A Pigeon’s Tale
ISBN: 9781514136539, Gross Mountain Press, e-book by S. A. Mahan.
Plot: A young Homing Pigeon is the only escapee from invasion of the flock’s roost by a wildcat. He barely makes it to town where he joins a group of ‘ordinary’ pigeons on the telephone wires. Here he is taken almost literally under the wing of wily ‘Old Dude’ who, through his knowledge shared by all birds, is aware of the yearling’s heritage and gradually teaches him basic survival tactics along with introducing him to children at grade school where he begins to learn basic elements of ‘human learning’. At Old Dude’s urging, the youngster travels south with a migrating flock of geese, becomes attached to Grandpa, an extremely intelligent and highly educated human, who along with his six well-educated brothers, is preparing for the cataclysmic fate that he predicts will befall earth. Grandpa teaches him more basics and some advanced technics and works with him and his natural ‘bird instincts’ to aid in the preparations he, his brothers and several other intellectuals are making to survive the predicted coming disaster. The story gradually unfolds to end most interestingly with a strong message of hope.
Discussion: To quote Old Dude: “This ain’t no ordinary pigeon story. ‘Course how could it be ordinary? Pigeons ain’t ordinary at all!” This statement is followed by extremely interesting facts about homing pigeons (with more provided in the author’s notes at the end). The story itself actually is an amalgamation of scientific facts not only about pigeons but also of the earth’s magnetic field, the relationship to our Solar System, the importance of ‘dark matter’, Nano-technology and even a resurrection of the now seldom used Morse code. All of these elements are joined in a charmingly written sci-fi fantasy extolling positive thinking, never ending hope and an unshakable belief in an all-powerful deity.
Conclusion: The author has provided a sci-fi fantasy containing much factual material written in a most charming elevating manner that in some ways conjure up poignant thoughts of people and a way of life that no longer exists. This book should appeal to many readers of varying age and regardless of genre preference.
5* Charmingly written sci-fi fantasy containing factual material, positive thinking and belief in a deity.
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.