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Ten To Life

In this book, Ten to Life: Delirium Tales of a Covid-19 Survivor, author Mike Joyner contracts COVID-19 and recounts his days in the ICU during the pandemic. Joyner was sedated for 18 days, experiencing multiple delirious dreams; some quite terrifying, some strange, and some fairly light-hearted and fun. Joyner’s intention in writing this book is to give comfort and hope to the people infected by this traumatic pandemic, to know that we are not alone in this struggle and will face the future together.

This is a difficult book to review emotionally and in the technical sense. This book is entirely based on the author’s experiences and dreams, which does not leave much room for a critique of the book’s contents. Was this book captivating and interesting? Absolutely. Were the book’s grammar and punctuation impeccable? Undeniably so. Joyner has done an amazing job writing this book. There is not a single flaw I could point out or a comment I could make to suggest improvements.

This book has a sort of Alice in Wonderland kind of feeling. The author takes us down one rabbit hole after another, into dream after dream, and as time becomes unpredictable like most dreams, things slowly stop making sense. A very relatable feeling, however, unlike waking up once or twice from one dream after another, the author experienced this over and over for 18 days. A terrifying thought.

But not only is the author trapped in their own head, but they are being hunted in their dreams. After a misunderstanding with a man named Jesse, the author is relentlessly pursued in his own mind by guns for hire. It’s a disturbing thought, especially compared to how many times Joyner “died” in his dreams, but I would hate to think that every time the author “died,” this could have possibly meant the author had needed to be resuscitated in the waking world.

I know very little about treating Covid, but from what I understand, patients need to be closely monitored while sedated in case liquid pools in the lungs. In addition, patients are rotated constantly to prevent liquid from pooling and drowning patients in their sleep. Still, with staffing shortages and the multiple people needed to flip a person over, there are higher chances of a code blue.

This would also explain why the doctors in Joyner’s dream warned him to be more careful and not “die” again. Resuscitating a person does a lot of damage to the body, and there are only so times a person can be resuscitated, only so much trauma the body can take. This book is a testament to the trauma and pain Covid inflicts on a person. I’m sorry to hear about what Joyner has been through, but I’m glad something beautiful could come out of it. This book was immaculately written and was a captivating read.

Pages: 259 | ASIN : B0B3LP45XD

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Returning Souls

Returning Souls by [Colombo, Ernestine B.]

Where does a soul go after one’s life is over? Does it drift away into nothing while the body returns to dust? Or does it goes on to rest, to be resurrected? Or does it recycle back into the physical plane of existence in yet another form? These questions always come to mind as we see, feel and live the experience called life.

Returning Souls by Ernestine B. Colombo is a unique book that allowed me to connect with the characters and allowed me to visualize not only the descriptions the author presents but also the struggles and emotions the characters go through in the story.

The story starts by presenting our protagonist, Evelyn D’Arico or Evie and takes her point of view. The beginning is captivating as we find the character lying on the floor, incapacitated and on the edge of death. The narrative masterfully captures the emotions you might have if you were to find yourself in the same predicament. The descriptions easily come as they paint some dramatic pictures. The language is fluid and allows you to get lost in the story. I particularly liked the author’s presentation of the behavior of the pets. I always believe that animals are more attuned to the metaphysical plane of souls and spirits.

The story, to me, presents a unique idea that I have not read in any piece of literature, the concept of Pre-incarnation. As the story progresses the reader gets to know a different character, Astara. She is a girl a little over 12, living in the Mesolithic time period. She is a unique complement to Evie’s character. Switching between the two characters points of view is handled expertly and I enjoyed being able to inhabit both of these two fascinating characters.

The story is touching as well as we get to learn of her sister who is suffering from Down syndrome. This for me, was one of the more emotional elements to the story that left the character endearing. The relationship was believable and the condition, I thought, was explained with care.

This book will take you on a reincarnation adventure with a deep look at the beauty, and maybe even the futility, of life. This is a must read for people coming of age or people looking for a metaphysical story that stands out from the rest as different and compelling.

Pages: 292 | ASIN: B079ZZ2M84

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