Thursday, October 9, 2014
Jack Reyn's Imago Examines What Being Rational Really Means
The Imago Sanctarissima:
Nothing is more important.
But where and what is it?
In a battle between rationalists and religionists,
Who will prevail?
Today we have a novel set in a world where pivotal historical events had different outcomes, making current society vastly different.
Imago is a mystery set within an age of steam, written by Jack Reyn.
So what's it about?
With his final breath, a priest sends bounty hunter Freyja Barrett on a quest for an ancient relic.
Arriving on the scene of a murder, ORI agent Julian Harvey finds himself pitted against a dangerous cult that seeks domination.
On the night before her initiation, a religious authority tests the loyalty and faith of Orcus aspirant Zoe Rousseau.
These vastly different individuals are all faced with choices that affect a world on the brink of war. Dangerous groups are searching for the imago sanctarissima, a relic which is said to give ultimate power to whoever holds it, and Barrett, Harvey, and Rousseau must do anything it takes to keep it out of the wrong hands.
The biggest problem though, is that nobody knows where it's located, or even what it looks like.
Imago focuses on a world in which society is divided between rationalists (those who live by logic and rational choices) and religionists (those who live by faith in a dogma). Laws are created that keep religionists and rationalists from mixing together. Entire countries are divided in this manner, and this deep division keeps the world constantly on the brink of war.
With a world so deeply divided, there are very few people who can see coexistence as a possibility.
This ebook does more than take us on a quest to find an ancient relic, enshrouded with mystery. It takes us on an exploration of the human mind.
What does it mean to be rational?
Every moment, every step that we take that leads us closer to the Imago, we're confronted with mystery. Not just the mystery inherent in a quest to discover a hidden relic, but the mystery of the human mind.
Is it possible to believe so strongly in the necessity of logic that we begin to turn it into a religion in and of itself? A sort of faith? And if so, has the rational become... irrational? Have we stopped asking the questions required in order to come to logical conclusions?
Would that, in turn, transform a rationalist into a religionist?
You can see that this ebook brings up a lot of questions.
I enjoyed that quite a bit. While I was reading an entertaining work of fiction, I also got a lesson in the art of thought. Reyn doesn't bludgeon us over the head with his own answers to these questions, but invites the reader to draw his or her own conclusions, instead.
While at the same time giving us enough action to keep our eyes glued to the page.
But even then, he's taken the time to ensure that we can put Imago down whenever we please. See, one of the really awesome things about this work is that Reyn has divided something that's longer than I usually review into something with bite-sized chapters.
While some people may have a problem with chapters that are only about 2-4 pages each, feeling that scenes are broken up too short, I loved this. I can read whenever I want, and still get everything done.
Heck, I could watch television, and simply pick up the ebook during each commercial break without feeling like I've missed anything. Cooking dinner? I could read then, too. "I have to set this to simmer. That'll take about 2 minutes. YES! I can read a chapter while I wait!"
Yeah. That made me happy.
I also enjoyed the steampunk feel of this one. While it didn't fit the classic Victorian-fashion-wearing, blocky-robot-using storyline that I'm so fond of, steam was the primary power source, and Reyn did a spectacular job of making this work. He followed through with the research, ensuring that the proper limitations inherent in steam use were accounted for, as well as the changes they would create in society as a whole.
If you like alternate realities, mysteries, steampunk, or ebooks that really make you think about thought itself, this is an ebook worth reading.
And if you really want something to read while recovering from doctor prescribed steroids that keep you from focusing on anything for more than a few moments? Take it from me... you'll strongly want to read this.
Bite-sized chapters, remember?