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Out of the Darkness
Giving voices to the voiceless, four uniquely global characters with one all-knowing deity, manifest magic, discover their path. And you, can, too. A rule-abiding girl from East Berlin, a well-off girl from SoHo New York, a happy boy from India discovering his sexuality, a selfless boy from North Korea doesn't know there's a word for what he's looking for, transgender.Share Tweet LinkedIn Embed pszr.co/XUuke 746 views
|Contemporary Fiction #1 in Contemporary Fiction|
|3 publishers interested|
Giving voices to the voiceless, triumphant and melancholic, four uniquely global characters with one all-knowing deity, manifest magic, discover their path. And you, can, too.
We meet Wōwō, our narrator, first. Wōwō is everyone and no one all at the same time. Always honest, always holding space, always sticking to the mission, the purpose. As usual, she speaks first in poetry and then in prose, speaking directly to the reader. We feel a fast pace and challenge from the start as she introduces the mission of our characters in a way that feels like we're watching a reel of disconnected film. Our story exists in no time or space. It's contemporary, but we see two character storylines placed in historical fiction timelines.
Our first protagonist is Liv from East Berlin when the wall was up. She has wide eyes and bites her nails, but we begin to see she is a product of her family and her environment. There's an underlying tension as she begins to question the world she lives in from the perspective she gathers from her dreams as she sleeps. Liv's mystical power is Precognition. As the reader sees her dreams, we also can understand what is coming next in the storyline. Our character's biggest shift happens when the Berlin Wall falls. We feel a tension with this character as she struggles to find herself, which inhibits her path and ultimately readiness to explore her strength and divine timing to meet the other three characters.
Our second protagonist is Sofíann. She wears dark colors, has simple style, and bangs. She is wealthy, and lives in SoHo New York with her parents. Her anger propels her life, and she is the first character Icarus appears to, and early on. Icarus is the embodied version of Wōwō, who visits and speaks directly to our protagonists. He usually comes with a challenge to wake up our characters from their thoughtless paths. We learn about the intricacies of race relations in America through Sofíann, a white woman. And in this way, we learn with her. Though she may feel problematic to many audiences, this is intentional. Deconstructing systems of oppression is complex and is often gone about in inappropriate ways by self proclaimed allies. We see the most growth from Sofíann and she manages to meet another character by the end of the book. Their power is unlocked, but not as strong as it will be with all four of them together. Sofíann's mystical power is Clairvoyance.
Our third protagonist is Saurabh. His stomach protrudes from the extra love and food his mom gives him as an only child. He smiles from ear to ear because he's grateful for his life in the mountains of Northern India. He lives for the spring when his family's mustard flowers fields are blooming bright and yellow. He falls into the arms of mother nature, and makes a wish. He has one wish - To one day be openly, accepted as bright, and loud, and gay. We see Saurabh's innocence and bliss stolen early on, and through him we meet the antagonist. The antagonist is The Shadow. He wears a sinister smile and hums a melancholic tune. His whiteless, pure black eyes penetrate your soul. He wears patchworked pants of inverted human skin. The rugged sewing details confirm they are handmade. He dances as smoke fills your eyes. His dirty, dark, matted hair sways left and right around his hips. Through the support of loved ones and recognizing his own strength, the mystical power of a Manifestor, Saurabh makes it to Mumbai and rewrites his story. There, he confronts the Shadow. The Shadow becomes more ferocious as our characters gather agency and momentum, acknowledging their truth, unlocking other realms and dimensions, setting themselves, and others, free.
Our final protagonist is Un-byol. He is the youngest of two siblings, in North Korea, during the leadership of the "Supreme Leader." His father tells him, "to be a man." And this stings him because it's the opposite of what he wants to be. Un-byol does not identify with his assigned gender, but with the lack of information in the Hermit Kingdom, he feels ostracized and alone. He is caught wearing his sister's dress, an absolute crime against the state, and this propels the storyline forward. His mother is killed, his sister disappears, he is put into kyohwaso, Kaechon concentration camp No.1 for reeducation to serve a fifteen year sentence for his transgressions against the people and the nation. Icarus visits him there and in this way, we see Bokyung's storyline and Liv's are in fact connected. Un-byol's storyline is the most fantastical as he needs the most divine intervention in order to find freedom. He is an Empath and an Aerona. His journey is heart wrenching, like any North Korean defector's, but full of hope.
Two characters meet in this book, while two indirectly affect one another's lives in a tremendous way. By the next book, all the characters will know more about who they are, will meet, and change the world together by exploring and altering historical fiction timelines.
The current and next generation of open minded readers, discovering and defining who they are, while curious to learn from the past and present.
- Max Minckler - Regional Google Consumer Insights Lead, Asia Pacific, previously Senior Director, Consumer Insights at Penguin Random House
- Janet Cooper Nelson - Chaplain of Brown University
- Book reading audience in Singapore
“Simply put, it’s magical.”
"Instantly quotable and memorable."
“You cannot lie to Wōwō, or yourself.”
"I get goose bumps from this story."
“The book interrogates you to become a better person.”
"I have to know how it ends!!!"
“Definitely a book found on Oprah’s book list.”
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I've officially hit 100 pre-orders. I'm so excited but also shaking with anxiety :D I have 400+ pre-orders to ...