This is a bloody and brutal story but exciting. Two main female characters’ lives are intertwined – Leoni in the 21st century and Ria in prehistoric Spain of 24,000 years ago. As Leoni experiments with drugs, she is drawn into the world of Ria who is fighting for her life and that of her tribe. With help, Ria encourages two warring groups to combine forces to counteract the enemy, who is threatening to kill the tribes and take over their territory. This group is under the direction of an evil leader who feeds on human children’s blood – and their souls.
Leoni, the young 17 year old of the 21st century, is fleeing her rich and controlling parents and meets others who are destined to experiment with drugs in order to enter the parallel universe of Ria. While Ria fights for her life and that of her tribe and another tribe, she and Leoni face similar conflicts. A loss in one dimension represents devastation in the other. Leoni is caught in Ria’s fight, when she can escape the men chasing her in her world, and enter that world through the use of the drug DMT and later the plant Ayahuasca, used by shamans who assist her in the Amazon. She continues to evade her pursuers as she is pulled to help her new friend in the Stone Age.
The cruelty in this novel bothers me physically; it is brutal and sickening. The evil leader drinks the blood of the children after torturing them and devouring their souls.
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The description of these events is graphic and effective. The action is fast-paced and pulls the reader into the story, however, even with the violence.
The concept, in this novel, of souls being devoured is not realistic except as an analogy for “lost souls,” referring to people who continue to stall on their evolutionary path. The drug-induced trips are valid, even if the ability to interact and drastically affect parallel universes may not be.
But the message for others and one reason to read this novel is to understand the connection to the divine in a variety of ways, and Hancock is providing some real world experiences of that process. Certain knowledge for shamans is obtained from other dimensions through the use of drugs. This is not for the inexperienced or undirected. Today, we are too far removed to get into other dimensions without anxiety-ridden and horrific scenes worked out in our minds from the fear and from our past lives. It is dangerous because it opens up worlds for which we are unprepared. Talk to some of the 60s hippies who experimented with LSD and ask about the effects of a “bad trip.” The use of ayahuasca as drug to go into other dimensions is discussed in Hancock’s Supernatural. He shares some of his own experience and those of others. While drugs are one avenue, they are not the preferred method unless the circumstances are tightly controlled.