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In the Realm of Eden
by Robert J. Emery
Reviewed by Don Bacue, Executive Editor
International Features Syndicate

 

"John Sutton's feet hit the pavement with military precision.  In his mind he envisioned a metronome that allowed him to keep perfect pace as he jogged his daily three miles.  TICK-TICK-TICK-TICK--each imaginary tick synchronized with a foot slamming into the dew-covered asphalt…"

So begins an extraordinary tale told of quite ordinary language.  At first, the words appear no bigger than, no better than, simple sentences strung together to form longer passages, paragraphs, and chapters of any novel.  Upon closer inspection, however, you see that these simple sentences are ingeniously divined.  Wrapped tightly together to keep the reader from dozing, they are understandably and devilishly pointed: No room for mental wanderlust here.

 

"The afternoon sun illuminated the Oval Office with a warm glow.  President Howel sat quietly at his desk signing papers.  There was a knock on the door."

 

These and other prose passages throughout this book offer little to offend or divert and lots to imagine.  Imagination.  That's what author Robert Emery brings to this book.  Imagination through contrite efficient use of language.  Imagination through a deviously twisting story line comprised of one-quarter political intrigue, one-quarter suspense, and all-quarters creative alternative Sci-Fi.  It is Robert Heinlein on speed..

 

Check out this bit of dialogue, after an innocent jog through a field leads to a revelation that will change life as protagonist Robin Cruz knows it forever: 

"I am not suggesting there isn't a tempting parallel to the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve, Mr. Cruz.  But you would be taking quite a big leap to come to that conclusion.  No, I believe a better way to summarize this is to assume that what we found on Flores and Foja, and what is in that vault down the hall, share a common connection, and all the rest of what we think we know of our origins is coincidence and in many cases fabrication…"

Imagination.

 

It is what drives human beings through life, and it is what fans our coals.  This book more than many others I have read does that so remarkably well, with an ease and economy of words more writers could emulate.  A concept around every corner, an event around every page--it all leaves us wondering just how much this story mirrors the human condition…and just how likely our discovery of extraterrestrial life may be.

 

By the time--in the course of human and otherwise less worldly events--this story catches hold, a high-stakes cross-country game of pursuit plays out, a life-and-death race for redemption, and the reader is caught in the author's cross-hairs.

 

A barn-burner.  A page-turner.  I can't say enough about the joy this book brought to a brief period of my life.  After finishing it, I felt that I had been moved one step closer to nirvana, to the afterworld, to a more total understanding of who I am and where I've been--and, more importantly still, where I might be going.  This book is the subconscious link that has been missing in my life, the link that joins everyday human endeavors to the sublimity and peace of the hereafter.

 

The author's use of imagery is real and effective, and the dialogue is crisp and believable.  Add a storyline that only an award-winning film producer (which Emery is) could devise in that fertile and unfettered mind of his, and you begin to get the picture:

 

This is not a book to read.  This is a book to savor.  Slurp.

 

Five stars.

 

And-a-half.

 

In the Realm of Eden

by Robert J. Emery

Glenbridge Publishing Ltd.

Hardcover, $24.95

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
 

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