Book Review: Uniting Kingdoms by Oran Thaller

Title: Uniting Kingdoms
Author: Oran Thaller
Genre: Literary, Metaphysical, Magical Realism
Rating: 3,5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A highly contemporary and enthralling book about a spiritual journey and the creation of a new society!

A mysterious figure seemingly out of nowhere sets in motion a plot flittering between truth and fantasy, featuring a hero embarking on an adventure, a spiritual quest even, highlighting conflicts concerning the most burning and complex issues of our time.

This captivatingly dynamic and beguiling tale grapples you by virtue of its realism and contemporary subject matters, taken from real life. This book outlines a new society of men and women and charts its course as it unfolds under the radar of the mainstream, which reveals itself more and more as an obsolete civilization.

Compass for a new course

This highly compassionate and charmed tale has the protagonist evolving on the path of self-discovery as he comes to terms with himself, with his challenging personality, and all the while illustrates a holistic way of life which is simple to live by, aided by its light, oft sardonic, humor and life-affirming attitude.

The book’s optimistic teaching is a call for society to change, to espouse a set of simpler, natural values by way of solution to the most challenging malaise of our time, from the challenges posed by globalization, through the failings of capitalism, corrupt governments and the erosion of democracy to issues of education, ecology, energy, and most important of all: Love!

Uniting Kingdoms is a human and personal book of social awakening. The almost surreal plot and fantasies coming true would not have been so thrilling had the events described and the characters alike not been real and true.

Uniting Kingdoms is primarily a book of personal and social awakening. Combining a surreal plot, fantasies coming true, magical realism, it creates a new society of men and women, and follows the protagonist as he comes to terms with himself and his own personality.

The subject matter is relatable for everyone, and it’s an intriguing book for fans of the genre. However, it does take a while to get used to the writing style and the way the story is told, so be patient at the start and once you get past the first few chapters, you will enjoy the story and the protagonist’s journey of self-discovery.

Book Review: The Unknown Mother by Dielle Ciesco

bookcoverTitle: The Unknown Mother: A Magical Walk with The Goddess of Sound
Author: Dielle Ciesco
Genre: Metaphysical / Inspirational Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

It isn’t every day that one meets a goddess, let alone a Matrika or being that presides over the sounds of language. It is said such deities can bring us complete liberation. Will that prove true for a struggling vocalist named Wrenne when a mysterious woman appears and offers to help her find her True Voice? This beguiling and eccentric teacher guides us all on a deep and powerful journey through 10 mystical gates of sound, sharing great insights, secrets, and profound wisdom about the power of letters, words, and our very own voice to transform the world around us.

Did you know that “Abracadabra” comes from the Aramaic…” abraq ad habra”, which literally translates to “I will create as I speak”? The message of The Unknown Mother is to reawaken people to this truth and to that which we habitually take for granted…the power of the voice. When we bring our awareness to our voice and learn to express it in new ways, with impeccability, we rediscover our true message. Voice is the key to unlocking our power and magnificence. The Unknown Mother is an adventure for lovers of word, sound, and voice taking the reader into these heart of sonic mysteries. This isn’t standard knowledge; this is a gift for our times.

The Unknown Mother was an unique, thought-provoking experience. As a musician, I always thought I knew all about sound that there is to know. I was wrong. While the book presents us with a story of a struggling vocalist, and a mysterious woman named Matrina who appears on stage to help the vocalist find her true voice, it also teaches the reader a great deal about sound, the throat chakra, the healing powers of sound, and so on.

Anyone who thinks a voice is just a voice, simply has to think of musicians and their amazing voices to figure out that’s not the case. However, there’s a deeper, spiritual link Dielle Ciesco talks about in her novel. I hadn’t thought I’d learn so much before diving into this book, but I did. It’s a wonderful book, especially for musicians, vocalists, speakers and teachers. It made me understand my voice, its connection to a spiritual level, and more of its purpose and use.

It’s hard to give a longer review for this book. The writing was spot on, and the pacing was surprisingly fast for an inspirational / metaphysical novel. It was thought-provoking, and had a clear message to convey. I suggest anyone who’s ever been interested in their true voice, authentic sound, and so on, give this book a shot.

Book Review: The Journey by Dan O’Brien

15012057Title: The Journey
Author: Dan O’Brien
Genre: Spiritual, Philosophical, Fiction
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 21st 2011
Goodreads | Author Website | Amazon | B&N
Review copy provided by the author in exchange for honest review.

The Frozen Man. The Translucent Man. The Burning Man. The Wicker Man. The guide known only as the Crossroads, together these are the signposts and totems of the world that the being called the Lonely inhabits. Seeking out the meaning of his journey, the Lonely is a being consumed by philosophical inquiry and adventure. Filled with exotic places and age-old questions, the Journey is a book that seeks to merge the fantastical and real. Join the Lonely as he seeks out answers to his own existence and perhaps the meaning for us all.

In The Journey, author Dan O’Brien takes us on a spiritual journey. Our main character is a soul who’s lost his name as he reached The Crossroads, and is referred to as “The Lonely” for a large part of this book. The Lonely doesn’t know where he is or why he’s here, and neither do the readers. I liked this confusion, this sense of not actually being anywhere, but I imagine not everyone will like it as much. Not only does The Lonely have no idea who he is, where he’s from, or where he’s at, but neither do the readers. As The Lonely embarks on his spiritual journey to rediscover who he truly is, he must ask the help of spiritual beings. The first of them is The Frozen Man, then comes The Burning Man and next up is The Wicker Man. These beings, which aren’t exactly Gods, but more like spirits or things that just are, I suppose, give The Lonely glimpses of ideas, and it’s up to The Lonely to analyze them. In reconstructing the ideas, he slowly reconstructs himself, his own memories and who he once was.

I recommend to throw all your conventional ideas about books, how books should be written, and so on, out of the window before starting on The Journey. Think of it as a less-dark journey like in Dante’s Inferno. There are no real fleshed-out characters, but more like prototypes of characters. The Frozen Man, The Burning Man and The Wicker Man are more like ideas, notions, rather than actual characters. Even the main character, The Lonely, is so generic at first it could be anyone, which makes it easy for the reader to see themselves as The Lonely and the main character of this journey. The plot itself isn’t really there as well. There is a plot of sorts: The Lonely needs to figure out who he is, and to do so he meets with metaphysical characters who provide him with ideas, and a guide at The Crossroads who points him in the right direction. But that’s as far as the plot goes. This book isn’t plot-driven, instead the plot just flows, like paint brushes on a painting. The Lonely interacts with divine beings (fine, they’re not Gods, but they’re all-knowing, so I’d call them divine regardless), but instead of replying, they answer questions with questions. This reminded me of the philosophical teachings of Socrates, who was known to teach through questioning.

What is unique and thought-provoking about The Journey is that it asks philosophical questions and provides us with answers, but does so in a unique way. This book explained things totally different from what I’m used to hear, and fortunately, it was a lot easier to understand this way. In simple logics, the book introduces us to basic philosophical principles, and makes the reader ponder about life, death and the reason why we exist, if any.

What I did feel was lacking in the book was a drive, a point, a climax. I loved the ending, but sometimes the middle lacked direction. This vibe fitted the atmosphere of the book, but made me feel more confused than I’d liked to. Dante’s Inferno gave me plenty to think about as well, but on top of that, it provided a straight-forward, continuous journey that went in one direction, not several. I struggled to get through the beginning of this book, partly because it was so strange at first. Once I delved deeper into the novel, I began to understand what the author was trying to do and started enjoying it, but it was hard at first to adapt to the atmosphere and setting of this book.

If you’re looking for a fun, enjoyable, easy read, then The Journey isn’t what you’re looking for. However, if you’re looking to ask yourself a few questions, and read a new take about the meaning of life and philosophy without being preached to, then The Journey is a read you’ll definitely enjoy.

Book Review: Bella Maura by Dawn Dyson

9003854Title: Bella Maura (Beautiful Justice #1)
Author: Dawn Dyson
Genre: Spiritual, Christian Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Creation House
Rating: 4,5 stars
Review copy provided by the author.
Goodreads | Author’s Website

How far would you go to protect the ones you love?
When novelist Sienna Emory decides to come to the aid of an old college friend, she finds more than she bargained for. Not only does her friend Cheney have a full-blown drug addiction, she also has an endearing ex-husband who is still trying to help her. An unlikely match, Sienna and Jonathan soon become close. Jonathan’s five-year-old daughter seems to be the answer to Sienna’s prayers. Never able to have children of her own, Sienna is overjoyed at the prospect of finding a mate in Jonathan and a daughter in little Bella. But Cheney is not a typical friend and Bella is not a typical little girl.
Join Sienna and Jonathan on the discovery of Bella Maura’s sprirtual gift. It will lead them, and you, from America to Jonathan’s hometown in Ireland, where the gift is perceived as a curse that has tormented the Driscoll clan for centuries. Will Sienna and Jonathan help Bella use it for the good?

I have to admit that I’ve hardly read any Christian Fiction, and that I usually shy away from the genre. Bella Maura is the exception to the rule, the novel I simply couldn’t resist even if it wasn’t in a genre I usually read or am very fond of. I’m glad I made the exception, I’m glad I gave Bella Maura a chance, because it certainly does not dissapoint.

Sienna is a renowed novelist, and ‘foster parent’ for ‘her girls’, homeless or abused young women she takes into her home and makes a part of her family. Since she’s a very generous, compassionate and loving person, she naturally comes to the aid of her old college friend, Cheney, when the latter calls and asks for her help. But Sienna has no idea of the mess she’s gotten into. Cheney has no intention of really recovering whatsoever, and like her drug addiction and alcoholism isn’t bad enough, Sienna also discovers that she has a daughter she’s been avoiding for years. When Sienna gets to know Cheney’s neighbour and friend, Jonathan, it doesn’t take her long to figure out that Jonathan is the father of the daughter Cheney abandoned: Bella Maura.

Unable to have children herself, Sienna immediately feels a strong connection to the young girl. And when Sienna and Jonathan’s relationship blossoms, she ‘adopts’ Bella Maura as her own daughter. But unfortunately, there are still some troubles ahead. Cheney is struggling her addiction in a rehabilitation centre, someone is leaving weird notes for Sienna, and Bella has a special talent to connect with God that could end in disaster.

Dawn Dyson has an amazing writing voice. She writes descriptions with such delicate care, each word of the sentence holding a special meaning, and each sentence as mesmerizing as the one before. She is truly a master of words, and the way she crafts her words, sentences and paragraphs into this great, meaningful and amazing story, is nothing short but a miracle. Her writing style totally charmed me, overwhelmed me even, and left me very impressed. She puts grave thoughts, and life-altering questions in her novel with such ease that I, as a reader, was hardly surprised by all the questions this book kept asking me.

Bella Maura asks questions about the meaning of life, about the existence of evil, about the goodness of another person’s heart, about spirituality, God, and more things that we hardly stand still to think about, but are important parts of our day-to-day life. We deal with good and evil on a daily basis, yet we never stop to think about the very nature of good and evil. And the thing with Bella Maura is that, where in other novels I might be repulsed by such questions, and disregard the novel as being either too spiritual or too difficult and nerve-wrecking to continue, now I didn’t. The beautiful narrator’s voice, the distinctive and recognisable characters, the undeniable sense of love that this novel radiates, is more than enough to keep on reading, to ask yourself the questions this book challenges you to ask, and to do all of that without even a hint of annoyance. Bella Maura doesn’t just force its readers to continue reading, to turn page after page after page eagerly anticipating what’s coming next – it also challenges its readers, dares them to think out of the box, to think about their own part in life, their own connection to God, to define what is good and what is evil. That’s pretty much what all great books do, and Bella Maura truly is a great book.

The main characters, Sienna and Jonathan, share this amazing love connection that makes me believe there’s still hope for all of us. Their love is strong, both on an emotional and day-to-day level and on a higher, spiritual level. From the first moment they meet, they are drawn to each other with a force that cannot be explained any other way then that they’re soulmates. Both are charming, loving, caring, compassionate and giving so much for others that they often forget all about themselves. They are both very inspiring, and although their romance might start off a bit like a whirlwind, and I’ve always had some trouble grasping the whole ‘falling in love with each other in a day or two’ issue, but nevertheless, Dawn Dyson succeeds in making their relationship convincing, heartfelt and adorable.

I also really loved the other characters: Bella Maura, Jonathan’s little girl with a special talent and a deep connection with God and the world around her, the girls Sienna took into her home and looked after, and even Cheney, Sienna’s old college-friend who is now a drug-addict and alcoholist. The personalities of all characters were very well described throughout the novel, and I had the feeling I got to know all of them by the end of it. My heart went out to Sienna, and to ‘her girls’ for overcoming abuse, and for still being able to live, laugh, care and love. They were really a family, despite all their different backgrounds, thoughts and opinions, and it was really heartwarming to see their interactions.

From the suburbs of America to the shores of Ireland, this novel offers a plotline that is as divers and intense as its characters, a fast-paced adventure and a  journey of self-discovery, and acceptance that there is something greater than us all.

As I already said, Dawn Dyson is not afraid to touch some sensitive topics, and to ask her readers some valuable questions, but she does so with the support of an amazing cast of characters, and a strong and suspenseful plot. Bella Maura will both amaze and surprise you.