When Fantasy Becomes Reality:

Evermore

Written by Hunter Lord and Ariel Masters
Published by Padwolf Publishing
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

By Jon Minners

It is amazing when you re-read a fantasy book several years after you first wrote a review.  Itís like watching an old episode of Star Trek and seeing something that Gene Roddenberry envisioned for the future and realizing just how much insight he had.  That said, in re-reading Evermore, the reader gets a strong sense of deja vu and not because they may or may not have read the book once before, but because they may have picked up the newspaper or watched the local evening news. 

When I first read Evermore, I marveled at the authorsí ability to take a fantasy world and make it real. Hunter Lord and Ariel Masters put together a world like the one we live in with characters not unlike people we bump into on the street every single day on the way to work.  Their emotions, their ideals, their beliefs, their heart Ė they are real people that just happen to be characters in the book and Lord and Masters embed enough fantasy into the drama and humor to make the story as intense as it is heartwarming.  But the fantasy just isnít really fantasy anymoreÖIíll explain.  

Maddie and Benjamin are an elderly couple who have never met, but have been using homing pigeons to send messages back and forth to one another. These letters are wondrous pieces of literature that truly depict each characterís traits, quirks and overall personalities; and despite never saying the words, readers have no doubt knowing the fact that their love is a strong one. This becomes even more evident as Maddie becomes sick and just as Benjamin decides to meet her; she dies of what is called the TADS Virus.

And thatís just the start of the tale.  The story continues as Benjamin exchanges letters with Tony, a young man who was taught to love pigeons by Maddie, herself. Through a humorous chain of events, Tony meets and falls in love with a girl named Jennifer. The two youngsters share the physical bond Benjamin and Maddie should have always had. Almost as homage to the older couple, but with a modern twist, the young love birds share e-mail correspondence when not together, truly adding to a unique and interesting way of telling a story. The letters drive the story and the characters and narrative push it through the roof.  Lord and Masters truly took story telling to a different level, bringing something different to the table, bringing a twist to the tragic love story that will be retold time and time again. 

Everything is thrown for a loop as the reader learns that the TADS Virus is a lethal disease carried by pigeons that destroys the human immune system. The three surviving characters must struggle with this discovery, what to do with their precious pets and how to deal with an angry mob of people who attack the pigeons, leaving them an endangered species. To further complicate the story one of the characters develops the disease, and must live as an Innuendo, which means they are forced to live in a bubble environment.

This story just seemed so weird, but at the same time, it seemed so real, but now, several years later, it feels more based in fact than fantasy. Lord and Masters wrote like they had a glimpse at the future and what may happen if the dreaded Bird Flu ever takes a hold of this country as feared.  I mean, anyone could have heard about the Bird Flu and wrote a story about what they think would happen, but Lord and Masters did it without that knowledge, making them prophetic with their words. 

That aside, character development is key and the writers bring these characters to life and make them a part of ours.  There is nothing here that appears forced from the characters. The emotions, daily actions and interactions just come off realistically. The sentiments, the emotions, the metaphorical storyline all bring together a story that will make the reader think about life.

Evermore; wow!  I read this 150-page book in one setting and did it again; excited as I was the first time. I couldn't put it down. Images played in my head like a movie. I could see each character as if they were on a screen. Everything was vivid, from the characters to the streets of Boston, right down to the bubble environments and in the end, true love seemed obtainable, sad and happy at the same time.

For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at jminners@g-pop.net.

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