Hierarchy often risks an uprising in chase of the power that rests with the one on top. That is the premise of Order of Amite. In a slight drift towards the now-famous Marvel universe, there are powers of various characteristics that need to be protected here too. These though belong to elements. I like that - the word itself and what it implies. Yet, it is the way Author Diana Sears uses these as the crux of her story that interests me most.
Each character in Diana’s story bears a common grief - an early loss of family. There is the new Erregen - homosexual and most powerful - who is to be protected by five Guerrers, who are essentially super-Usuari. The Guerrers can have any one of the major elements at their core - fire, water, earth, air or spirit. The latter has the power to control hope. Together they shall deter the rogues from bringing mass destruction. The shared tragedy, a gay superhero, overly complicated names and multilingualism lend a fair bit of novelty to what soon turns out to be a literary comic book. But the author does not abandon contemporary conversational styles in favour of one more in sync with the “higher powers”, thereby making it all a fun read we can relate to. There is an exception though.
“Main tumse pyar karta hoon,” Arren ‘the air Guerrer’ whispers to fiery Makenna. It is one of the many Hindi or Tamil phrases the author uses. Yet, this one, perhaps unknown to Ms. Sears, carries an unintended significance. The sentence, meaning the fairly common “I love you,” has probably not been heard in the Indian subcontinent at least in this millennium. People don’t use it, thanks to the popularity of the English version and the overly sentimental Bollywood-ization of the Hindi one. To see it used by Diana is both ironic and evidence to how a phrase in one language or tone can be perceived entirely differently by different cultures - a lesson for authors and reviewers alike.
The integration of different languages, however, can be done better. It is a difficult prospect but the flow of the story - fast, action-packed yet sensitive - is such that characters cannot afford to say a thing and then rephrase in English. If the author can find a way, I shall be most keen to see the result. The ending, though, does justice to a build-up it intends to execute for this series. Book 2 is well placed to begin with a purpose and platform laid out now - with a potential turncoat, a secret observer, a villain tasked with vengeance and a fresh order of saviours set to charge. But . . .
It is only by the end of the story that Author Sears’ elusive incentive comes to light, unproclaimed still. It feels as if the author purposefully put every other aspect of her story in a fog of complicated names, multiculturalism and unconventional backgrounds. Instead, it is her use of common themes - from the familial losses to unexpected surprises - that eventually points to Ms. Sears’ objective. What she wants us to focus on is not a tale of villains and heroes - we have plenty of those - but the loss and resurrection of hope. Hope - the Spirit core, introduced to us in disguise at the very beginning of the story.
To quote from the book, “all elements can kill, but only Spirit can take your hope away forever.
Life without hope is not a life worth living.” As Diana Sears seems to know well enough, and testifies through her playful narrative, the same holds true for a story.
For more Authors & Books, check out the section: Earth.
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