Foreword Reviews

The Anesthesia Game

Clarion Rating: 5 out of 5

Supernatural forces define this story of illness, addiction, and redemption.

Sydney, a teen dying of cancer, receives the support of three women across several lifetimes in The Anesthesia Game, Rea Nolan Martin’s inspirational Visionary story.

Mitsy won’t even say the name of her daughter Sydney’s illness. Holed up in her room, constantly calling the hotline psychic Pandora, she’s barely able to take care of herself, much less Sydney. Enter Mitsy’s wayward sister, Hannah, whose shopping and drinking habits have run her into a financial hole. Hannah has no time for psychics or Mitsy’s self-pity. But when Pandora takes it upon herself to heal Sydney using supernatural means, the four women will discover that they are all connected.

The book is well paced and energetic, with the perspective alternating between Sydney, Mitsy, Hannah, and Pandora. It is also generally well structured, driving toward an exciting climax and a satisfying conclusion. Certain plot elements come and go without explanation, though, including Hannah’s heavy alcohol use and Mitsy’s possibly imagined health problems.

The narrative maintains its focus on addiction as a theme. There is emphasis on the relation of the characters’ bad behaviors to a spiritual trauma that is the source of Sydney’s illness, itself rooted in a selfish and greedy act by another person. While this interpretation of the pathology of addiction is largely metaphysical, there are strong parallels to the nature of addiction as a hereditary and social illness.

Supernatural forces define most of the plot and tie in to the book’s physical world in ways that feel solid. Though it is definitely inspirational in nature, the story puts forth a spirituality that feels substantial and that is truly capable of affecting outcomes of Earth-based problems and concerns. Bucking the trend of idealizing the spiritual world, the book opts to imbue the arena of higher planes and vibrations with the same level of fallibility, including drama and complications, as the physical world.

Distinct voices and personalities do much to carry The Anesthesia Game, and the vivacious interactions between well-formed characters make the book entertaining. While the plot does involve a steady buildup and a fairly exciting climax, the book can be considered character-driven and will probably go over best with fans of literary drama.

The book’s style is delightfully energetic and polished, both easy to read and fun. A sprinkling of well-placed flashbacks to the characters’ previous lives are handled seamlessly, and despite the potential for confusion, there is never any question about either the story line or the characters’ whereabouts. Though the book was clearly written with tremendous affection for its characters and subject, it makes readers its first priority and delivers a complete, highly satisfying story.

Visionary spirituality is rarely as well represented in literature as it is in The Anesthesia Game. This feel-good book has great potential to succeed in its genre.

Reviewed by Anna Call

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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