3 out of 4 stars
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Wes Thomas takes his readers on a journey of self-discovery and exploration in Symphony of Silence: A Legend Of Our Future. In most stories, there is only one true protagonist. In Symphony of Silence, two strong protagonists emerge to tell a story of who they were, who they are and who they will become. Benjamin and Jahalla each tell their own stories, sharing their past with their readers, with each chapter typically dedicated to just one character’s point of view and experiences.
Symphony of Silence is set in the future, approximately 1,000 years from now. It was interesting to see that, while the author depicted life as being very different in some ways, people largely remained the same. The parts of the story that occurred on Earth made it seem like Earth was a completely different physical place than the one we know today.
Benjamin spent much of his formative and young adult years in a futuristic dominion called Hyvve. He was married, had a daughter and worked on a top-secret artificial intelligence program. Benjamin suddenly finds himself out of work, out of his marriage and looking for a new life. He finds himself on a journey of self-discovery as he goes to the Fringe and the Underlands (you will have to read the story to learn about them; too many spoilers if I explain them too much here!). Eventually, he is led to explore his future in a more meaningful way. His dream had always been to explore the universe, starting with the Milky Way, and possibly other galaxies. Benjamin becomes a space transporter, transporting spacecraft that take years to arrive at their new location. Watching how art helps him to appreciate the vast universe is fascinating, as he explores in ways that we cannot imagine in today’s world. This is where he really begins to learn about himself and who he wants to be.
Jahalla grew up in what were called the Tribal Lands and the Underlands. References are made to things such as Shaman, ancient gods and goddesses, and other mythology, making one think of both Native Americans and ancient civilizations, such as Egypt, Greece and Rome. There were so many similarities yet it was so very different. Jahalla was also married in her early life but had to leave her husband and son. She leans heavily on those ancient traditions as she embarks on her own journey of self-discovery. Jahalla’s journey takes her into outer space as well. She is a part of a crew assigned to work with the Synns, the artificial intelligence “beings” that she had initially helped program many years ago. This space journey allows her to go to many places, including the space station “Z”, where a whole civilization has been built. The crew she is with for most of her physical journey becomes like family, helping her to explore her spiritual journey. Watching her ponder the joys as well as the sadness in life reminds one of the journeys many of us make as we seek out the meaning of life and our part in it.
As Symphony of Silence culminates, there are discoveries that help both Jahalla and Benjamin truly realize the beauty of life and their purposeful place in it. To tell you more would simply spoil the story. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The story as a whole is an inspiring journey but at times seems to drag on. There are errors in both spelling and chapter labeling (repeating chapter numbers) that can distract, but they are only found in small doses. Note that there are some explicit sexual scenes, but they do not distract from the overall storyline; in fact, unlike many stories, they add to the journey of self-discovery.
Symphony of Silence
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