The Speaking Ghost of Rajpur
Thought Balloon Books, 3rd edition of a book first published in 2014, in e-book by Priyonkar Dasgupta.
Plot: Brothers journey to Rajpur to vacation with relatives where they join other youngsters in participating in numerous and varied activities available. The activities range from simply reading and local trips to the surrounding countryside and local arcades and fairs to more extended and parenthetically dangerous bus travels and exploration of abandoned factory buildings. The conversations and subjects set forth are mostly typical of those of boys from less sophisticated backgrounds, the trips are somewhat typically serendipitous except perhaps for the one involving the book title’s character.
Discussion: The serendipitous meandering of a group of youngsters as described pretty much follows those of similar groups in most countries with like amenities. As such, this story may provide a certain level of nostalgia for readers inclined to enjoy reminiscence. Beyond this obvious fact is a most interesting feature however. Although light on character development, the author can write beautifully descriptive passages and a really enjoyable mystery BUT simultaneously provide frustration because much of both get lost in the process.
Conclusion: In this reader’s opinion, a good editor will aid an interesting storyteller to emerge.
3* A good editor will aid an engaging storyteller to emerge.
The Birth of Malgyron, an e-book published by Crossroad Press and the second in a projected series of four books by John deFilippis.
Plot: In the series initial book the aging and in poor health King of Manivor sends a select group of thirteen men to recover a lost Medallion of far greater intrinsic value than its mere monetary worth. It is foundand the individual actually discovering it becomes the new King. It is not a popular decision among some of his associates, the General of Manivor’s Army and a few others. As the story continues in this present volume, the King is a most forgiving individual, even attempting to stop the long-standing and incessant warfare with their mortal enemy, the nearby country of Xamnon. He succeeds, the reader discovers that he actually is the “only son of The Author” who is the ruling deity of the world, and his acts of forgiveness and other decisions for ‘the good of all’ are used maliciously against him. He is deposed, sentenced by the tribunals, and the evil Malgyron is born plunging the world into a burgeoning period of darkness. The manner in which these changes are produced, how they contained in this volume.affect many of the same characters with whom the reader has gained empathy and what these changes portend for the content of future books in the series provide the interesting material
Discussion: To provide an adequate discussion for this book, I must refer in part to my discussion of Volume One. Specifically, the composition of the novel was most interesting because of its seemingly unusual origin – an author who was a onetime religious novice but transitioned to education and/or religious academic administration. He always had ‘loved writing’ and as a child preferred tales containing epic quests embarked upon by courageous warriors who were required to deal with “fierce monsters”. With time now available, he began the projected series and produced a book that “follows exactly these desires with an underlying religious thread that does not intrude, but perhaps rather enhances the overall theme”. To discuss the present volume, a CAVEAT must be provided. This present volume continues exactly to follow the author’s desires BUT with an increased emphasis on the underlying religious theme by proceeding to follow much of Jesus’ final activities in life. The King is vilified for bypassing the tribunals by a kind gesture to a prostitute, has a last dinner with his guards, makes a trip to the Garden (obviously Gethsemane) and is put through a slightly altered sequence of final activity. Thus, many readers may feel that in this volume, the religious thread that formerly “does not intrude, but perhaps rather enhances the overall theme” has transcended the ‘good versus evil’ fantasy ‘thread’ to one more akin to a truly religious story. The presentation further seems to have acquired a more simplistic direction that would appear to project it toward a somewhat younger group of readers although the basic plot, characters and descriptions fundamentally still may be such as to provide appeal generally to fantasy devotees.
3* for fantasy devotees and possibly other ‘escapists’; caveat required.