August 01, 2022

Michael James: "The Elevator at the Brink of Infinity" (ARC review)

Title: The Elevator at the Brink of Infinity [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: The Hotel (3rd of 3 books)
Author: Michael James [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Supernatural, Multiverse
Year: 2022
Age: 16+
Stars: 4/5
Pros: Entertaining twist on the portal fantasy/multiverse genre and the accidental heroes + found family tropes. Humorous and adrenalinic, but also poignant.
Cons: A few unexplained occurrences. The humour might not be everyone's cup of tea.
WARNING! Gore and violence. A (peculiar) sex encounter is implied, but not described.
Will appeal to: Those who like a crazy story that never lets up about a bunch of improbable heroes.

Blurb: Vain and her friends have been scattered across the universe.
A new threat has risen to take over the Hotel.
The Elevator opens its doors for the final adventure. (Amazon)

Review: First off...DISCLAIMER: I specifically requested an ecopy from the author. This didn't influence my review in any way.


In Book 1 of The Hotel, Vain and Roman were on the run from the titular building's emissaries - a collective of clones called the Wyatts - after being kept prisoners there and exploited of their life energy to replenish the seemingly endless Well (but wait, there was more to it). While trying to dodge the Wyatts, they met Emma (who was just coming into her powers) and reconnected with a few old friends. In Book 2, an incident forced the gang back into the Hotel in search of a healer, and they found themselves thrust into a deadly battle centering around the same Well where their energy used to be channelled. Now our heroes (or those who made it) are scattered: some have landed in a parallel, but slightly twisted (and past) reality; some are stranded in a dangerous alternate universe; some are stuck at the Hotel, which is taking its revenge under a new, even crueler management. I enjoyed the first and the third narrative threads the most - the parallel reality offers a lot in terms of character development/backstory, while at the Hotel things get even more insane than usual and require for our heroes to use their heads along with their powers, with interesting results. Comic relief and high stakes/poignant moments are more balanced than in the previous installments, and especially toward the end, there's a previously unmatched level of intensity that hinges on our characters' feelings, growth and relationships more than it does on their powers and the peril they're in, which is a nice change from the action romp of Book 2 (despite its being highly entertaining). [...]


Speaking of growth, I loved to be able to see a different side of Vain, who - while being her usual oblivious, socially inept, hilarious (for the reader) and maddening (for her friends) self - finally starts learning the ropes of romantic relationships and discovers empathy. I had been on the fence about her character over the course of Book 1 and 2, because sometimes her antics were a bit too much for me, but I have to say she ultimately won me over, not to mention, she added a level of depth and warmth to the story that I'd never had expected from her. I also loved how Book 3 of The Hotel was an ode to friendship, loyalty, bravery and selflessness, though I wish I'd gotten to know the secondary characters better (and though the change one of them underwent since Book 1 took some suspension of disbelief to buy into. But it's nice to think that love can move mountains ๐Ÿ™‚). 


I have to admit that my beta-reader brain couldn't help but notice a couple or three things that gave me pause, one of them being a certain little twist-ex-machina at the end of the Epilogue, but they didn't detract from my enjoyment of the series, and this last installment in particular. (Also, to the best of my knowledge, the book is going through a last round of revisions before pub date, so those things might have been tweaked when the final version comes out). The ending is a real powerhouse, and a surprising one at that - not to mention, there's enough of an open quality to it to titillate some readers' imagination without letting down those who prefer more closure (I actually thought that ending was perfect in more than one way, but I can't tell you why, because there's no way around it without bumping into giant was emotive though). In conclusion, James penned a fresh, funny, adrenalinic, yet ultimately heartwarming trilogy, encased in top-notch covers and with killer titles to boot (yep, as a rule I don't very much care about the outside of a book, but wait for the punch line), and traditionally published books have nothing on it (punch line delivered). Keep this one on your radar.

For my "The Hotel at the End of Time" review (first installment in the series) click here.
For my "The Well at the Bottom of Everything" review (second installment in the series) click here.
For more Adult books click here.
For more Supernatural books click here.
For more Multiverse books click here.


  1. So this sounds wild. Love the premise- multiverse gets me always- and found family is a favorite of mine. Clones too? Nice that the author stuck the landing, too, so to speak. Sounds like a good series! And right up my alley ha ha

  2. Like the layout of the cover. The book must be equally good.

    1. All the covers for this series are awesome, and yeah, they match the content that way ๐Ÿ™‚.

  3. I love it when authors use series as an opportunity to give us more sides of a character, as it sounds like James did with Vain here -- especially when it's unexpected! This book sounds like it has a lot of different concepts/premises in it, I'm glad that you enjoyed it!

    (Also -- I didn't know that you beta read! That's really cool!)

    claire @ clairefy

    1. There was a lot of comic relief built into Vain, but she ultimately surprised me.

      I only beta-read for a few selected authors I've developed a meaningful relationship with through the years. I still can't wrap my head about it sometimes, since English is a second language for me!

  4. While not my cup of tea - it does sound fun! Glad you enjoyed the series.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. Some series fizzle out...this one did the opposite.

  5. Sounds like such a wonderful blend of humor and action. You mention found family (a favorite) and an accidental hero (I love that). To see you having positive things to say about romance warms my heart too.

    1. Yeah, there's an unconventional pairing that worked, though the change one of the people involved underwent took a little suspension of disbelief...

  6. The friendship and character elements sound really nice, and it's so good when a series ending is satisfying and perfect! And I love the cove and title.

    1. The cover and the title (๐Ÿงก) are the ice on the cake!

  7. Sounds like a fun premise, I don't believe I've read that many books set at a hotel let alone a supernatural one. :) I'll have to check it sometime.

    1. It's funny, because I've read two in a few days - the other being The Paradox Hotel (which is sci-fi though). Highly recommended for fans of the genre, but it's likely to appeal to anyone who likes weirds stuff like time displacement (which is different from time travel...).

  8. This sounds like it was a great series. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.


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