by Daniel Zadow

"Then etch by etch, slowly, the face is repaired and filled in, and the face is that of a young child. It is me."

Simon, living in the present time of 2030, has been blessed (or is it cursed?) with the power to see into alternate dimensions. This skill has given him the ability to travel into dreams, to commune with spirits, and to exist on an alternate plane of reality. But he has never been able to control these skills, only learn to live with them—that is, until now. When a pigeon dies in his hands, Simon and the pigeon become inextricably linked, forming a bond of souls. And now the pigeon has come back with an offer that Simon has been waiting for his whole life: the chance to become part of something bigger than him. Through the spirit of the dead pigeon, Simon is introduced to the Intractable Energy Agency which travels into the parallel dimension of dreams in an attempt to safeguard lost energy. Finally, Simon's journey can begin.

This deeply meditative and philosophical short novel sends readers down a rabbit hole of introspective musings. Erudite and dreamy writing makes reading this book slow going, though there's a feeling that the author wants readers to slow down and take their time to understand. As he embarks into other worlds, he visits other times and people and even sees himself in various stages of growth. Sleep, dreams, and memories merge together into one, while sleep paralysis and a sense of self both play important roles in Simon's journey. The reality created in the book is seen through the narrator's hazy and uncertain point of view, further enhancing the feeling of dreaminess. It's not an easy read, but it's a rewarding philosophical journey for anyone willing to make their way through it.

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