Monday, August 4, 2014

Walking in different worlds

"Fiction is lies," my brother told me once. But it's not lying, surely, if there's no intent to deceive. Fiction is the chance to walk in a different world--an imagined rendering of history, a fanciful palace of the future, a place outside our time and space, or maybe even the inside of a stranger's mind. Fiction lets us wear, not just different clothes, but different selves, as we walk on different roads and stretch muscles we never knew we owned. "Fiction is freedom" would be my reply. And here are some reviews of fiction books recently read. Don't forget the coffee is rated for flavor, and there's a perfect time for every roast, from one-star to five.

Starting with history and faith, both in one, is William H. Stephens' beautiful novel, Elijah. Combining religion, history, politics, and a wonderfully evocative depiction of ancient Israel, the author invites readers to a world where Jezebel is a politically savvy queen, and a nation struggles to choose between right and might. Enjoy this richly elegant tale with a rich elegant four-star coffee.

The Prince and the Singularity—A Circular Tale, by Pedro Barrento, blends philosphy and religion rather than religion and faith. With allusions from history, fairytale and multiple faiths, a light touch, smooth writing and gentle humor, the author creates a world beyond our own where gods play cards and three magical gifts are bestowed. Enjoy this curiously absorbing walk through parallel worlds with another richly elegant four-star coffee.

Michael West's The Wide Game is a classic teen horror novel with a twist. The surviving teens have grown up, sometimes married and had kids, and now they're revisiting the scene of a dangerous game played just before graduation. Guilt, forgiveness and recovery might all play their part in a novel that adds intriguing questions and mystery to classic scares. Enjoy with a bold, dark, intense five-star cup of coffee.

My Butterfly, by S.J. Byrne, deals with horror of a more mundane kind as it starts with scenes of graphic sexual violence. The victim has much to recover from, and the bulk of the story takes place as she rediscovers her love of art while staying far from home in bonnie Scotland. The accents are strong. The sexuality likewise. But it's an intriguing, thought-provoking tale, of guilt, power and control, and of genuine love. Enjoy with a bold, dark, intense cup of coffee.

Finally, Diamonds and Dust (Jewels of Chandra, book 1), by River Fairchild, takes readers to a whole new world of fantasy, crossing the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with Game of Thrones perhaps. There are some pretty sensual scenes in this one too, and the whole is richly elegant and complex, deserving that elegant complex four-star coffee.

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