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Neitherworld Book Two Ishpiming Paperback – November 19, 2007
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About the Author
SCOTT BAKER was born in New York City, New York. He was in the Psychology Major honor society PSI CHI at Pennsylvania State University. Today he is active in several Green organizations such as: Time's Up, Transportation Alternatives, World Wildlife Fund and Community Board 6 in New York City. His writing career began from childhood with his first illustrated book, Impland. He has since written six novel length manuscripts and articles for computer magazines and newsletters. A modern-day Renaissance man with interests in astronomy, natural sciences, psychology, philosophy, history, Native American culture, and all future-forward topics, he has been called an adept syncretist by Kirkus Discoveries, for his two-volume opus, NeitherWorld. NeitherWorld is an adventurous, multifaceted tale combining elements of history, sci-fi and fantasy set in the North Country of Ojibwe Indians. An exciting read of suspense and mystery that keeps the reader wondering what will happen next. Fellow Lulu author Jeremy Robinson has said of Scott, "It's obvious you have an abundant imagination and the true heart of a writer." The author lives in New York City and may be contacted at email@example.com.
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Neitherworld Book Two Ishpiming (Neitherworld) is a sequel to Neitherworld Book One Akiiwan (CreateSpace Version), a book I read and reviewed earlier, giving it five stars and high praise. I considered the first book a gem and this sequel is equally as brilliantly faceted.
Blending archeology with Native American myth and alien wonder, Baker weaves a story so complex it will stun you ... and he ties it all together with grace and dexterity, like the best of wordsmiths. This story starts with a revered shaman of the 1600s, continuing on into contemporary times.
I was hooked with the first novel and couldn't wait to read this one ... to find out what happens to Samantha Horner, the archeologist called in by a real estate developer to examine and excavate a site found on Blue Heron Island in Minnesota where he was building a luxury housing community.
But is the developer what he claims to be? Why are government agents so interested in the project? Will Samantha be able to save the island the Native Americans hold sacred without a rebellion? And now that Orenda--a mysterious ten-year-old girl, descendant of a famous shaman--has spirited her and others through space to an alien world, will the earth people ever see their homes again? Can Orenda help them return? Does Samantha--who has a small amount of Native blood--have the supernatural "gift" that the child does? And what does the "black hole" have to do with the mystery?
To unravel the mystery, you will have to RFY (read for yourself); to say more would be to spoil the plot.
Although the first book tied up prominent loose ends, ending at a satisfactory place, Orenda appears to be threatening Samantha or about to reveal her true nature, so it was with great anticipation I awaited the second book. Since I discovered Neitherworld Book One Akiiwan (CreateSpace Version) late, I didn't have to wait long for the release of Neitherworld Book Two Ishpiming (Neitherworld).
In addition to exciting twists and turns and complexity of plot, there is also romantic intrigue between Samantha and Dr. Ron Griffith, a co-worker on the excavation.
The characters in these books ring true, the dialog is impeccable, and the intricate plot is carefully, professionally woven to form a block-buster book. Intriguing storyline! Likable characters with just enough villains to make for hours of good reading.
Scott Baker is a new talent, a force to be reckoned with in the literary field.
I highly recommend these volumes--in fact, I "dig" them--as in archeology, y'know.
Reviewed by: Betty Dravis, 2008
Millennium Babe: The Prophecy
It is in this second novel that Baker reveals the angst of the aliens who have lost their original homes and now seek to survive through hosts of other species. This includes the animal world as well as the human race and the displaced aliens are both evil and good spirits. In Ishpiming, the bad spirited-aliens, known as the Lupok, take center stage in their quest to find hosts that will enable them to conquer all species and become the most powerful over all others.
With much of the action occurring on the surface of another place in the universe, the reader is treated to imaginative creatures and unique landscapes as the dig team works through its options to return to earth and complete their mission, which has now taken on far more significance than determining the historical value of an ancient shaman, Voice-In-The-Sky.
Baker uses the full range of dreams-to-visions to help the reader understand the strange beings while keeping the action going. This passage provides a good example: "Sam drifted into a dream, imaging herself high in the trees. She was moving as a yoboa yoboa, effortlessly gliding through the trees, as naturally as she had previously walked on the ground." Later in this passage: "She began to feel like she was intruding, intruding into the body she now occupied, like its true owner was waiting, somewhere in a corner of its own mind." Through this dream-vision, Sam pickups up the clue to follow for the next step of the dangerous journey. Her visions are more frequent in Ishpiming. They become the roadmap for the dig team to follow in resolving the conflicts stretching across the universes Baker has described as well as for understanding her own relationship to her ancestry.
The author brings this story train safely into the station without any serious derailments but it is also beleaguered by the editing and proofreading misses evident in the first book, Akiiwan. Even with fewer pages to read than the first volume, it still requires a strong interest in fantasy/science fiction to see it through to the conclusion. A parsimonious editing pen would serve this novel well.
Overall, the novel is entertaining and engages the reader's imagination effectively. Fans of the fantasy/science fiction genres will likely find it worthy of shelf space in their collections.
Paula Buermele is a reviewer for BookPleasures and is the author of "The Dream Catcher Tour."