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A compelling complex epic adventure with magnitude and a fast pace.
Forever. Eternally. What is the curse of eternal awareness? Aeternum by Robert Tobin is a historical fantasy like no other. The author invents a character never seen before. Written on the premise of a living entity, called Mika, that exists through various life forms, the plot spans thousands of years. Mika meets Ari, another eternal soul. Through mesmerizing and shocking conflicts and resolutions, they become soul mates in different lifetimes. The convoluted plot relies on short, concise back stories to fill in sequential historical gaps.
The author’s knowledge of history, both ancient and more modern, is evident in his depiction of battles, wild destructive carnage, contemporary society and premonitions of the future. He skillfully weaves the two characters, Mika and Ari, into believable humans who interact with the society of the different times frames in believable ways.
The love story of Mika and Ari is characterized by extreme psychological emotions, spiritual awareness, and even primal survival. Atmospheric and sensuous scenes let the reader feel their emotions. At one point Ari’s physical body is called “zombiotic”. Love turns to conflict, then to revenge that continues through ages. Can they reconcile before the end of life as they know it?
Tobin enables us to believe in the reality of his character, Mika, as Mika expresses his internal conflict. “Because of my awareness through time, my muscle memory and intuition created a smorgasbord of potential and skills within my being, available for access at any time.” But should he use his extraordinary skills? Mika asks why life is a mystery. What is life? Why are we here? He expresses human emotions and is conscientious of his surrounding and contemporary humans.
Mika states that the evolution of man is made of vicious cycles. Mankind is extremely slow to learn from past lessons, from history, and he repeats mistakes again and again. Mika also surmises that every living entity is a representation of a continuous energy. Perhaps from the beginning of time?
The reader is led by Mika through a fast-paced rollercoaster of heartbreaking science-fiction fantasy and adventure, as the magnitude of human destruction of earth’s resources leads to the end of the days of the planet. The reader will find that the plot and characters are “novel”. This is a compelling complex epic adventure with magnitude and a fast pace.
Reviewed by: JamesBurns
Striking in its magnitude and pace, Aeternum will find love in Scince-fiction/ fantasy book lovers and the contemporary reader while making its place in the world of haunting love stories…
The love story that stretches across centuries and past lives, builds the foundation of Robert Tobin’s Sci-fi novel, Aeternum. Mika and Ari cross path recurrently during their countless lifetimes through a never-ending reincarnation, both aware of every past lifetime they ever lived. It doesn’t take much for their immortal love story to become a revenge story through centuries. As Earth’s end approaches closer, they have a last chance to reconcile. Meanwhile, Tobin takes readers on a tour of ever-occurring evolution from the sack of Carthage through a Viking invasion of Spain to humanity’s uncertain future. The author has given countless lives to both Mika and Ari and managed to make them all interesting—whether it’s a small ordinary animal life or an enormously important human life. At the same time, he gives the reader a glimpse into the fantastic pre-historic period and a snapshot of an unknown future—what it will be like when it’s time for the earth to approach its end.
Tobin’s narration is steady and ever alert to different voices—to love and destruction, to horrors of war, to beginnings and ends, and to changing times. The story is highly unpredictable, and Tobin manages a fairly satisfying momentum throughout the book. The book, through Mika and Ari’s journey, offers a kaleidoscopic perspective of evolution spanning the human history, and also makes various points about life—how the lives hang by a mere thread, how we want the world to make more sense than it actually does, how the destiny is uncertain, how the little things in a person’s life make a life worth living and a death worth dying, and how to figure it all out as they live. There is an intrigue to
Mika’s love story that make the book a haunting read. The book is mostly about death, but the tone of the book keeps it from being oppressive. The recurring incarnations makes the story a bit repetitive, but the compulsions and enslavements of various forms that dominate lives of both Mika and Ari throughout centuries make for an engrossing read. Heartbreaking and consuming, the novel will take the reader on a fascinating journey of human evolution, incarnation, love, and destruction.
Reviewed by: The Prairies Book Review