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LC Alex lives beneath a rock in a not-so-small-town, Florida. LC enjoys the simple things in life the most--music, tea, laughter and good company.
LC's sole aspiration is to donate positively to posterity, connecting with the reader through characters, themes and metaphor.
on Jan. 19, 2014 :
This book is an amazing journey I could not put down. Every unfolding experience takes the reader deeper into the inner and ever more ethereal dimensions inside Julia’s conscious. I am an avid reader in modern fantasy/sci-fi/speculative fiction, and this book is presently my favorite work in speculative fiction, although it defies the “traditional” boundaries of the genre. I have read other reviews of this work which tout it (in a positive light) as an innovatively experimental work of fiction. I would agree with it being experimental in the sense that all new ideas and inventions originally appear this way at the onset. However, to call something experimental suggests a degree of disorganization or disjointedness that comes along with the nature of pioneering. With this book I have found this not to be the case at all. Rather, in this author’s debut work (I have not found any other listings written by L.C. Alex) I find one of its greatest strengths to be a new and profound originality, both in concept and in the unfolding of the storytelling. The book seems to start out as a modern fantasy, where Julia descends physically into the underworld of Zabel, and I believe no fan of this genre would be left disappointed. The heroine meets a very likeable and very peculiar Larney called Ganoot; traverses ancient and unfamiliar worlds; and is introduced to esoteric and otherworldly entities. Without altogether leaving the modern fantasy “shell” the story progresses ever deeper into science fiction with metaphysical/spiritual overtones explored, while simultaneously and skillfully plunging deeply into a psychological voyage that brings the reader along with her.
One of my favorite devices used in this novel are the dream sequences. Despite being myself a fan of Surrealism and fascinated in the exploration of dreams, the dreams were used skillfully as a bridge between the experiential dimensions and even perceived “lifetimes” of the characters. The book gradually progresses from the inter-dimensional to seamless transitions of dimensions-within-dimensions without ever losing its focus, yet it is not often clear at all times which reality should be considered the “true” and which present the actual present, as the overall reality presented in the book itself drifts deeper and deeper into the dream world. Fortunately I was not left disappointed with a sense of unresolved conflict at the conclusion of this novel, as I feared I might due to my experience with many other stories and movies when things take the turn inward into deep subconscious/psychological territory. If you enjoy a good mind-bender this novel certainly fits the bilI, and I can say I enjoyed this sensation without feeling mind-f*cked intentionally by an author just because they decided to give the reader an inconclusive ending.
In many works of scifi/speculative fiction the device of inter-dimensional movement occurs more or less as a travel mechanism with a distinct boundary between one dimensional existence and the next, using a device or location to link them such as a portal. Although the Amulet of Dreams is an object of such unexplained powers, it is not at all used as a simple device for trans-dimensional travel, and plays a much larger part in the construction of this “reality” built upon its past/present/future and interlacing dimensions. It unfolds in an intricate way that could not be mapped as a geographical 3D or even 4D map; and I am sure many pensive theoretical arguments will be held by the book’s readership on many levels.
Something refreshing in this book which is often not well achieved in sci-fi/speculative fiction/modern fantasy is a good love story. There are actually (arguably) multiple love stories in this novel, and the love scenes, true to the novel’s structure, are also very complex--but it achieves where many other sci-fi authors have failed, in portraying intensely charged emotion. The love scenes are certainly not trashy and also certainly not mushy or sentimental that would class it in any sense as Hollywood. Carrying a love story (or love “stories”) across multiple realities and “lifetimes” I feel adds an immense amount of depth to the emotional impact of lovers’ struggles and desires.
Throughout my experience in reading this novel I could picture the whole thing made into strikingly beautiful Anime. I am a great fan of Anime and find its themes, storytelling, and emotional quality to be far superior to anything Hollywood produces these days. The characters in the book are original and memorable, and I would be thrilled for someone like Studio Ghibli to adapt this novel into a feature-length anime. If that ever happened I would be one of the first in line to see it, and I would also be pleased to see a film enable this beautiful novel to reach a wider audience, as I feel this novel (although exploring dark territory) has an uplifting and enduring story that should be shared with the world. I would love to see a sequel come along and I am dying to see more of Julia Wiles and all of her cast, but at the same time I am nervous about it spoiling this nearly perfect book.
(reviewed the day of purchase)