Reviewed by Deborah Lloyd for Readers' Favorite
Jack Van Horne, a science fiction writer, has been plagued with agoraphobia for the past ten years. Jack has been unable to leave the street where his apartment is located, only venturing to the local coffee shop and his doctor. Whenever he tries to write the third book of his space fantasy series, he struggles with panic attacks. His roommate and friend Shelley provides a great deal of support to him while encouraging him to finish the book. In Journey to the West Valley Wall, written by Mark L. Lloyd, Jack’s plight reaches a climax when he is charged with watching his niece Tessa for a few days. Not only does he have to travel to get to her home, he is soon faced with an unexpected situation that forces him to act outside of his comfort zone.
This book is a compelling read for several reasons. The day-to-day consequences of Jack’s agoraphobia and anxieties are well described. Including sections of his science fiction writing adds an intriguing depth to the story. The setting of a small town in British Columbia is also interesting. The development of the main characters, Jack, Shelley, Tessa, and several other characters is fascinating, as each one grows as a result of daily and life-changing events. The author writes in a fast-paced, easy to read style, engaging the reader from the first page to the last. Author Mark L. Lloyd has crafted a wonderful novel in Journey to the West Valley Wall. It is a unique book!