Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Review: Arms from the Sea by Rich Shapero

Arms from the Sea by Rich Shapero 
Published: April 1, 2016
TooFar Media
193 (Hardcover)
My Rating:
1 of 5 stars

Lyle is a young man who hates his life in the State of Salt, a cultural and literal desert. He vandalizes a State icon, then swallows a poison pill that transports him not to death, but to a liminal realm—blue, watery, and wholly alien.

He’s rescued and shepherded by henchmen of the Polyp, god of the oceanic world they call “heaven.” A series of encounters unfolds between Lyle and the monstrous, seductive god, who gradually reveals his grandeur and mysterious purpose.

Lyle is horrified at first but soon finds himself falling for the Polyp, and the potent and bizarre creative potential he represents . . .

Whimsical and outlandish but also timely and dead serious, Arms from the Sea navigates imagined realms of possibility, pointing to what it might mean to redeem a desolate world.

This book is a perfect example of why I tend to avoid strangers, especially strangers that really seem to be pushing stuff in your face. I was on my way to class when some random guy essentially shoved this book into my hands while shouting something that I don't remember because all I wanted to do was make it to class on time. As I've seen on other reviews it seems to be that most people got their hands on this book because it seems to be distributed at college campuses. The one good thing about that is that at least I didn't pay for this.

To put it lightly, this book is a mess. After almost 200 pages, I still have no idea what was happening. I don't think there was much of a plot and if there was it didn't make sense. The writing was hard to follow, making the story even more difficult to get into and actually figure out what was going on. There were two different story lines going on throughout the book and for most of it I thought one of them was in the past, but based off the ending I have no idea. When I was about halfway through I described what I had read to my boyfriend and his response was yikes because I couldn't make sense of it and what I was saying didn't make sense. It essentially sounded like I was describing a really weird dream.

The main character, Lyle, was nothing special. I felt no connection to him or any of the other characters. I found the scenes with Lyle and the Polyp weird and slightly disturbing mainly because there seemed to be sexual, especially because in the description it says that the Polyp is seductive. Now, you're probably wondering why that would be disturbing. It's because the Polyp is literally a jellyfish and Lyle doesn't seem to always be on board with everything that happens to him. Also during the interactions with the Polyp, the god would narrate what he was doing and it seemed so weird and honestly shouldn't have been part of the dialogue. 

I really don't know what I just read and would recommend steering clear, if only because the writing makes the story extremely difficult to grasp and understand.

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