Advance copy provided by Reedsy Discovery.
The title—Apotheosis: A Treatise against the Elevation of Man—perfectly reflects what this book is about. A group of young friends in Indiana, normal people with a taste for the good times, discover a map in an antiques shop that can affect Earth on a God-like level. The plot then follows the bohemian gang as they puzzle out what to do with this powerful, even dangerous, artefact.
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Diverse and Meaningful Characterisation
The book dives into the psychological impact of this surreal situation as much as the events it triggers—funny, societal, catastrophic. The characters, six in total, are portrayed very well, each bringing something amusing or meaningful to the group and plot. There are several moments of shrewd and engaging characterization.
Two of them, Damien and Madeleine, are most prominent as the map and its influence rock their relationship, a seemingly loving co-existence of hope and pessimism, bliss and turmoil, stoicism and emotion. Overall, the very human side to how this disaster story unravels is refreshing and intriguing.
Philosophical But Intriguing Narrative
Philosophy is another major feature of Apotheosis: A Treatise against the Elevation of Man. Unfortunately, it does go overboard at times, the occasionally archaic narration almost rambling off topic and perspective, but this also makes the book special.
Instead of a bland, fast-paced, action-packed story, we’re taken on an adventure of the mind, soul, ethics, human nature, and more. We get to laugh and marvel and gasp along the way, making the experience quite enjoyable and, above all, memorable.
Literature With a Purpose
The best literature in existence doesn’t just entertain you. It’s there to make you think. It teaches you something new about the world, yourself, different ideas, or simply how to look at all these things.
Apotheosis fits into that niche, opening a range of discussions, from religion, faith, and divinity to love, altruism, naivety, and even numerology. Yet you don’t always get answers, as if the book urges you to think and imagine for yourself.
The smooth and sprawling writing style combines everything into a leisurely, intellectual rollercoaster. If you like depth and description, this is a good book to pick up next, one that can move, inspire, and surprise you. Straddling the line between low fantasy and magical realism, Apotheosis: A Treatise against the Elevation of Man is a gem of a read.