4 out of 4 stars
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A struggling geologist, Jerry Humphreys, takes on a friend’s dare to visit a mysterious area where hikers have disappeared, in hopes of finding a source for thermal energy. This finding would enable him to provide for his true love and fiancée Mandy. Enif by Russ Berg is a sci-fi/fantasy story of Jerry’s exploration inside a cave he finds. In the cave, he comes across new worlds and meets Julean, who tells him that there are seven chambers. If Jerry can get through the passageways and open all of the seals, he will be able to go to a celestial body, Enif, which is in the Pegasus constellation. Enif is a dream-like place offering a life free of all needs and wants with no limits to imagination.
Jerry meets all kinds of beings that either help him or try to defeat him on his journey. Andromeda is a beautiful woman who makes him forget all about Mandy and causes Jerry to fall in love with her. Will Jerry conquer his fears, self-doubts, and the challenges in the cave and become transformed, enabling him to live on the planet Enif? Will he see Mandy again?
I best liked the different cavern worlds and challenges that Jerry had to get through by his solving riddles and using the gifts given to him from others to defeat the beasts and monsters blocking the seals and passageways. One example was a flower that allowed Jerry, if eaten, to be invisible for a short time. The special powers that helped Jerry to succeed were fun and imaginative. I also liked that the author used a lot of cave terms and descriptions of the rock formations and flora. There was a mixture of reality and fantasy in the cave.
There was not anything that I did not like about the book. If I had to mention something I liked least, it would be that the book (a little over 500 pages) seemed quite long, and the dangers and action hardly ever stopped! However, I think the author wrote in such a way as to make it seem like I was feeling Jerry’s loss of time and tiredness of always having to be alert for dangers.
I rate Enif by Russ Berg 4 out of 4 stars. The story of Jerry’s dangerous adventures through the cave with the many interesting characters, plenty of action, and different worlds earn no less than a four-star rating. The book was extremely well edited, as I found only a few minor errors.
This story reminds me of action-adventure video games that have different levels to beat, obstacles to conquer, beasts to fight, and the need for power-ups. Therefore, those who enjoy playing these kinds of games may like this book the most. Young adults and older children would also enjoy reading this book, as there were no curse words, sex scenes, nor gory details of any deaths. This book may not appeal to young girls as much as to boys since the main character Jerry has to do a lot of fighting.
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