I loved the concept promised in the book synopsis, so I was excited to be approved for this title. A grand scheme that involves eternal reincarnation to bring your knowledge of events forward, without remembering the lives lived, in order to bring mankind from Iron Age to Enlightenment. Tamara Veitch and Rene DeFazio created a complex plot, partially from a need to set up the last quarter of the story, where everything comes together to present some conclusions to hanging threads.
The use of characters that were so wholly good or bad, with few reasons presented early on to explain their struggles was a problem for me. While Marcus was expected to be a hero: I found him self-absorbed and whiny, to the point that I didn’t blame Theron for forgetting him one little bit. His overwhelming me-me-me attitude was grating: chosen to be an Emissary and tasked with a massive purpose, he often seemed to forget it in lieu of his own personal needs or wants.
Theron, for her part is all good: without redeeming faults to make her easy to relate to. Yes, I see the contrast of black and white / good and bad, but for me this distanced the characters even further from my grasp: it was hard to care what happened to them, leaving me emotionally removed.
The one interesting character, although he was purely evil without clues to the why until late in the story was Helghul. While his evil was problematic, as a character he did provide some interesting inserts into the story: it was his potion that allowed Marcus to remember the lives gone by, even as he is seeking to foil the plan.
The last quarter of the book does bring all of the characters into a solid story, and the background is mixed in with the final conflict to present a reasonably satisfactory ending. I’m glad that I stuck it out despite the issues I found. This is a spiritual fantasy story, and by the end it was actually possible to see that as a premise it is as solid to me as any other religious dogma, if a bit meandering to that end. Mixing in themes of cosmic balance, free will and choice and the realization that nature, life and lives are cyclical all did present as well included and defined, even if that path was a circuitous one.
A book that requires several days to read, this was not a book read in one sitting, complexity and similar yet not exact copies of events as each new incarnation unfolds require concentration and perseverance. In the end, that time is well spent with a story that will bring your own thoughts on reincarnation, choice and spirituality to the forefront.
Title: One Great Year
Author: Rene DeFazio, Tamara Veitch
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: Greenleaf Book Group
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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A bold, unforgettable tale of power, devotion, lust, and the timeless battle between good and evil
Gritty adventure and ancient wisdom collide in this thirteen-thousand-year saga of love and hate. As the world descends from a Golden Age into darkness and suffering, Marcus has been reincarnated an exhausting number of times. Selected to become an Emissary, it is his duty to protect the world's most sacred, long-standing secrets.
When Marcus surreptitiously consumes a serum that allows him to retain his memory from one lifetime to the next, he inadvertently condemns himself to thousands of years of torment, loneliness, and searching. Desperate to always remember his soul mate, Theron, and unsure as to whether or not he was ever truly meant to be an Emissary, Marcus's struggles span lifetimes through ancient Bolivia, Greece, the Mongol Empire, and Shambhala, ever remaining vigilantly alert to the danger of his cruel and powerful nemesis, Helghul.
An epic, thought-provoking tale of reincarnation, the brutality of human existence, and the struggle facing all of humanity.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.