The Monarchs

Mark Sabbas

Publisher: Koehler Books Pages: 412 Price: (paperback) $22.95 ISBN: 9798888242681 Reviewed: June, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

Set in a near future, this deeply spiritual and philosophical science fiction novel follows a group of “new youth” with psychic abilities after a nuclear war has irreparably changed the world.

The story begins inside the Facility, a military base where scientists have been experimenting on children with extraordinary psychic capabilities, identified by their large eyes, nearly twice the size of an average human’s. Scientists hope to weaponize their powers.

Samuel Helen has been there the longest, imprisoned like a lab rat. He’s in love with a girl named Evelyn from a neighboring village, whom he sees once a week during outdoor chores. Samuel’s only light in his nightmarish existence is the dream of somehow escaping to be with Evelyn.

When the facility is attacked by radicalized psychics looking to free and indoctrinate the imprisoned children, Samuel and Evelyn find themselves on the run—maneuvering their way through a post-apocalyptic landscape. Their quest for physical safety is complicated as Samuel embarks on an internal journey to find his place and purpose in the cosmos.

A powerful musical thread runs throughout, with references to, and lyrics from, musicians like the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, and Bob Dylan. Additionally, the post-apocalyptic backdrop is richly described, interwoven with social commentary: “…the military was quite honorable before it was hijacked by men who wished to see the world burn, demolishing democracy while plunging society in a state of panic…” Also, the author excels at symbolism, creating powerful imagery that adds depth.

But the story’s real power is in its extensive philosophical and spiritual threads, including references to Plato, Descartes, and Christian myth. Deep speculation abounds: “We are but dream characters in the mind of God, striving for Self-realization…” And while many ideas are explored, the overarching theme is evident: “love changes everything.”

The smooth blend of philosophical, spiritual, and musical elements make this a unique read. The novel is highly recommended for those who gravitate towards deep existential themes.

Also available in hardcover.

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