4 out of 4 stars
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Of Zots and Xoodles: Theodil Creates a Universe by Zarqnon the Embarrassed is a fresh and exciting fantasy novella. It imagines a time before the universe existed and comes up with a comical yet intricate set of events that led to the universe we live in today. Theodil, an unknown entity, rolls the dice to set the universe in motion. That is how the Zots and Xoodles come into existence. These constructs explain time, light, and gravity in the universe. It is difficult to summarize the concepts proposed because they are very theoretical and eccentric in nature. It delivers on its intention of wild, out-of-the-world ideas in this way.
Concepts that explore the creation of the universe are often one-sided, fall short, and lack in some way or another. This is a fresh perspective. It is an in-depth look into the science and math behind these concepts. Whilst it affirms some of the previously held beliefs, it also introduces quite a few interesting, new perspectives.
The text is heavily experimental. It is quirky with a manic energy that fills the reader with joy as they come across every new concept. The illustrations accompanying the narration are just as interesting. Each illustration has intricate details. I spent hours exploring the illustrations. The words and the illustrations could even exist as separate books, which is to say that they are incredibly detailed and can tell a story on their own.
My favorite part of this book is the poetic language used here. There are rhymes, alliteration, and metaphors that will drive you mad with glee. I almost wanted to read this book out loud because of how brilliantly the words played with rhythm.
I’d like to note that both the writer and the illustrator of this book are on the Autism Spectrum. I did not want to mention this before analyzing other aspects of the book because I didn’t want it to be judged or understood solely in that light. It did, however, make me reread the book and notice the aspects that neuro-typical individuals miss and would not have included in the book. It enhanced my understanding of the book.
The book is professionally edited. There are no errors. Some words seem like spelling errors but on closer examination are intentional and add to the story. I would rate this incredible work 4 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to everyone. It is an exceptional piece of art for all ages. It will appeal to most fantasy and science-fiction lovers.
Of Zots and Xoodles
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