Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Parabolis by Eddie Han

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

No spoilers and colorful language abound! I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

There were times when I was reading this book when I got so lost in the moment that I would clutch it to my chest and give a happy sigh. I was experiencing that moment, you know the one when you get hit with all the good feels at once.

  1. dative plural of parabola
  2. ablative plural of parabola

parabola f (genitive parabolae); first declension
  1. comparisonillustration.
  2. (Ecclesiastical Latin) An allegorical relationparableproverbtaunting speech or any speech.

Parabolis is a glorious odyssey that will burst into your mind and take up permanent real-estate in your soul. It is an intriguing mix of an ambiguous place in an uncertain time, composed with a corrupt political regime, and an unmerciful equalizer. This dizzyingly good fantasy debut is an astute and imaginative commentary on the human condition.

The first thing to note about this book is just how beautiful it is. The cover is something I would spot in any bookstore and be compelled to pick up. In a strictly tactile sense, the paperback is a joy to hold with it's smooth texture and substantially firm cover. The card stock quality is a testament to how much the author and artist value attention to detail, an indication of how much love and effort went into self publishing this gorgeous novel.

We are introduced to Dale Sunday as a young boy being raised by his father in the shadow of his older brother, Darius. His best friend, Sparrow is a small boy with tenacious convictions and wisdom far beyond his years, the kind gained only by great pain and great loss. The dynamic between these two unlikely friends is luminous and haunting, forged by young boys but cherished through to manhood remains the beating heart of this narrative.  We follow Dale's evolution from wide-eyed boy to disillusioned adult, only to find him back in his childhood home, in his fathers own footsteps. The time comes where he must choose his path, where he must define what it means to be a man in his own right.

Han's characters are complex, flawed and beautifully realized. This eloquent fantasy novelzine is grounded with a sense of reality and relatability in the dialogue but manages to be exquisitely quotable. It feels familiar with a veiled sense of the past and a touch of otherworldly elements that leave the reader captivated. If all of this wasn't enough, Han collaborated with a brilliant artist, Curt Merlo to bring his story to another level.

Full disclosure, this book took me forever and a year to finish, but in the spirit of honesty, it's in no way a negative reflection of its quality, in fact it's directly the opposite. It was so enjoyable that I relished in the tremendous writing and intelligent composition while my children weren't around to interrupt  me. Apparently, this is an extremely rare scenario. Despite long bouts without reading, Parabolis always called to me; each time I started again all the background of life would melt away so I could seamlessly fuse back into the story.

All in all, I cannot speak highly enough about everything that is happening here. I just, GAH!

Parabolis is now available in digital format, check it out on Amazon for $2.99! I will be interviewing the author and hosting a signed giveaway on my blog, so more to come. 

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