Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review: Shalilayo

ShalilayoShalilayo by Justin Mitchell

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Shalilayo by Justin Mitchell begins as the story of a boy named Celdic who lives in another world. He knows he is different to some degree from those around him - mostly because he can't use his "yar" like everyone else (think "the force" from Star Wars). One day however in an accident of fate he bridges the link to his yar and discovers that it is actually more powerful than most any other person he knows. This results in a bit of confusion about how to teach him to control it etc.

At this point the story shifts from Celdic to an impending destruction of his world that is caused by things happening on Earth. Celdic and his friends are called on to escort a peace-loving Zeran girl named Riah to Earth while she works to teach the people here the way of peace before the Earth humans destroy everything.

I will admit that all in all the story about Celdic starts out with some promise and I found the world intriguing. What killed the story for me was the complete shift of focus in story (could have worked at least a little better if it had been divided into two books) as well as way too many gaps in the logic and reason behind the story and lots of unnecessary scenes and information that didn't help the story or make sense.

I also felt that the entire second half of the book boiled down to the author preaching his personal beliefs - no nukes, no fighting, complete vegan diet, no money, no government, no organized religion, and support for homosexual marriage. (I will say that even when I did agree with what was said, I thought the arguments were way overdone, dramatized to the point of unrealistic, and if the author was trying to make a case for the things he believes in that it could have been done in a much better way.)

Overall there was no real building or conflict - Celdic found his powers (that really didn't change too much/if anything about the book), the "superior" race came in and told the humans what to do or they would be taken away. Some agreed some didn't- those who didn't are taken away into isolation worlds where they would be forced to act in the right way due to lack of resources to do otherwise.

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