October 31, 2018
Paralytic State is a metaphysical science fiction written by Steven Orlowski.
Jaron Brundt is a world famous virtuoso guitar player. After replacing the legendary Tod Vas as the lead guitar player for the Darren ‘Loud’ Ray band, Jaron is about to become a big time rock star.
He is in the middle of recording his major label debut with the band when he feels that he is losing his dexterity. Before the end of the recording session, he is diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. He is given 3 – 5 years to live. After twenty five years, however, Jaron is still alive, albeit in paralytic state.
A former fan turned Virtual Warden at Aeternalis Federal Penitentiary finds Jaron to be the perfect candidate for a new but secret virtual reality program funded by the Federal government, where a person’s consciousness is transferred to a computer and live in a virtual reality world where he can walk, talk, and play guitar. But once he enters Aeternalis, there is no turning back.
Basically, I love the concept of this book. It brings up the most important issue of all, a person’s mortality. By portraying the main character as an extraordinarily talented young man with a promising career ahead of him, the author successfully presents the glaring truth that life is but temporary. Everything we have at the moment, the things we enjoy in life, the skills we learn, and the special abilities we possess may disappear at any moment and there is nothing we can do about it. No amount of money or fame can buy us health and vigor.
Furthermore, the choice presented to Jaron between living in a virtual world free of sickness and disease and living in the physical world with his family but confined in a wheel chair unable to take care of himself, is a wake-up call. It answers the basic questions ‘what and who are we living for?’
Except for the several errors that make reading a less pleasurable experience, I love the book including the lengthy explanation about ALS and the possibility of a virtual reality program.
October 27, 2018
The Ghost Writer is an easy read paranormal book written by Damon Norko.
Arnold Showalter dreamed of becoming a writer but ended up working in a grocery store. Frustrated and discontented with his life, Arnold died and his dream of becoming a writer died with him.
Now, Arnold has a seemingly unlimited time in the afterlife. In between haunting the Mystic Caverns of the Appalachians, he works at the Orpheum Corporation as a writer and is popularly known as The Ghost Writer, enjoying a celebrity status. Too bad he is no longer alive to savor it.
His fame is due primarily to his ‘straightforward prose’ and ‘vivid portrayal’ of the human condition. Unbeknownst to his readers and fans, Arnold’s realistic depictions of life are inspired by the memories of his past, his dreams, wants, pains, and regrets. With no loved ones to visit every once in a while, Arnold seems as bitter in death as in life.
Then, he meets Clarisse, a young ghost who was a victim of a fatal accident. Even in death, she seems to find a way to enjoy life.
This is an interesting depiction of afterlife based on the author’s imagination. Told in painful reminiscences, the book presents the reality of our limited stay in this world. For me, it is a call for introspection and reality check, for a chance to change whatever needs changing to have a more productive life.
However, I find the plot too ambiguous for my taste and the ending a little inconclusive. Still, I find the book enjoyable.
October 6, 2018
Roadmap to the End of Days: Demystifying Biblical Eschatology to Explain the Past, The Secret to the Apocalypse and the End of the World is an interesting and intriguing book written by Daniel Friedmann.
The book has ten chapters, three appendices, glossary, and endnotes in addition to some figures and tables. It demonstrates a clear biblical time comprising a chronology of actual history until today up to a deadline for the End of Days in 2240 and events relating to the End of Days.
In order to understand the ‘biblical timeline’ to the End of Days, the author explains first the purpose of our existence which is, ultimately, the fulfillment of the Cosmic Purpose and explicates how this Cosmic Purpose can be achieved and how we can hasten the End of Days.
The book discusses the Seven Noahide Laws and mentions the 613 commandments of the Torah as pertinent to the accomplishment of the Cosmic Purpose. Moreover, the author describes historical events where we have been close to the End of Days but failed to get there as well as the prophecies about the End of Days including The Battle of Gog and Magog and the resurrection of the dead. By presenting figures and tables, the author illustrates the parallel pattern of Creation Days and the coincidences between biblical events and recent historical events.
Overall, this is an academically written, very interesting, very intriguing, and, apparently, well-researched book. However, this is not an easy read. It requires not only familiarity with but ample knowledge of the Scripture. Moreover, the flood of details can be very confusing and disorienting. Finally, I find the premise of the book a little subjective.
October 3, 2018
Accidents Happen is a sweet romantic comedy written by Sharon Karaa.
Tabitha Brownlee is getting married in a week. On her way to pick up the rings from the jeweller, the first in her list of errands for the day, Tabitha gets into a freaky accident and ends up trading places with a soul collector. Totally clueless on how to get back to her own body, which is on its way to the hospital with somebody else’s soul in it, Tabitha is taken by the ‘light’ and comes face to face with Death.
While Death is trying to sort out the ‘mistake,’ Tabitha is expected to perform the duties of the soul collector, Mort, she trades places with under the guidance of another soul collector, the steaming hot but downright rude Cooper, a former banker who is atoning for his sins.
Hoping to return to her normal life while performing soul collecting duties, Tabitha gets the chance to evaluate her life and the decisions that she is about to make and marrying a man she is not romantically in love with is the first in the long list of issues she has to deal with.
Told in the first-person perspective of Tabitha, this is a funny, relatable, and touching book about life, death, love, friendship, and fear among others. It is a story about a person’s life’s ‘worth’ as the author masterfully brings up the very important issue about the meaning of life. Though presented in consistently casual tone through hilarious scenes of mischief and chaos, the story is actually a profound examination of life. By giving Tabitha a chance to contemplate on a loveless marriage and showing the seemingly difficult choice Cooper had to make, the book seems to present a challenge to do the honorable thing.
The author creates delightful characters and for some reason, Mort appeals to me the most. He is painfully honest and takes everything slow and easy. Most importantly, he is proven to be far more important in the story than he first appears to be.
Needless to say, I enjoy this book immensely. However, there are some characters and scenes that I find not too important which only made the book longer than it should be.