My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“The Truce” is as much a metaphysical pondering as it is a novel. Although it has two main characters, Aaron and Amber, and several intriguing and well-played secondary characters, the entire thrust of the book, in my opinion, is far more a treatise on the variations of the afterlife than it is a novel per se. Now this type of fiction was done frequently, and done well, in the Renaissance (and earlier, in the morality plays of the Middle Ages). But we live in a different age, in which a sort of collective attention-deficit consciousness rules society, and most readers are not willing to wade through pages of philosophical discourse without the accompanying action, dialogue, and adventurous plot. Granted, our protagonists do get active, but for this reviewer, I would prefer the action had begun much sooner: at the point of impact, which propels them into their new existences (I hesitate to say “new lives”
Amber and Aaron start off their mutual new adventure by dying-simultaneously-and from that point their existences are intertwined. They “awake” to find themselves in “Purgatory,” a level that seems to be inhabited by those who haven’t quite made it into Heaven, and who apparently were not deemed evil enough to be immediately cast into Hell. Now as a child I was taught that Purgatory was the usual level of existence while the soul was purified for Heaven; in this novel, Purgatory is divided from Heaven by Hell, of all things, although the Creator can in His Infinite Wisdom simply remove souls from Purgatory and transfer them to Heaven. However, not all go, and it seems few move on in a timely fashion; some stay on for centuries. Some, however, decide to “go it on their own,” and leave Purgatory via the forest-inhabited by souls who tried but couldn’t bring themselves to enter Hell-crossing over into Hell, figuring to survive it and pass on into Heaven. Such is the decision our protagonists make, and here their real adventures begin.
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