EPHAIDRIA ISBN: 9780998405810, an ‘other world’ novel copyright and written by James Grieco.

Scene/Plot: Four human principles become involved in problems evolving in the intergalactic world which consists of three individual realms. One is composed of matter and energy. The other two are non-physical dimensions composed entirely of energy – the upper one positive, the lower completely negative and can be thought of as similar to what humans think of as Hell. Ephaidria is the most developed planet in the cosmos and consists of eight civilizations which are being threatened by Zang who has managed to escape from the lower realm and teaching others how to escape has gathered a huge army that is attempting to overthrow the Ephaidrians after which Zang intends to ruin Earth as well. Much will depend upon whether he can get to Sibyl and obtain the four crowns she maintains before the Ephraidrians. They cannot do this themselves and require four specific Human Prins with special powers and they must bring them through the entryway at a very old Roanoke Park walled-up cave in the Kansas City area. The four humans required are: Joshua (Josh) Jaylee, a sixteen-year-old resident of suburban Kansas City, who instead of gaining a high from drugs has spent hours becoming an incredible gamer. His strategic mind is unmatched in innumerable warfare games and is aided by a unique ability to sense an activity or movement before it actually occurs. Nicole Rauveur (18 yr. old Nicki) unparalleled musical aptitude Parisian violinist who tragically lost her mother at ten to a house fire which she escaped. Her researcher father moves them to the US to accept an offer because of his breakthrough in Nanomedicine. They now live in Kirkland, NY and after a drive to Syracuse to participate in an evening concert, she goes to sleep and has a horrifying dream where she is dragged into the ground. The reader discovers she has prophetic dreams, is clairvoyant, has second sight and may even be able to ‘change history’. Fifteen-year-old Suki Odayajka is a world class gymnast who after a perfect performance falls into a swoon where she hears her great grandma’s (Nyoko) voice “Try not to be frightened. He feeds on your fear.” She also has the ability to heal peoples’ injuries. Tahani Jakande, handsome, muscular, highly intelligent South African who is at NEO Cosmological Observatory as an intern after finishing his 1st year at Mass Conservatory of Astrophysics. He always believed there was life beyond our world and now is here making a startling discovery. He sees an object travelling at ¼ the speed of light (84,000 kilometers/second). If in fifteen minutes it hits earth, it can destroy a huge city of if landing in the ocean can cause a massive tsunami. Remarkably as it approaches it slows down so it is directed by something intelligent. Then suddenly, it vanishes. The tale proceeds as the four humans are gathered together at the cave, transported through the solid brick wall, transferred to Ephaidria where their metabolism is altered and they are mentally and quickly provided with the nine languages they will be required to use and prepared to aid their new intergalactic friends in the struggle to save their world as well as their earthen home.

Discussion: The author has provided a rather complicated story with a large number of places and characters of varying importance to the plot which, as described above, actually is only the basic story. In the author’s own words, one amusing from the young Josh, the other by the ancient prophet: “The creature we have to fight is possessed by a pissed off ghost, who cooked up a crown that makes him super- powerful…” And from antiquity: “Only four human Prin shall bend the face of time and enter the Sibyl’s sanctum. The righteous shall receive the great Starbrands, wielding their might with tempered hands, driving the escaped Drarbune souls back into the depths of Drar.”

Conclusion: The author’s imaginative themes and use of rich fantasy no doubt will enthrall readers that thrive on such wide ranging epic galactic tales of good versus evil. If you are one of these individuals, this one’s definitely for you.

5* For readers enthralled by original imaginative themes, rich fantasy.

Our Eternal Curse, ANOTHER TRIBE

Our Eternal Curse, ANOTHER TRIBE, A historical, mystery war story e-book by Simon Rumney.

Plot: After a quote: “Racism is a virus that can only be spread by us”, the story opens with the battle being fought at Shiloh in April 1863, a fact that was of no importance to Julii because “she had not yet met Captain Robert Calhoun, the man who would teach her the white man’s language.” And “She was blissfully unaware that each step (she was taking) was taking her closer and closer to unimaginable heartache…” as she followed the path she had been following almost every morning as a papoose on her mother’s back or on foot, almost every morning of her eighteen years. She is one of the last members of the small Koasati tribe banished by the parent tribe and the Cherokee Nation to a hidden valley known as “a bad spirit place” in Tennessee. Julii’s grandparents were the original inhabitants banished because they had persisted in marriage against all dictates. The small sub-tribe had avoided the American government’s “trail of tears” that had banished all Indians from the eastern states because they literally had not been known to exist. While walking, Julii hears unusual thunder-like sounds with no clouds in the sky and when she arrives at the creek she sees a pink man in unusual clothes who has fallen from his horse with his broken leg caught in the stirrup – none of which she understands, but releases him, gives him water and finally is able to get him to her village where she nurses him not only for the leg but additionally a severe and infected head wound. During his recovery, the reader discovers that she is an extremely intelligent person with remarkable powers of learning and assimilation, and although as a Southerner and racially biased, he still manages to teach her a considerable amount of English. Upon his recovery, she accompanies him back to Atlanta. On the trip he becomes enamored and they indulge in heavy sexual activity. Upon arrival, she is treated as other non-whites, he is court-martialed for deserting his command at Shiloh, her testimony is unacceptable because the prosecutor says she is lying about the short time she had been able to learn the language, there are no Indians left in the eastern states, and besides she is an Indian and no better than the other non-white residents. He is convicted and she is abandoned only to be saved by an Italian Count who detests the manner in which the white population treats anyone not of their color. Also as the largest supplier of armament for the Confederacy through his modern fleet of steam blockade runners, no one interferes with him. He believes and then discovers, that she actually is a reincarnation of a member of his family going back to the pre-Roman era and the story evolves as Julii continues to learn and with her tremendous intellect becomes involved not only in strengthening his business, but for revenge devises a plan to defeat the Confederacy. Ultimately she obtains her revenge on the abominably racist southerners while dishearteningly discovering that many of the Northern Union officers are no better and she pays a highly significant price for her actions.

Discussion: The story moves very slowly and simplistically through the early stages of the book, but eventually gains momentum to provide an interesting tale of realism intermingled with fantasy, revenge, reincarnation and retribution mostly incorporated in the historical settings of Atlanta and Savannah during the Civil War. It provides fascinating recall of similarities in historically relevant mistaken war maneuvers and sets forth interesting conjecture on the loss of Vicksburg and of Sherman’s famous/infamous March to the Sea. And finally to sum up the author’s intent, from this reviewer’s perspective, is to provide a story that not only strongly censors racism but also weaves the tale of a young woman who is destined to endure: “Life was never supposed to be something predictable and safe or “normal”. Life is a series of uncontrollable and unfinished events. Longing for the day when everything returns to normal was simply a vain hope. Normal was chaos and the only way to find happiness within chaos was to accept it. To surrender to it, to live amongst it. To let it take its course. To allow events to be unfinished.”

Conclusion: A slowly developing tale providing multiple emotions that can, or cannot, be embraced, and at a level determined by, the reader. A caveat MUST be offered for individuals who find accepted verbalization of the day too offensive as it is presented by the author.

3* Slowly developing emotional tale requiring caveat described.