Title: A Fools Journey: Book 1 – The Magician
Author: Mark Pannebecker
Format: Epub mailed by author
My rating: 2.5/5 for the story but an extra .5 for the writing so my rating is 3/5
Synopsis: A Fool’s Journey is a 21-part series of novelettes that follows Benjamin Porter (The Fool) through the Major Arcana of the Tarot. Ben’s journey begins in Book I, The Magician when he learns the use of power for destructive ends.
We are introduced to the main character Benjamin Porter in a rather rushed manner. He is a fifteen-year-old high-schooler who is attracted to the dark arts, if I may put it that way – mainly drugs and violence. He befriends Craig Marse – popularly known as the Magician through whom he discovers a whole new world. Whether he would stick to it is another matter.
What the author is trying to do here, mixing the concept of adolescence and finding oneself with tarot, is definitely interesting. I really see where Benjamin is coming from. He represents every bit of the Fool in the Tarot. His fascination with Craig is a bit naive, but a necessary one if any lessons are to be learned.
Craig’s character is definitely the highlight of the book. How he shows every color of the Magician both negative and positive and we see all this through the fool’s eyes – how appropriate! I like how the author has connected the relation between Craig and Benjamin through tarot, and sometimes it’s difficult to separate them from their tarot counterparts.
I find the writing to be fast paced and fluid for sure, in fact, I think it’s the writing style that holds an otherwise rushed story that more or less feels less invested in the characters – as if we are just catching glimpses of Benjamin’s life. As a reference to tarot characters, it is definitely a good read to get an almost “real life” interpretations of them – we don’t get enough books on that but, as a leisure read it definitely depends on personal preference. Nevertheless, the book is a quickie and so as a series, it would be interesting to see where this journey goes and how.
Special mention to Sarah Clayton for the cover design – it captures the essence of the book.