Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Devil's Fox - An Abolute Delight

I recently read a wonderful book by first-time novelist, George Pollino.  The book, The Devil's Fox, is a magical, fantasy tale with a blend of action, adventure and Japanese lore.  Believe me it's quite a story.  My review is posted below, but for a buck you can't go wrong - download this book!

The Devil’s Fox
By George Pollino
Review by Dr. Dennis F. Larsen

Ten pages into this extraordinary novel, I had to stop and research the author.  I couldn’t believe this was the work of a first time novelist...but it appears my keen sense of ‘judging an author’s writing age by his work’ was badly misguided.  Mr. Pollino is a freelance writer, which made me feel a bit better, however, this is his first full-length novel.  Personally, I love to stumble upon a book like this, penned by someone without a big name, and have it blow me out of the water.  This was absolutely the case here.

The story captured my imagination from the very start and kept me enthralled for days, as I found moments, of all too rare time, to consume it.  Quite frankly, I’ve never read anything like it.  The tale effortlessly mixes the old with the new, blending characters from different eras together seamlessly, even as the author bounces back and forth from present day to past junctures in time.  In this, I have learned something and Pollino has inspired me with his skill.

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To the story: it is a blend of fictional genre’s I often read, but never in the same volume.  I was surprised throughout the text at how well he weaved fantasy and reality.  I soon found myself believing in Kitsunes, picturing Akane, an ancient, shape shifter, who seeks a soul of her own.  Her tale is beautifully intertwined throughout the book, in the most captivating way.  The imagery was impeccable; leading me to believe the writer has spent time in the orient.  If not, he has certainly done his homework.

I appreciated the depth of character he draws from his players.  The humans were beautifully flawed and so real that I saw myself somehow joined at the hip with the scientist, Nikolai, and his blind friend, Thomas, who happens to be a priest.  I thought the pairing was odd but fitting to the narrative.  On that point, the dialogue was delivered so matter-of-factly I could nearly hear what was being said – in my estimation the mark of true talent.

To delve deeply into the heart of the plot, in this review, would be to deny the reader the thrill of discovery and satisfaction, obtained one page at a time.  As the author himself has said, “it is a spellbinding story that will wrench your soul and touch your heart.  A literary tapestry entwined with vivid characters, a riveting plot and luxurious voice.”  To this I will add my own voice and say, “Amen”.

I will be recommending this book to my family and friends...and to you.  Beautifully written, edited, and imagined – it is a book for the ages and one I will read again.

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