Author: Eric Arvin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Three hundred souls. That is all.
The entire world, all of human existence, comes to three hundred souls born and reborn again. No more and no less. Countless billions of people share these souls, each individual with a slight piece or sliver of grace. But when gods corrupt and upset the most delicate of balances, a hero must come forth to lead people toward a brighter day and a better life.
What if the entire world came down to three hundred souls born and reborn again? And what if that world, overseen by those who are corrupt, was at risk of losing its balance? Could there be anyone to help bring things back to balance and possibly, better?
The story is told from a third person present tense observer known as “we”.
To parody a much used Lord of the Rings meme – one does not simply read an Eric Arvin book, one experiences it! The world lost the light that was Eric Arvin in December 2016, after the US election, but before some of the current events taking place around the globe. As a result, it makes the timing of this book very interesting, since the central theme are those seeking freedom from a corrupt leader and their followers.
Set in a place called the Immortal City that supposedly has 12 levels, although the people are only ever told about 9, the City is overseen by a tower where the fictional character named God, resides. Please note, this God has nothing to do with religion or forgiveness, especially as you learn how they got to power. Those that serve this God, the 1st circle, is a place where anyone determined to be deviant or a sinner, is sent to a different level, where it is suggested life anywhere beyond the 3rd circle is not worth living. The sins can be as simple as being sick or orphaned, can also include sexual preference or your financial status, age and race do not matter – so a great many people can fall into their sinner categories. When judged and captured, they are taken to the 9th ring, which is considered a death sentence.
Having the story told from this observer point of view allows you to learn about several of the characters that play a role in either keeping the status quo of what is considered a perfect, if not a bleak, existence in place, as well as those individuals this world may need for change. With many characters, with their own motives for their actions, the reader will go through a lot of emotions reading this book, and you also realize the observer may not be only that, but also a catalyst for the direction of the story. However, as I do not like to have spoilers in my reviews if I can help it, I’d rather not name characters and the sides they appear to be on, I believe each reader needs to have that full experience of Eric’s work of discovering the world on their own.
This is not a light hearted read, in fact, some parts are very difficult, and readers should be aware there are scenes of torture, death, rape and abuse. As always with Eric’s work, or what I have found with many of his books, it is a meaningful and powerful read, where along with the discomfort, there is a story about finding strength and hope in unexpected places.