We Own the Sky

We Own the Sky ISBN: 9781548450205 a fantasy tale in e-book format copyright and written by Sara Crawford.

The Prologue of this Book 1 of The Muse Chronicles introduces the Muses of Greek Mythology as they are beginning to awaken again from their five hundred year sleep on Mount Olympus. Urania, the current Ruling Muse of astronomy has awakened and her sister, Clio Muse of History, awakens shortly thereafter and is in total shock to discover how much the world’s art had changed. Chapter one introduces Sylvia Baker, the sixteen-year-old tremendously and varied musically talented protagonist. She lives in Marietta, GA, a suburb of Atlanta with her father and attends the local high school where she is pretty much of a ‘loner’. Her situation results in large part from peer reaction to this youngster who is the daughter of the “homeschooled teenager who her dad ‘knocked-up’ at 17.” Further, her mother left when she was 10 and her father became an alcoholic whom she literally and frequently had to save from dying. Finally however, with help from AA and his gradually increasing ability to compose successful music and a degree of acceptance of his small band, at 33 he is a loving father. The entire basement of their home has been converted to a recording studio where he and his band practice and record and Sylvia often jams with them. During these early days however, she suffered from depression, almost committed suicide, was sent to a local institution and gradually recovered enough to return home and attend school. One of her classes is an experimental one teaching about the ancient Muses and another is in music where they are preparing for a competition. She often sees flickering figures, especially when music is involved. Suddenly after a series of activities, she actually sees an entire figure of a beautiful man with whom she speaks, and progressively she sees and can speak to several others. This one man brings to mind the Greek Poet Hesiod’s: “He is happy whom the Muses love. For though a man has sorrow and grief in his soul, yet when the servant of the Muses sings, at once he forgets his dark thoughts and remembers not his troubles. Such is the holy gift of the Muses to man.” Could Vincent really make her “forget her dark thoughts”? Certainly her life begins to turn for the better. She gains friends, performs brilliantly and becomes actually happy. However, at this moment in time the Muse Clio has decided that there are too many half human/half muses in existence that must be eliminated. One of her new friends has become aware of her muse relationship and the beautiful relationship that was solving her problems is shattered because her equating with ‘people’ no one else can see should dictate she be returned to the institution. The reader must await further information as the story’s next activity unfolds in the next book in the series.

Discussion: The author has presented a fascinating plot in a well-written manner that readers of fantasy and especially those who enjoy involvement of mythical characters should find most charming. Simply explained, it is a story about a multi-talented, brutally psychologically abused child who suddenly realizes she has constantly been seeing flitting images but doesn’t care if it is true. She wants it to be. “I want to live in a world where there are immortal spirits that help us make art. I want to live in a world that is as magical as Ancient Greece when everyone believed in mystical gods and goddesses. I want to live in a world where art is connected to things that are spiritual – things that we can’t even understand as humans. Because that’s how I feel about it. Art is divine. This idea makes me seem special, rather than insane.” The plot follows how she does it and still lives in her everyday school day with its people and their disbelief of such possibilities from their position of mundane existence, surroundings and commitments. A caveat required for readers who prefer at least a measure of closure with each book in a series.

Summary: Well-written myth based fanciful tale that ‘believers’ will love but a caveat is required as mentioned above.

5* Well-written myth based fanciful tale for ‘believers’ but with a caveat.

 

 

 

Elevator Quest

Elevator Quest ISBN: 9781073215035, EA Strarchilde Co, a horror fantasy by Emmanuel M. Arriaga.

The story opens with a number of people entering the elevator of a building all heading to the 27th floor. Somewhere near the top there is a power failure. The older model elevator is not equipped with brakes, and the car begins to descend. The next floor mentioned is the 11th, followed by the 5th and the ultimate crash at the bottom. All of the occupants seem to survive, leave the car and enter a bizarre world where they find corpses with a plethora of weapons scattered about. Each arms him/her self and they proceed as a group from one chamber to another encountering a series of weird opponents. There are goblins, orcs, robed monks who do not speak, have empty eye sockets and attack with their long poisonous finger nails and mechanized figures. There also are seemingly bodiless flying attackers and even eventually they are attacked by their own mirror images. Fortunately, the weapons they discovered and use not only are magical but sentient as well and can conjure up bolts of lightning, torrential rain and winds and destructive flames and one member has acquired the ability quickly to heal anyone’s occurring wounds. They do lose some members and their journey eventually leads them to an area where two members of the group, Damon and Samil, make a startling declaration and the tale winds to a surprising, although on many levels not unexpected, ending.

Discussion: The author has provided an interesting overall plot that is not revealed until the finale. Leading up to this ending, the action is almost unceasing and mostly of a violent nature. There is little character development and a rather rambling progression of the quite repetitive magical activities.

Summary: A plot reminiscent of appealing divertive material so often provided by today’s electronic equipment, no doubt of interest to persons enjoying these productions. Also those for whom non-stop action is enough. This reader believes judicious editing of several areas would greatly enhance enjoyment.

3* 4* Late revealed interesting plot; readers enjoying non-stop action; 2* for others.