Imajica by Clive Barker is a novel that includes everything from mysterious creatures, romances, betrayal, out of body experiences, assassins and murderers to dimension travelling to parallel worlds. What’s not to like? From what I can remember, this is my first Clive Barker novel! Although not too familiar with the author, I do know he specializes in horror stories but that wasn’t really what I was looking for in my next novel. So, when I heard about Imajica, I thought it would be a great chance to experience this author’s work for the first time. Was I disappointed? Yes, somewhat. Was it still a decent read though? I would say so but definitely not for readers with little patience.
Imajica has a lot going on for it but it starts off at a snail’s pace in the beginning. Multiple characters will be introduced that plays a pivotal role in the overall story to come yet their importance wouldn’t be realized until further on. This makes reading for some no doubt feel like a chore as the characters can seem a bit flat and uninspired from the get go. The concept of Imajica also isn’t all that original but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the story is cliché. Yes, if you’ve read a lot of fantasy stories prior to Imajica, many concepts will be familiar to you no doubt but if you put that aside, there’s still a interesting story to be read here. The concept around dominion hopping was something I looked forward to but was let down at the end at how this was implemented. Quite honestly and to be brutally honest, it wasn’t all that exciting and I felt it was a missed opportunity. Without giving away spoilers, this letdown was a big reason why I wasn’t rooting too much for the main protagonist in Gentle and the goal he was tasked with.
If you’re not one to reading sexual scenes, be forewarned that there are two to three of such detailed scenes here in Imajica! Personally I’ve never had an interest in reading these types of sexual scenes in novels and Imajica is the first book I can remember in my entire history of reading novels that goes into such details! I felt it didn’t really add anything to the story or more importantly, to the characters themselves. We as readers already know the history of Gentle and Judy as people that have the ability to attract their opposite gender with minimum effort needed so we as readers should only have to be reminded of their sexual prowess with hints, not page after page of the sexual act itself of this fact. It was something that came out of nowhere!
Imajica felt like another novel that should have been 100-200 pages shorter. There were times when a lot was being written but not a whole lot was being said. I would have loved for the author to have spent more of those pages developing the bond between the different dominions and for the characters to develop a more lasting relationship there to help build the foundation for the overall goal they are trying to achieve towards the end. major events obviously happen but for some reason, these just seem like a big blur to me when the final events was happening towards the end. This meant to me that those events just weren’t memorable enough. The ending to the novel was at least satisfying in my opinion and closed things out quite nice for the most part.
Would I read another Clive Barker novel sometime in the future? Yes, I most likely would. However, I would probably stick to what he’s best known for and that would be in the horror genre! Imajica gave me a decent brain stimulation with the whole dominion and alternate persona drama thing but save for certain parts, the execution was a bit underwhelming and lackluster. I’m sure others would disagree and say that this novel presented complex characters with a deep story-line and for some reason, I can even agree to that. It’s just that I didn’t felt the need or the urge to overthink this one too much.