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    A transcendental love story…

    Engrossing, spiritual, philosophical, “The Unity Game” is a meditation on the many incarnations of love. This genre-bending and thought-provoking novel, Leonora Meriel’s second, invites discussion and rewards multiple readings. The novel begins by introducing three seemingly separate storylines. There is David, a Canadian who unexpectedly shuns a promising scientific career to make his fortune on Wall Street. The second is a tale of an energy-channeling being who choses to extend his life by embarking on an interstellar voyage. The final narrative concerns the just-deceased Alisdair, a Scottish barrister, as he navigates the mysteries of the afterlife so he can help guide his wayward granddaughter in her life. Meriel expertly weaves these strands into a cohesive single story as the book progresses. If, like me, science fiction isn’t something you normally read, don’t be put off by the fantastical elements of the stories. The author adopts a distinctive prose style for the chapters concerning Noœ-bouk that accentuates its alienness while still allowing the reader to identify with and understand this being. Remarkably, the reader may initially find the characters of Noœ-bouk and Alisdair more sympathetic than David who is part of our familiar world. A page-turner from the very beginning, the pace quickens dramatically in the later half as the storylines begin merging in unexpected ways, and identities shift and blend. Symbols are an important part of the story, and cleverly, every section of the book is marked with a unique symbol for each storyline. The reader will appreciate these familiar signposts as the storylines become more complex. For all its imagination, beautiful prose, engaging characters, clever plot, multiple layers of meaning, and deep philosophy, this ultimately is a love story. But this is love in its complex and bewildering variety, from base instincts to the highest plane of unselfish, unifying love. In “The Unity Game,” set in distant planets, the afterlife, or in our own isolated Earth, the classical philosophers of Plato and Socrates still speak to us with the same universality and relevancy about the true nature of love. And what exactly is the Game of the title? For that, you must read and discover for yourself. It may surprise and unsettle you. “The Unity Game” will challenge your notions of what literature can be. Read it with an open heart and mind, and it may give you an opportunity to re-examine your own beliefs. Highly recommended! And buy a copy to share - you’ll want to talk this one over with someone you love - whatever kind of love that may be.
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