Vessel of Heaven by Jamie Rosen


Vessel of Heaven by Jamie Rosen
Publisher: Eggplant Literary Productions
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (106 pages)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

It is a world much like our own, differing in only one small detail: no one has yet pierced the veil of Heaven. Now humans are finally ready to send a manned mission into orbit. To capture the sights, sounds and emotions of man’s first ascent, three artists have been chosen to join the crew: a poet, a painter and a musician. The three of them have to learn to overcome their own fears and their differences to become the crew that will bring a little piece of space back to earth.

When they finally do reach their destination, however, they find a place none had ever imagined. A place where women appear from clouds of insects, where one can meet one’s Muse, and where the laws of Heaven can be broken.

Any explorer would expect to come across a little danger while on his or her mission. Suddenly stumbling into Heaven, though, is another matter entirely.

I was pleased by how quickly I learned to differentiate between the voices of the main characters. Each one is an unique individual whose strengths, weaknesses, and quirks show up almost immediately. It was even more satisfying to see so much character development in such a short amount of space. I connected emotionally with every individual on the mission which isn’t something that typically happens to this reader.

Introducing what is a somewhat large cast of characters for a story this length and setting up all of the background information that is necessary in order to understand what happens later on took up the first several chapters. Everything I learned about the characters and their mission was relevant, but once or twice I wished that the preliminary information could be wrapped up just a little more quickly because I was so eager to find out what happens next.

With that being said, the imaginative twists and turns of this book kept me on my toes. Mr. Rosen has a knack for inserting surprises into his plot that this lifelong fan of speculative fiction wasn’t able to figure out ahead of time. It was especially interesting to ponder what might have influenced the darker and possibly allegorical scenes. I suspect that every reader will walk away with his or her own interpretation of those sections, but I had a wonderful time puzzling out what I think they might have meant. If this is any indication of Mr. Rosen’s writing style, I can’t wait to read more from him.

Vessel of Heaven is a must-read for anyone who loves it when science fiction and fantasy are swirled together. It’s the kind of story that improves with repetition, and I, for one, will be revisiting it again soon.

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