when they happen she finds herself in an alternate world where everyone she knows is, but they have all led a very different life. I connected with Madeline's struggle to keep each world where it belonged. It's hard to see someone you love acting like a totally different person in one world then have to face them in the other. She had a hard time with that and
Grant Eagar
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it

This book reminded me of one of my favorites; "If I Stay", by Gale Forman. The Altar of Reality of course brings a whole new twist and meaning to the "If I Stay" thing. Every time I assumed I had the plot figured out a new wrinkle was added. Valderran has a rich imagination I enjoyed the scenes she has created here.

"My love life has just been a bit complicated lately"

If you have a passion for complicated romance and love triangles, this book is for you. I think most of the males in this stor
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press and the author, Mara Valderran, for making an electronic copy of this book available for me to review. Madeline is an epileptic, whose seizures inexplicably start to trigger a switch from one reality to another. Each version of her life is drastically different, but are both realities or is one imagined? As the truth starts to unfold, Madeline has an impossible decision to make. The world created by the author is interesting, with a great concept and ...more
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
There were things I liked about this book and things I didn't. I loved the front cover which caught my attention as soon as I saw it, and I enjoyed the movement between the two realities. I also thought Madeline was a strong female protagonist, however I did not like the brothers, in either world, and the love triangle annoyed me. Thomas and Brandon were both patronising in their own way. For me, the characters in the 'alternate' world were more interesting and better developed, but I still can' ...more
Nikki Tetreault
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book, the idea was SO interesting that I couldn't wait to keep reading about it. Basically MC Madeline is epileptic, but vividly remembers the times her seizures send her to a coma, because they also send her mind to an alternate reality post-Cold War. There's definitely a romance plotline, however it doesn't take away from the story or the characters values, which I was really happy about. I wish it hadn't ended quite so abruptly, but that just makes me even more eager for a sequel ...more
Angie Taylor
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting book. It's about a girl with epilepsy whose reality changes from one life to another, and these shifts are triggered by her seizures. Very interesting idea.

It's YA, so there's some silly high school stuff, and romance. I wasn't the biggest fan of the romantic elements because there were too many love interest options. I wanted to cheer on just one, but it was confusing.

Anyway, a fun, different take on a dystopian future.
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Mara Valderran is an author of young adult and new adult books, but she's more than just a madwoman with a writing box. She is an avid reader and fan of all things sci-fi and fantasy. She loves roller skating and movies, though typically not together. She hopes to one day meet Daniel Jackson from SG1, or at least the actor who played him. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, playing v ...more

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