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The Island of Echoes: A Novel Kindle Edition
"The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell" by Robert Dugoni
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The narrative style reminded me of The Time Machine by H. G. Wells--the suspense of a new world, the vivid emotions of its characters, and the beauty of its landscapes. Often times I would beg for the storyteller to pick up the pace, although the rich description and details drew me in and presented a complex world that at many points felt incredibly real. The sounds, colors, smells, and spiritual elements in Island of Echoes made it all very believable, and regrettably fictional.
It is hard to categorize this book. It is historical fiction, yet at the same time a manifesto of what life in a more perfect world could mean. Although the ending is a bit predictable and the Utopian society too easily formed, the message of hope and kindness rang true. I would highly encourage this book for anyone who is looking for something fresh and thought-provoking.
The novel magically evolves from the ordinary into something extraordinary. The island is in the middle of the vast Mediterranean, a "blank space on the map." Our young hero is open to new discoveries, and sees himself as an ambassador to this strange civilization of marvels. Fancying himself to be a budding historian, he is seized with the desire to write about this discovered island and its incredible culture. I don't wish to give a synopsis of this startling story in this review, but I encourage prospective readers to discover for themselves this incredible new world as Philip explores it.
Roman writes in crystalline prose, his descriptions of these otherworldly experiences are beautifully and imaginatively written. "Island of Echoes" is an astonishing novel, a visionary accomplishment, and after reading it, I wonder how he will surprise us with a second novel? More works from Roman will be anticipated for sure.
The plot of the book is light, as the writing focuses on the prose, descriptions of the world; its culture and architecture, and the unfolding of characters and their relationships. I was surprised, I did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did. There is no action, as it is driven by contemplation and exploration. But it was so well written, that I felt pulled in by the writing, and the world it presented. I especially enjoyed the ending segments, as the history and evolution of the world's culture came into light. It was a fascinating read, and I would definitely recommend it.