Innovative Concepts for the Ages
Labyrinth of Immortality by Embrosewyn Tazkuvel, is Book 1 in the Secret Earth Series. This is a well-written and well-told tale. Taken as it is from the New Testament figures of Lazarus, Miriam, Jesus, as well as a host of first century well-known names, I was interested to hear how Tazkuvel might change things up and why. Let’s just say, those who take the Bible literally will be less than pleased. In many respects, the storylines are not altered, but surprising liberties also abound.
The focus is, of course, on Lazarus, and we are treated to his first person narrative from the events leading to his death, his famous resurrection, Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and what happens afterward. It is what happens after Jesus’ resurrection that the themes of the book start to take shape. Lazarus’ sister, Miriam is also an essential character. In this tale, Miriam, wields more power than any woman of her period and place could, disciple (and wife) of Jesus or no.
I did find myself wondering if the same story could be told without the starting point of established Biblical characters. When they go through portals to other worlds and meet strange beings, I think I would have preferred to have a wholly new set of characters that were not charged with religious traditions. In a way, it kept bringing me out of the story because my brain had to do gymnastics comparing the new twists with the traditional storyline. Those who view the New Testament as nonfiction, moving into a fantasy world with a different plotline, may have difficulty going along on the ride. Such readers are undoubtedly not the book’s intended audience. But because these Biblical characters have been ingrained for many people from childhood, like me, I think they might struggle with staying within the bounds of the story. I do not fault the author for taking on the challenge and creatively working from this Biblical starting point with innovative concepts — the story is entertaining and well told regardless.
Book Review by Carla M. Paton