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Hey guys, I hope you’re having a wonderful week so far.
This week sees me in a great mood as lockdown is almost over in England and I can’t wait to see my loved ones again.
But, I digress. Back to book talk.
If you’re looking for a new read that explores what it is that makes us human and our search for freedom, then look no further, for today I will be reviewing Unfettered Journey, by Gary. F. Bengier.
Joe, an applied mathematician and AI scientist, is plagued by questions regarding human consciousness. On a sabbatical from his usual work, he travels to Lone Mountain College, where he encounters a protest against Level Acts that separate and demean people.
However, housing the protest’s leader, Evie in his temporary accommodation is a risky move, one which sees them both banished to a place known only as The Zone.
Joe Denkensmith is highly intelligent, curious, determined, and admittedly a bit lost in life.
Evie, however, is a mysterious, passionate, idealistic young woman who contrasts Joe’s character nicely. Her rebellious nature rubs off on Joe over time, leading him to join in her pursuit of abolishing the Level Acts.
Fabri and Eloy are kind and hard working friends to Joe and Evie, having met in The Zone. As a couple, they demonstrated the better, more caring and helpful side of human nature.
On the other hand, Peightan, an obnoxious, sneering cretin of a man made for a truly infuriating villain. He represented a darker side of human nature. Everything he did and said really got on my nerves, so it was easy to hate him.
There was much that I loved about Unfettered Journey. One of my core likes was how the relationship between Joe and Evie built up slowly as they came to trust in each-other more and more. Seeing how they persevered through ever more difficult struggles together gave me hope in humanity’s ability to form strong relational bonds.
In addition, the domed community Evie came from was a wondrous sounding place, full of human connection and compassion. Hand-made goods and caring members gave this little community a united and genuine vibe and made it sound like a place I’d love to live.
The sense of survival and human spirit (especially in the second half of the story) explored was absolutely beautiful to see. This is something I thought Evie’s character portrayed especially well, always standing up for what was right and just, no matter what it cost her.
Themes of life, love, loss and community feature prominently, as do the idea of the human spirit and a sense of unrelenting inner freedom.
This book had a plethora of inspiring quotes, so obviously it was difficult to whittle down which ones to include in this review. Eventually, I settled on five because each seemed too important to leave out.
- ‘You never know what pain other people might have. You see them walking about as if all is well, but you can’t see the stones inside their mercuries.’
This quote highlights the importance of not judging someone by what you can see. It encourages people to look deeper, to give people the benefit of the doubt, as much of a person’s past pain is hidden in their mind, where we fear to tread.
- ‘Your worth comes from inside, from your character.’
This was one of the more important quotes for me. In the UK (and I’ve noticed in the US) there seems to be this idea that your worth is tied mainly to how much money you make or what you look like.
Realistically, our personal character and what we do with it determines our self worth, although this is not something we’re routinely told. It’s nice to have this statement reflected back to us, to remind us of what we’re really worth when we lose ourselves in the material world.
- ‘The people who you surround yourself with help shape your path. Those choices and those people, influence character.’
Again, this quote details something I wasn’t taught growing up. The idea that who you surround yourself with matters is only just starting to dawn on me. While bad influences will lead you down treacherous paths, better influences will enrich your life beyond recognition.
- ‘We never know how long our sliver of time is, so we need to use it wisely.’
Wise words from a wise man. It’s important to remember that there are no guarantees in life. The next day could be our last as we never know what fate holds in store for us.
- We have the free will to act, to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others- we can strive higher and be good examples to each-other. Like Evie, we can work with others to make the world better.’
This final quote was particularly powerful and emotive. It sets the entire tone for the story, drawing it to a perfect close. As long as we all strive to do better, we can change the world.
Unfettered Journey was a powerful exploration of freedom, status, and what it means to have consciousness. I loved every moment.
Rated: 5 stars.
Recommended: To lovers of unique science fiction, who love a good underdog story.
As always, thank you for joining me for today’s review.
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Here’s to an amazing week,