3 out of 4 stars
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At the southern end of the Cascade Mountain Range in California, Mount Shasta stands tall, proud, and with a heritage. Many legends surround this peak. One claims of a hidden world within the mountain where Lemurians (people from the sunken continent of Lemuria) live a higher existence that influences the world around the mountain. Those who choose to live near Mount Shasta are aware of the mountain’s energy, maybe even drawn to it. It is only by taking the journey through oneself that the Shasta Gate may be passed through.
Eugene is open to all life and consciousness has to offer. He is on a journey of self-discovery, of which Mount Shasta is the next step. Catherine is trying so hard to outrun herself and her past. Caught up in fear and anger, she can’t see where the journey begins in order to start. When these two forces come together, minds and hearts will merge in the most amazing ways. Are the legends of Mount Shasta true? Will they find the Shasta Gate? Will a gang of angry motorcyclists keep Eugene and Catherine from reaching the end of their journey?
The Shasta Gate by Dick Croy is a spiritual journey of romance, self-awareness, and adventure. Eugene and Catherine are such real people. Eugene reminded me of myself. His strong desire to understand and his urge to explain what he does not understand are familiar. When I’m so close to stumbling upon meaning, I get like that. I also saw parts of me in Catherine. She is reluctant to let go of fear. She doesn’t necessarily realize that there is more to her than the anger. I can identify with this, and I do believe that was the point. Croy has created two characters who embody different parts of the journey, and he’s done so in a vivid and relatable way.
While I found the main characters to be wonderful, I struggled with some of the others. In particular, the members of the motorcycle gang bothered me. They were villains, so they were intended to be troublesome. That said, I couldn’t quite get behind them as real people. Most seemed to have one dominant personality trait. As a result, I started thinking of them in terms of an emotion: “the angry one” or “the annoying one,” for example. I also felt that there were too many of them and that too many of their agendas never went anywhere.
I also struggled a little with getting into the story. The writing contained many long sentences. I had to go back and reread many of them to make sure I had their meanings correct. So much content was packed into a single sentence, and it made keeping up with the story tough for me. There was also a lot of philosophizing. I have a healthy interest in spirituality and higher consciousness, but this book was very heavy on the exploration of these kinds of topics. At times it was overwhelming or bordered on preaching.
This said, the descriptions were breathtaking. The mountains, the meadows, the farms and even the town—it was all described so well. I felt like the setting was a character in and of itself. It just came alive. It was experienced through all five senses, which made it more realistic than many other books I’ve read.
The book was edited well. I noticed only a handful of errors. I wanted to give this 4 stars, but I just wasn’t pulled in enough to do so. For getting lost in the writing and my trouble with some characters, I rate The Shasta Gate 3 out of 4 stars. I briefly considered giving it 2 but found the ending too perfect to lower my rating. I recommend this book for those interested in spiritualism or those wanting to learn about the ideas in a fictional environment. Those married to organized religion may struggle with many ideas presented in this story. There is also a fair amount of cursing and some descriptive scenes of sex. So, this is definitely for adults only. There is quite a bit to explore in these pages, and I encourage interested parties to give this a try.
The Shasta Gate
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