The rather not-so-professional cover made me wonder at first whether it is just another of those ‘meh’ sci-fi books. But I am glad I did not let that cover stand in the way of my grabbing this book. The cover would make you think that the book is filled with kids’ stories. However, the actual content of the book runs so deep that forget about kids, even adults might find the information overwhelming at times, especially if they speed read it. I highly recommend that you read this book in ‘bite sizes’ or small chunks at a time, sleep over it, and then resume reading. It is gonna take some time to finish the book in this manner, but the great thing is that you will be able to ingest the information in a much more comfortable manner. Have you ever tried gobbling too much food at once only to puke later? Well that is exactly gonna happen if you read this book too fast.
Now as for the book itself, it was like a godsend to me (forgive me the pun). For years questions such as what happens to us after our death (where do we go), who created the world, is Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed real or fictional figures, etc., have plagued me. I am quite sure that if you are a man of science rather than a religious fanatic, you would want to get some straight and honest answers on that too. Often, due to lack of proper information, even a lot of otherwise intelligent people have no choice but to remain attached to old, superstitious beliefs that their parents have taught them. The book resonates with at least some of my beliefs such as, in the way the world or universe was created or that of the reality of the notions of heaven or hell. But much of the rest of the information covered in this book was virtually unknown to me.
Should what the book says be taken as a gospel truth then? Sure it is ‘science fiction’ rather than a a non-fiction book, however I feel that the story is merely a basis that the author uses to propagate the truth about the world as he knows it; in this sense I might call it a didactic fiction because at times it gets too close to that:
“”The ride’s name is not the Wagon of Fear,” Vlad said, “but the Wagon of Punishment.
“Fear begets sin, and sin incurs punishment,” he added. “It is ironic because it is not the occurrence that we fear, it is the consequences of that occurrence, the punishment, and yet to slake our curiosity, instead of running away, we keep going, fueled by hope which is a mere justification for our own destructive force that is curiosity. Punishment induces fear, fear begets sin, and sin incurs punishment. How to break this cycle of consequences? How to stop the Wagon of Punishment?”
A boy replied, “Do not fear. We should know. Only from knowing comes the power over a thing, the authority to create or to destroy.””
It is quite a creative way to do what the author intends to do, nonetheless. Speaking of creativity, there is plenty of it (along with a fair dose of humor) in the dialogs:
“”Yes, I’m finishing my paper on selective breeding,” Cordelia said, staring at him. Everyone laughed.”
The ending made me quite emotional.
In the end, I would only say that if you are looking for answers to your burning questions and prefer them to be solved by a scientist rather than a religious preacher (some of them might even call this work ‘ egregious’ lol), then this book is for you. Don’t expect to read a Pulitzer Prize winning story here by the way (but now that you have read this review, you won’t because you already know what to expect from the book). Highly recommend to anyone who has an open mind.