ARC Review: Down World. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Down World by Rebecca Phelps

My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Stranger Things meets the Netflix series Dark in this paranormal thriller where three mysterious doors in a highschool basement hold the key to unlocking the mystery of what really happened the night Marina’s brother died.


As the site of a former military base, there have always been rumors that East Township High School was the site of experiments with space and time. For years, students have whispered in the hallways of a doorway created within the school, one that can access multiple timelines and realities, a place known as the Down World.


As the new kid in school and still reeling from the unexplained death of her brother Robbie, Marina O’Connell is only interested in one thing: leaving the past behind. But a chance encounter with handsome Brady Picelli changes everything. He will lead Marina to a startling discovery. The Down World is real and the past, present, and future are falling out of balance.


Brady is determined to help Marina discover what really happened to her brother. However, what is taken from one world, must be repaid by another. And Marina is about to discover that even a realm of infinite possibilities has rules that must be obeyed.

Down World

A portal to a parallel universe?

The following ratings are out of 5:
Romance: ❤️💙💜💛
Heat/Steam: N/A
Story/Plot: 📕📗📘📙📔
World building: 🌎🌏🌍🌎🌏
Character development: 👤👤👤👤👤

The setting: East Township High

The heroine: Marina O’Connell – her brother Robbie died when he was 14 and she was 12 years old. He was hit by a train. Their mother has been depressed ever since and blames Kieren who was Robbie’s best friend. He was also Marina’s friend until Robbie and Kieren got too old to hang out with his younger sister.

The Hero(s): Brady – Senior at East Township High, his girlfriend disappeared after leaving on a train. It had something to do with DW.
Kieren – Senior at East Township and Robbie’s best friend. Robbie and Marina’s mother blames him for pushing Robbie in front of the train. Kieren wants forgiveness from Marina and maybe something else.

The Love Story: Marina meets Brady Picelli on her first day at East Township High. She develops a crush on him. Days later she sees some strange things and is led to a place in the basement of the school which leads to an alternate reality. Eventually Brady begins helping her. Marina works with both Brady and Kieren to find out what happened to her brother and Brady’s girlfriend

This is a very weird story. It is tragic and crazy and all kinds of creepy. Though I don’t really want to give anything about the plot away. I went into this after only reading the blurb, so I want others to have the same experience. The blurb says it is stranger things meets the Netflix series Dark. I haven’t seen Dark but I have seen stranger things and it is similar in that they both kind of deal with an alternate reality.

Down world seems like a traditional alternate reality (where it is the same people as on earth, but possibly their path through life might be different based on choices or timing, or all the minute little things that can happen). Either way it differs from the alternate reality in Stranger Things which is like a world where alien beings exist. Though I can see why they are compared. It seems closer to the 90’s TV show Sliders in many ways though.

This was certainly interesting and would make for an awesome movie! It isn’t just that these people can go into an alternate reality but there are rules and mysteries and a dilemma to figure out. So there is plenty going on that needs to be resolved. I was definitely fascinated throughout the story. It got very involved and complex but never boring.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.


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