Matador p/b £9.99

Reviewed by Nigel Robert Wilson

It is always awkward to review the second book in a series when the first has not been read. References back are complicated and dependent upon good introductory passages. Fortunately, the writer is also a Wellness Practitioner who rewards us with the story so far.

The tale is about another reality within our existing world. Crystal Island was formed in the Atlantic Ocean following the last Ice Age. Its crystal formation protects it from what we laughingly describe as civilisation, particularly the pollution. The women-folk of Crystal Island have received wisdom from alien beings who have since departed this planet on the presumption that it is now safe in the hands of competent leadership. Mankind, however, has another agenda and from ignorance, arrogance and foolishness attracts the attentions of a dark, shadowy force from the deepest recesses of the cosmos.

The hero, Orla, is married to Finn, having previously spent seven years on a journey through the worlds of Crystal to ensure her full spiritual awakening. There is a delightfully overt feminine style of writing throughout this book which sustains the reader through a complex skein of understanding induced by the way the sub-plot has been fixed. When the story starts, Orla is happily pregnant but very concerned at the barbarous nature of the ancestral memories present in the minds and mentalities of the Chief Generals of humanity’s Federations.

The moral character of the tale is evident as the government of mankind needs to be freed from the dark, shadowy influences. This sentiment we can all acknowledge despite the novel taking a rather lengthy way to explain it.

There are wonderfully instructive passages in the book as to the optimum diet and how humanity has turned this world into a gigantic waste disposal system. This all contributes to a final push for change from the Chief Generals of all the human Federations. It appears that democracy has universally collapsed into a sequence of juntas placing the Generals in control of the shrinking resources of the planet. Will Crystal knowledge change the vanity and selfishness of the world leaders?

In many ways, this is a tale for our times, but it possesses all the confusing qualities of supposedly ancient concepts bolted together in a conflated exercise to create something akin to a liturgy. One is reminded a bit of the more obtuse Gnostic writings of the early Christian era. It does not help the story flow. In due time, we learn that a new world leadership has to be created to allow the planet to recover, and both these exercises will take time.

This book is not to everyone’s taste. To be fair, none is; but there will be many who will find this text informative, even instructive but not in the way they would expect. The reader either buys into this style of presentation or does not.

The tale is not to the reviewer’s taste as it is over-complicated, but the moral message is strong: made all the more relevant by the current pandemic and the coming international conference on climate change. The entire point is that humanity needs to be more considerate about the condition of the planet and what it does with it. Full marks to Colleen O’Flaherty-Hilder for making the point abundantly clear but she goes about it in an exotic manner.