by John Mellor
Plot Summary:In The Seven Gifts a reclusive outcast rock star heads a band of lonely misfits trapped in the pages of seven mysterious books locked away at the top of a remote seaside tower. Each cryptic book contains clues to a hidden gift that was bestowed on the Earth by its guardian. A young boy is commanded by an Angel to read and decipher the seven stories.
The stories transcend all worldly notions of normal, yet remain strangely matter-of-fact; and they challenge even this boy's view of reality as he struggles to unveil the gifts, and also the enigma of the Angel, and the secret of himself. When the boy finally closes the books the gifts are no longer hidden, and the characters no longer trapped; and he is no longer a boy.
Expectations:By the plot summary and other comments I read about this books, I was expecting a unique, layered story with a strong message or moral.
Review:The seven short stories in this book were very interesting and came off as fairy tales in a way. They were set in a different place and time and had a variety of unique and colorful characters, and each story had a message that highlighted a "gift" that was given by God to humankind. There is a strong religious message throughout the book, which makes sense when the ending is revealed.
The author has credibly created thought-provoking moral fables, where the "gift" illustrated is not always obvious. I enjoyed the stories more than the summing up by the Angel and the boy at times, and I felt like if there was a way to tie up the stories without the extra chapters with these recurring characters, this book would have flowed better. As it is, it is an interesting, short read, and I think it would especially appeal to people with strong religious beliefs.
review copy kindly provided by the author