Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Author: Brad Magnarella
With trowel in hand, Iliff labored daily in his underground prison to repair the ever increasing fissures forming on the prison walls Not knowing any other existence than the confines he lived within, a strange old man approaches him and tells him the unbelievable – that there is life beyond the walls. Not only that, there is something called a sun. Journey to the sun – the old man tells him. It is life’s true quest. At first, Iliff thinks the old man is crazy, but the truth of the man’s words slowly seep into Iliff’s brain. If there are walls, there must be something beyond the walls – it only makes sense. But is it worth risking everything and all you know to leave especially if there is no way to come back?
“Escape – The Prisoner and the Sun Book #1”, by Brad Magnarella, is a one of the best books I’ve read this year. I really enjoyed this book and honestly could not put it down. I suppose if falls in the fantasy genre with some magic, trolls, and talking stags. But these are not what anchor the story. It is Iliff and his journey to find what life really is – not the prison he was confined to. Is Iliffs journey an allegory for life? What of his relationship with Troll – what does it represent? Will he reach the sun and what significance is it? If he returns to his prison and tries to convince others of the outside world, will they look upon him as they did with the old man? All these questions and more were eating at me as I devoured the pages wanting to know the answers. As I read Escape, I was reminded of “The Allegory of the Cave” in Plato’s classic – The Republic. Would Iliff suffer a similar fate? As I neared the end of the book, my excitement built but so did my dismay as it would soon be over.
So why only 4.5 stars and not 5? Because this is only book one in a trilogy. I never did get my answers from the end of book one so hooray, more for me to enjoy! But would it meet my expectations and resolve all these questions satisfactorily? If yes, this is easily 5 stars, if not still a good solid 4 stars. Given the strength of book one, I’m optimistic. At $0.99 on Kindle this is one heck of a deal. Definitely one of my favorites this year.