2 out of 4 stars
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Lucidia, a blind and mute prophetess, has been banished to the Badlands by the president of Soot, The Grand Poffo. This was in response to the people’s clamor to stop her from pestering them with her heretical claims. You see, Lucidia has been coming to the marketplace every day and cooking live frogs in a pot. She was showing the people that a frog that is put in a pot of cold water will not notice the increasing temperature; the frog stays in the pot until it is cooked. This was her way of telling her people to stop destroying the environment by burning coal. In persistent dreams, she has been seeing prophetic visions of their planet Fossil dying out because of the consistent burning of coal and people perishing as a result. The people mocked and insulted her, branding her a heretic.
The Boiling Frog is a short story written by Phillip Leighton-Daly to conscientize young adults and even those much younger to the perils of abusing Mother Nature. The story comes at this opportune time. The world’s young people are awakening to the terrifying phenomenon of climate change. Many are emulating Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist. The author is himself a nature enthusiast who has spent many hours in the Bungonia wilderness in New South Wales, Australia.
The main character Lucidia is blind, but she can see better than those with perfect eyesight. Her urgent message to save the environment is ignored, though. This reaction mirrors the present scenario where many world leaders still deny the reality of climate change and even brand those overly concerned as alarmists. The choice of the book’s audience is excellent as the youth of today will be those who will inherit the troubles of nature’s revenge.
I like the author’s inclusion of the usefulness of flora and fauna in the wilderness; he may have personally concocted healthy and delicious meals using the same ingredients. I also appreciate the author’s allusion to popular literature like The Lord of the Rings and the Bible. The names used for the characters and locations are clever; for instance, the city is called Soot, and the villains are the twins Louse and Cur.
I find the use of a blind person effective, but I would have wanted Lucidia to be able to speak, like Helen Keller. Lucidia's inability to verbalize puts her in an extremely disadvantaged position. The author may have reasons for giving Lucidia a lot of hurdles, though. A preface or afterword may be needed to expound on those reasons.
The book title is appropriate. The fable of the boiling frog has been an effective metaphor used by climate activists, including Al Gore. However, illustrations could be incorporated to heighten the impact of the story. The copy I reviewed had none. This book’s message is an important one that would benefit from engaging visuals.
Unfortunately, I find the editing wanting. Grammar lapses pepper the six pages. These include misspelled character names, wrong word usage, and misused commas.
I rate the book 2 out of 4 stars, taking away two stars for the many errors, considering the brevity of the book. I believe in the book’s message and feel that it needs to be heard by many, old and young alike. The young, young adults and younger, are especially enjoined to read the book. Humanity has to act now, lest our children and those after them boil without feeling the heat.
The Boiling Frog
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