2 out of 4 stars
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Autism does not make someone any less of an individual. Autistic people perceive the world differently and they possess unique talents that can ultimately change the world. This is the premise of Paul Nelson’s young adult novel entitled Fisher's Autism Trilogy.
Nelson introduces readers to the world of autism through an autistic teenager named Fisher Stevens. His book is divided into three parts. The first part focuses on Fisher’s mind, his perspective on life, and his interaction with the people around him. In addition to this, an otherworldly being called Michael teaches Fisher how to unlock a series of secret powers which the boy unknowingly possesses. Michael then inducts him into a tribe called the Behira and warns him of an impending tragedy. Part two explores the experiences of another autistic boy, Jonah, who finds it difficult to escape the darkness in his own life. He joins an evil tribe called Choshek which is ruled by Belial, a terrifying winged beast. A battle between Behira and Choshek ensues. The third part of the book focuses on an issue that is larger than the war itself. Humanity is at risk. The future of Planet Earth hangs in the balance. Can Fisher and his tribe save the world?
An excellent feature of this book is that it gave valuable insights on what goes on inside the mind of an autistic person. The author described Fisher’s thoughts about the things he finds interesting in everyday life such as animals, trains, and movies. Fisher’s thoughts on how others view him were also present in the book. Nelson also explored how autistic people can relate to issues such as loss, bullying, and racism. All of these insights were fascinating to me since I have never met someone with autism. Furthermore, since the first part of the book was written from Fisher’s perspective, the writing style was different from the rest of the book. Simple, short sentences were used, almost as if Fisher himself had written it. In my opinion, this really added to Fisher’s character.
I also liked the similarities to Christianity in the book. For example, Michael was synonymous with the Archangel Michael and Belial was synonymous with Lucifer. The majority of characters also had biblical names including Paul, Jonah, Mary, Ruth, and Noah. Like his namesake in the Bible, Jonah was also given the chance to turn away from his wicked ways. Despite these Christian analogies in the book, Nelson also included modern elements of science fiction and fantasy, such as aliens and ghosts. These added an extra twist to the story.
Unfortunately, there were some negative aspects to the book. Some fragments of the book were repetitive. For instance, the challenges Fisher’s father faced as a caregiver for his wife and son were repeated in at least two parts of the book. In addition to this, an entire chapter (Chapter 14) in the second part of the trilogy was repeated in Chapter 24 – right in the middle of the war between Behira and Choshek. This was very confusing and distracted me from having a smooth reading experience. Furthermore, one of Fisher’s friends, Ruth, had an uncle named Ben who took her rifle shooting. Later on in the story, reference was made to the same uncle, but he was called Tim. Although this was a minor detail, it was noticeable.
The most common grammatical error I saw was the lack of full stops in the closing sentences of dialogue. Other errors included incorrect spelling as well as formatting mistakes like having spaces between the letters of words. I think that this book will benefit from professional editing. I wish I could give this book a better rating, but I have to deduct 2 stars due to the aforementioned issues and grammatical errors. Therefore, I rate Fisher’s Autism Trilogy 2 out of 4 stars. This uplifting story will appeal to young adult fantasy readers. Anyone who has an autistic teenage child, friend or sibling can also relate to the characters in this book.
Fisher's Autism Trilogy
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