I got Click. directly from the author after I won a contest on his site. I was the first to comment a random word from a video he posted, proving I actually watched it.
Click. is an exciting and action-packed story that’s easy to digest and hard to put down. As is typical with Siler’s stories, the dialogue is snappy and sarcastic, with one-liners and pop culture references peppered throughout.
I had previously read Skylights, so I was already familiar with Siler’s style.
Click. is further proof that fast-paced narratives, sarcastic dialogue, and light description are Siler’s forte. It’s currently only available directly from Siler at conventions, or to people who contribute to his Patreon page. Since I don’t live anywhere near Indiana (his home state), and I’m not on Patreon, I was pretty excited when I won a copy of Click. from his blog.
The story follows Mike and Ali, a couple with a penchant for shopping at a local antique store. Mike picks up a strange puzzle-like gadget from the store one day, only to discover that “solving” the puzzle in various ways transports him into the minds of different people from an alternate dimension.
Naturally, the dimensional wires get crossed, and Mike and Ali have to save their world and the one they discovered by accident. The mechanism for traveling between the dimensions was pretty creative, and it goes from being an ominous sound for Mike and Ali (and the reader) to an anticipation-inducing signal that some shit is about to happen.
The back-and-forth between the main characters, Mike and Ali, and their comrades from another dimension, Gunnbjorn and Graesla, is engaging, and I actually wish there had been more of it. (Side note: I kept imagining Gunnbjorn as an orc, like from World of Warcraft, even though Siler makes it very clear that he’s human.)
As with Siler’s other stories, the world-building is light, with only the bare minimum of details included. Midrodhel is a world not unlike Earth, where the Hrothsmir — Gunnbjorn’s people — are fighting for their very survival against a cabal of Salt Mistresses and their horde of gnakh — goblins.
There are essentially a handful of extremely powerful objects, a few possessed or found by the protagonists, and a few possessed by the villain, Montega.
I was concerned through the middle of the book that these objects of power would become McGuffins that destroyed each other, but Siler explains in a riveting section how Gunnbjorn came to possess his pelt-cloak and the title of Warbear. Honestly, this section alone made the read worth it.
Siler uses more of his descriptive language on the action, which I found to be just detailed enough to give me a vivid picture, but vague enough to let my imagination fill in the blanks from the page.
The story ends in a somewhat unexpected way, with just enough of a loose end to warrant a sequel, but it’s not a cliff-hanger.
In short, Click. is a quick, fun read for anyone into fantasy/science fiction that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads.