A Selection of Reader Reviews. Spirit Thorn, A Tale of Parallel Worlds.
Many reviews appear with the book’s listing on Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk . Here are several:
A Wonderfully Crafted Book –
Many books describe odysseys, but few actually bring the reader along as skillfully as this with themes that are so pervasive and consistently defined. Art and science blend and twirl like graceful dance partners. They aren't detached and uninvolved but part of a larger whole. And as the harmonies between science and art are explored, so are the harmonies between space and time, man and earth, life and death, peace and violence, piercing and healing. . . The reader has an ever-present mental image of paired sub-atomic particles - spinning and oscillating, but always linked.
Fascinating and beautifully done!
Gary Hoover, Author of “Land of Nod, The Artifact.” 5 stars.
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Highly Recommended –
Read this book! Great characters, interesting story, original ideas, and accessible to a wide audience! On top of that, it manages to slip modern science in to the mix in a way that keeps the story fresh and alive. I'm looking forward to the future works of Zacharias O'Bryan. He's definitely an author to keep an eye on.
Doc John, Practioner of Asian Medicine. 5 stars.
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A Rollicking Good Tale –
I enjoyed reading the reviews about O'Bryans innovative conceptions of space and time. I agree with all of them, but I have to confess that I am not a science-fiction reader. I loved SPIRIT THORN because it is a rollicking good tale with marvelous characters. It is both an adventure story and a mystery full of near-escapes, scary creatures, and amazing settings. What a wonderful movie it would make!
Molly Greenfingers is one of the most interesting characters I've met in fiction. Despite her frightening appearance, she is one of the "good guys" and I grew to care about her more and more as the book went on. In fact, I found that I became so involved in the central character's lives that I stayed up much too late finishing the book.
There were sections that reminded me of Mark Twain. The speeches O'Bryan's Earl and the Judge gave to the townspeople were every bit as humorous and clever as the ones Twain's Duke and the King made in HUCKLEBERRY FINN. There were times that I laughed out loud. I wanted to send the song about Hon's girth to Weight Watchers.
Speaking of songs, the book is chock full of them. The author must be a musician because his songs beg to be sung. Some were funny; others were heart-wrenching. All showed O'Bryan's poetic flair. What a fine writer he is. What a delightful book he has written.
Dr. Susan S Roper, Cal Poly Univ., San Luis Obispo. 5 stars.
Your Back Yard May Not Be in This Universe –
There are science fiction tales that feature amazing technology (space ships that travel at warp speed) and those that feature extraterrestrial life forms (predators hunting humans as trophies). And then there are tales that make you think of what might be going on in your backyard--or in the backyard as it might exist in a parallel but unseen universe where the dimensions of space and time are appended to ones governing harmonies and disharmonies.
Zacharias O'Bryan's Spirit Thorn is a tale that asks the reader to ponder how our imprinted notions of space and time might require modification if suddenly nothing heretofore known explains such phenomena as the disappearance of family figures and the shifting in space and time of rivers, forests, towns and universities.
Spirit Thorn is aimed at young adult readers, or should I say, at persons whose minds are still agile enough to ponder alien beings who aren't our enemies, persons seeking truths beyond the Jeopardy definition of facts, monsters who in fact have sung our world into existence.
The story is of Braden Swift's search for his parents, physicists experimenting with jumping into parallel universes, who went missing on a stormy night a year prior to the story's beginning. It is also about his own maturation, into a person who accepts moral responsibility for more than himself and his immediate environment. Along the way to meeting with his parents, profoundly altered by their leap through the boundaries of parallel universes, he encounters evidence of what might become of Earth if more persons than he don't heed the signs of a return to chaos.
Braden meets Kestrelle, the current custodian of the Spirit Thorn, who recognizes him as her rightful successor. She guides him as far as she can in appreciating the fragility of the Earth and the need to protect it from mindlessness and greed. But Braden has his own demons to wrestle with, and he is profoundly shaken as Kestrelle and The Singer, Molly Greenfingers, are savaged by a mindless mob.
The early part of the tale takes concentration, as new ideas of time, space, and energy are unfolded. When Braden's moral odyssey begins, the story picks up in emotional impact, as the reader--at least this reader--identifies with a person who has buried a rogue soul and accepted his responsibility not just for the persons he comes in contact with, but for the safety of the whole universe--or, perhaps many universes.
If you have teens who liked Ursula Le Guin or Robert A. Heinlein, turn them on to Zacharias O'Bryan and his tale of multiverses.
Angus Brownfield, Author of Río Penitente. 4 star.
Thanks!! Featured or Recommended on these blogs & sites
Earths Book Nook, by Heather Powers;
Bargain eBooks, by Holly Hook;
Shelfari.com (with reader commentary) ;
YouTube.com (vid review by Jeremy Stephens);
KJSR radio Tweet by DJ Sarah Winthrop;
KindleGeeks “...the most influential thing I read all day.” by: Ebookstore4me. July 29, 2011 9:47 PM (gee... Thanks?)