3 out of 4 stars
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Francis' memories date back to when he was five months old; this beginning of cognizance was a battle of life and death, but he survived and went on to survive many more misadventures. His inquisitive spirit became the avenue to explore life to the fullest and also a learning tool. Follow Francis as he explores his ever-growing world — from a secret garden to an abandoned fortress, from deep dangerous caves to cross-country drifting and on the fringes, an allusion to something mystic. An Improbable Life: The Prologue, Dawn, First Travels by FRASAR is the first in a five-book series. The beauty and crudeness of Europe from the 40s to the 60s gives way to a world of adventure transcending continents. It is everything life is all about — war, love, grit and drama, and a hint at a past life.
An Improbable Life: The Prologue, Dawn, First Travels takes me back to the Indiana Jones kind of adventures except that here it starts from the beginning, and it isn't fiction. It is subtle and intriguing, an apt getaway for a curious mind. The beauty is in the details, the allusions, and the imagery. Sitting in the comfort of my home, I can travel miles away to places I never dreamed existed and experience life as a child in a war zone, sea swimming, mysterious islands, cave exploration, and much more. I am enriched by the knowledge therein and encouraged by the daring spirit of Francis. I realize in these pages that our lives might be different in context but similar in detail. I understand that passion is a driving force that can accomplish anything. Finally, I learned great practical life lessons. I'm following up with the remaining four books, as I know there is much more to learn, much more to marvel at, and answers waiting.
From the first few pages, the reader is drawn in by the words of the author. The foreword is enticing, and the book doesn't disappoint. The author's captivating plot and storytelling prowess leave the reader wanting more, especially with allusions to events in subsequent books. The author's language and pictures in the book are powerful tools that created vivid images. The reader is immersed in a world full of sights, scents, and sounds and comes away with a sense of investment in the character's story. The fear, excitement, and mysteries are real, and sometimes you question the realism of the plot, especially "The Prologue," where an allusion to a past life is strongly made. That is one mystery I would love to decipher. There are also footnotes to explain terms — medical, historical, secondhand witness accounts, etc. Because the author is narrating Francis' story, there is a storytelling element embedded in the book. It is like sitting beside a friend as s/he tells you about another friend. It is engaging and never dull. It is magical.
On the flip side, there are a lot of errors in the book. I got the impression that English is not the author's first language. Although the vocabulary is robust and the narrative style engaging, little details like the use of articles and some sentence structures are off. This should be fixed. I mentioned the pictures in the book earlier; they are helpful indeed, but I suggest that they be in line with the scenes described or as the action takes place and not grouped at the end of each chapter. This would greatly aid the reader's imagination. I had to search for some pictures online only to discover them at the end of the chapter. Finally, I find some italicized texts burdensome to read, especially the long ones; they aren't easy on the eyes. Perhaps another font style should be used.
I will recommend this book to readers who love adventures and mysteries. It is not fast-paced or action-packed but explores the happenstances of everyday life, the premonitions, and the exciting outcomes of a daring life. Even though it speaks of adventures readers might never get to experience, it is not foreign; It is relatable. It provides a perfect way to immerse oneself in the world of dreams. I will rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. One point is deducted because of the errors. Hopefully, when it is adequately edited, it will take its place as a top-rated adventure book.
An Improbable Life
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