The Hidden City of Chelldrah-ham series by Stephan von Clinkerhoffen continues with Book 3, Belas Rift. Through a swirling inter-dimensional portal, Stig and Meg find themselves in Anet’s world, Earth, or specifically England. The humans can’t see Stig and Meg. Except for their shadows, they are invisible just as Anet was invisible to them in their world. The pair runs into all sorts of trouble, trying to manage their way in the human world and learning about it as well. At the same time, the pair tries to stop Anet who’s hell-bent on destroying their Motherland.
It’s interesting to see our world through the eyes of the two Manna. “It just tastes of salt and chemicals.” I find Stig’s disgust of a bag of chips amusingly satirical; we humans really need to lay off the junk food as well as other destructive habits. The growth of the protagonists’ characters and their relationships is deftly done. The wonderful descriptive quality of the narrative is maintained and is as engaging as ever, complementing the great artwork. There’s plenty of action and suspenseful moments in its appropriately paced plot, just like its predecessors. That said, Belas Rift is not quite a standalone. I do feel that readers need to read the series’ books accordingly to be able to grasp the unique and imaginative world-building, the continuation of the plot, and to be able to acknowledge the character development. On the other hand, there’s no doubt that Belas Rift is another solid work by Stephan. Fans of the series will not be disappointed with this third book.