Rachel's Reviews > Spirit Destinations

Spirit Destinations by Phillip Knight
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May 03, 2012

it was ok

First of all, kudos to Phillip Knight for writing his first book! I really admire authors and I appreciate reading someone's first offering. Knight's novel was very creative and a different type genre than what I would normally read. I was lucky to win this book in a Goodreads giveaway. The basic story line chronicles the journeys of Henry, a mortal who has died. Henry, as a spirit, travels in orbs of light and meets a wide variety of other spirits along the way. Towards the end of the book he and other spirits fight demons. Ultimately it is a story of hope and finding a sense of purpose and creating friendships in another realm.

I really wanted to love this book and give it a 5-star rating, but there were a few elements in the book that I struggled with. First of all, there was little descriptive or figurative language. I could not get a visual sense of the characters or settings in the book. Knight's style is a very straightforward telling, which is fine for some, but I tend to like setting and characters more fleshed out. I found a lot of "we did this", "we saw this"; it was like reading a journal and I couldn't get into the plot like I would have liked to.

I also thought the back of the book was a little misleading. The original character only appears in the first few pages then again at the very end. The battle with the demons is also very minimal. I found the majority of the book to be stories of other people Henry meets along the way. Some of the side stories were really interesting, perhaps starts for another novel from Knight. When the original character reappears at the end of the book, I didn't feel like I knew him nor did I really understand his purpose in the plot.

The trick for fiction authors is to persuade the reader to suspend their disbelief--to really buy the world, or in this case, the realm the author has created. For me, the setup of the afterlife Knight created didn't resonate with me. This isn't to say it won't with most, but I couldn't get into it.

I do think Knight has a great start to his career as an author, and even though my review is lack luster, I will certainly read his other works as they are released.
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