Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dreams Of The Desert Wind Review

Dreams Of The Desert Wind
By Kurt R. A. Giambastiani

Review By: Neil Richard

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Having followed Kurt’s writing for a few years now, I’ve come to appreciate not only the time and effort put into a novel, but also the sheer skill and determination.

Aside from the Ploughman King and various works in magazines, I’ve read everything Kurt has published. I’m not trying to brag, just to set the tone of the review. And while I’m not an expert (self-proclaimed or otherwise) on his writing style, I’m come to know him through his works and through several conversations. So when I read Dreams Of The Desert Wind, I was flabbergasted. In both good and bad ways.

So let’s start with the bad, because most of it is in the beginning of the book. The first 50 or so pages was a rough start. In the past I’ve thought about using a “40-Page Rule” but eventually decided to trust my judgment when I pick up a book to read. After all, I’ve only been wrong twice. So aside from the thoughts of putting the book down, I continually dwelled on two main things early in the book. First being my supreme lack of knowledge about the Middle East. Specifically Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, etc. What I know these people hate those people and vice versa. There are differences in culture, language, religion, and who really owns what piece of land. Thankfully, I won’t be getting on a soapbox anytime soon about it, because I don’t know enough to start a conversation. The second pre-occupation I had was the sheer lack of excitement early on. I’m not sure if it was the lack of character development or character history or just a simple lack of explosions, but I had a hard time getting excited about the story. It wasn’t until David begins his trek after the Bedouin, that I started to wake-up and pay attention.

And that’s about where the good stuff comes in. David, an archeologist of languages, is searching for a veiled woman who spoke a dead language. Not quite the exciting McGuffin of Kurt’s other stories, but interesting enough to follow. David’s lover, Rivka, chases after him thinking he’s been kidnapped. In reality, he’s leaving of his own free will.

Thus ensues a classic chase across the desert. Military chases Rivka who chases David who chases Ghazayil who have an ulterior motive for David. Without spoiling too much of the plot, I was also pleasantly surprised at the end when I found out how the Ghazayil came upon their special powers. Not at all what I expected.
© 2005 Productions

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