Israel del Rio,
(self-published, 2008)

Honeycomb, a new age work by Israel del Rio, expounds upon the fascinating idea that every life being lived slowly generates the one true God, as opposed to a god having created life. Del Rio explains this theory through the heart-wrenching stories of various interconnected individuals living in modern-day Denver and Santa Fe, all of whom are potential incarnations of the main character.

Unfortunately, the overemphasis on the logistics of the underlying idea of a constantly generated god or Honeycomb detracts from the merits of the actual stories being told through the main character's dilemma about which life to choose. The constant explanations take the readers out of the story and away from the more touching and appealing aspects of this book.

The pacing also fails to run smoothly, continually forcing readers away from the characters at the heart of this work and back to the nebulous region of the protagonist's various otherworldly experiences with his guide John. While the episodes that take place in this region have merit in themselves, the arbitrary pulling of readers from the interconnected world of the other characters to this area where the protagonist merely serves as the author's philosophizing mouthpiece makes it difficult to establish and maintain any real connection between audience and book. Moreover, the protagonist's modern way of thinking when in limbo belies his supposed history as a 19th-century soldier. Add to this the fact that his continued sense of entitlement in the face of every flaw belonging to this character in every single account he's presented in, and this man becomes a particularly unappealing spokesman for del Rio's ideas.

In short, Honeycomb is an interesting book, and a provocative one, but feels too forced to provide a smooth read or easily accessible characters.

[ visit the author's website ]

review by
Whitney Mallenby

28 November 2009

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