Arms From the Sea, by Rich Shapero

Arms From the Sea, by Rich Shapero coverGenre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Toofar Media
Published: 2016
Reviewer Rating: two and a half stars
Book Review by Michael D. Griffiths

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Arms From the Sea by Rich Shapero is a science fiction book with a good deal of spirituality mixed in. It follows the somewhat difficult to interpret life of a young man name Lyle who worships the sea and its creatures even though he lives in a world of salt with a high-level of technology which is used to pacify most of the population. Few work in this new age and entertainment becomes more important than being productive.

Lyle rejects the seduction of the entertainment this technology creates and instead becomes involved with archaeology, climbing, and then finally becomes a sculptor.

The novel begins with Lyle defacing a giant statue which represents a society he despises. Just when it appears he will end up in jail, the ocean rises and kills everyone he has ever known.

He is rescued by a mysterious ship of odd fellows and is introduced to a octopusish god called the Polyp. This god talks with Lyle discussing the responsibilities of creation. This god also molds Lyle into different forms and does strange things like inserting his tentacles into Lyle’s mouth.Lyle has some adventures across the sea, but they seem nebulous and hard to follow. Odd things happen, which I suppose are meant to be metaphors, such as when a crew member tears boards out of the bottom of the ship and it starts to sink. In this case the metaphors perhaps overshadow the action, making it unclear. Also, there is little risk for Lyle because he has a god with him. Monsters attack the god handles them. Lyle gets his hand bitten off, but when he wakes up its back.

Overall this is a spiritual self-reflective novel which uses a science fiction environment to aid in the ease of storytelling. Any thin veil between this future society and ours is easily seen through and the social commentary is clear. Things get more muddled with the half concealed homosexual overtones reminiscent of mid 19th century literature. I have become used to people just saying what they want these days and not needing to obscure such matters like authors were inclined to do fifty years ago.

recently read Ralph by Christopher Steinsvold, who is a philosophy student. So, I know you can mix a plot with action and humor and come out with a piece that still requires you to think and reevaluate your notions of really.

Perhaps my tastes are immature and lean toward action and adventure, but if you are looking for either of those things, this book does not deliver. However, if you are looking to put yourself into the mindset of a being focused on the rules of creation and would like to read a thought provoking novel where problems are not solved by violence or ingenuity, then you might enjoy this work.

Check out Chronicles of Jack Primus

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