1 out of 4 stars
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Where to begin with Jerold Toomey’s Bluestone Standing? Toomey’s novel attempts to create a fictional framework explaining the evolving nature of man through the antediluvian period. His tale weaves together aliens along with a variety of religious and legendary elements, which sadly falls short of its potential.
At first, life is simple and peaceful on Earth. In the first epoch, the Bluestone people planted a civilization on Earth and set guardians to judge, protect, and guide. The book begins with the transition to the second epoch when the gateway between the Bluestone planet and Earth opens once again. Now it is time for these aliens to spark the next phase of humanity’s evolution. The song and dance of inspiration go to Earth, but now conflict is introduced into civilization. This conflict continues to grow, with influences such as the djinn and fallen angels corrupting civilization. How will humanity survive?
Toomey’s book reads more like a script for a fireside tale than a novel. He uses very little dialogue and a great deal of exposition throughout the novel, much the way you might expect from an old storyteller around a fire. Unfortunately, the time period Toomey attempts to cover is so long that I often felt that things moved too quickly, making it difficult to follow exactly what was happening. When I encountered confusing passages, I often had to read through them multiple times to understand the events.
My feelings of confusion were often exacerbated by the lack of character development. A few characters appear regularly throughout the novel, but I saw very little character development in them. I also found it difficult to follow the characters that sometimes went by multiple names. For example, Tajet might also be called Tajet-Tra or Thoth at different times in the book. I felt that this name change, in particular, was a bit difficult to follow because of how briefly it was mentioned when it occurred. These names seemed to show the different roles the character maintained in his influence on human history. Alas, combining this element with the nature of the storytelling only served to increase confusion.
Because of his start as a poet and songwriter, Toomey brings an interesting command of descriptive language. One example describes the “retiring sun [that] paints green gray illusions across the expanding plain (sic).” Many of his scene descriptions feature equally elegant depictions that include detailed scenic elements. Sadly, they just as frequently hold grammatical errors.
Grammatical and spelling errors abounded in Bluestone Standing. While I could read the book, it was disappointing to find so many errors. The types of errors I encountered actually diminished my enjoyment of this book quite significantly. Toomey’s work would greatly benefit from working with a strong editor.
Because of the amount of exposition, confusing elements, and the significant number of errors, I’m giving Bluestone Standing 1 out of 4 stars. Despite the beautiful scenic descriptions, I cannot really recommend this book to anyone in its current state. Perhaps with some editing and revision, this story could become a much more interesting and engaging tale.
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