Our book of the day is a bit out of the ordinary, a metaphysical novel with a bit of just about everything…
MacGregor's Wolf: Lessons of Time
Struggling to make sense of his life, Ray Barrett seeks solace in the mountains and encounters a lone wolf, a mystical creature, according to the Sioux. From that point forward, he is transported back in time and into the bodies of various persons throughout history.
The ancient wisdom of the Sioux and a spirit guide named MacGregor accompany him through a series of experiences that teach him about life and purpose. Along the way, he falls in love with an assistant to MacGregor, Alexia, who fulfills a longing that has haunted him for quite some time.
My Review: 3.5 Stars
The book started out a bit odd, the opening sentences describing how the character is suffering and never why. It takes a LONG time for the reason to be explained, and by the time we find out why there is so much angst in the character, we've lost interest.
The character meets this MacGregor, who takes him on the oddest, most random "spirit trips". The problem is that there is no indication that he is going anywhere or on any trip. He simply appears or wakes up in a new places, with little or nothing to delineate where one trip ends and where another begins. It's almost impossible to know when the story is back in the real world or when it's on a trip, and which trip it's on. It is VERY disjointed and quite hard for me to follow.
I also suffered from a natural disconnection from the character. The purpose of the story is clearly to teach some sort of lesson to the reader by having the main character go through all these journeys, but I was never pulled into the story. Just when I was about to identify with the character, there would be some jump that would lose me and I'd have to force myself to stay reading to keep up with it.
That being said, the quality of the writing was quite good. No typos, few mistakes, and all in all, solid writing. The prose is flowing, and there's a good rhythm to everything. The action scenes in the beginning leave a bit to be desired, but truth be told, I have very little complaints about the writing.
It's just a bit too trippy for me to have enjoyed fully…
Here's a Taste
Suddenly, a spear flew past his head and stuck into the chest of the man beside him. He raised his shield and the head of another spear struck it with a deafening clang . He thrust it aside and continued to advance, peering through the thin slot of his helmet. He had no idea how he had so suddenly been thrust into the midst of a pitched battle.
The instinct of the wolf and of Hoka took over and he rushed toward the enemy with sword and shield. The shock of being thrust into a sudden fight for life rapidly turned to rage. He struck out with his sword and felt its blade slice through the flesh and bones of a man. He had no time to watch him fall, but was quickly turning to run another through. He pulled his sword from the falling soldier and raised his shield in time to deflect a blow which drove him to one knee, but he recovered and thrust again with his sword; another man went down.
All about him he could hear the groans and gasps of men in the midst of a deadly struggle. He could smell sweat and blood all around him and the stench of fear and danger permeated through his senses. There was no time for thought, only action and movement . His breathing was ragged with exertion and his chest burned. His arms and legs were fatigued, but he ignored them and pressed onward. He felt himself tumbling across the ground as something hard struck him and a blade slashed past his head dangerously glancing off of his helmet.
He realized that he had been struck by the chest of a charging horse and its rider had barely missed his head. The better part of valor was to lie and wait as the cavalry charge passed him by. He was assumed dead and left alone as the horsemen cleared a swath through the middle of the ranks of his fellow fighters. A counter charge of opposing horsemen rode down upon them and there was soon a mêlée of swirling and turning horses.
He could hear their screams of pain from the horses as they were struck with swords or spears. They were rearing, falling and plunging as the men on their backs parried and thrust with swords and shields. He was on his feet again and rushing into the ranks of foot-soldiers which were rushing down upon them. It seemed like he would have to face a thousand men alone, yet he fought on. There was nowhere to run and no place to hide. His instinct told him that he must fight to survive and he fought viciously. Had he the fangs of a wolf, he would have sunk them into the throat of a man and thought nothing of it. The taste of blood was already in his mouth and the drive to live was even stronger.
About the Author:
Bil Howard is a native of the small ranching community, Powderhorn, in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where he was raised on a cattle ranch. In 2013 he exchanged the Rockies for the Andes and took up residence in San Antonio de Prado, Antioquia, Colombia. He has a BA from West Texas A&M University. He studied pre-law as an undergraduate and minored in English Literature.
He continued his love of English by pursuing an MA in English and Social Studies Education. He also studied psychotherapy at the graduate level. He has been a talent scout and manager in the Latin music industry. He has experience in vocal performance as well as theatre.
Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OY1LILG/
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