This is a review of a book by author Kim Doll that gave me some things to think about. I don't like non-thinking books and fiction thinking books seem to be far and few between as far as I have been able to see. There are a few authors out there that keep you on your toes with fiction, like Mitch Albom or John Grisham for example, and while Doll does not quite reach Albom's or Grisham's writing ability, I can feel fairly good about putting her way up on the list of fiction writers these days. She certainly writes better than I could ever aspire to be able to do. The book reads very smoothly and is a quick read.
It is the first of a trilogy of books and being that it has a heavy load to bear. As the first of a trilogy it has the responsibility of laying the ground work for the two follow up books. It does this extremely well. You are introduced to all the main character's and are given a profile of each character's personality and place in the book.
I found it took me getting past the first two or three chapters before I settled down and felt comfortable with the book. As in many fiction books, the reader is asked to displace reality and to step into the world that the book occupies. The basis of the book takes a parallel line of the Bible and how God and Satan fit into that thought process and turns it on it's head. Once I was able to start thinking as such while reading the book, I was able to get on with the message that I feel Doll is trying to get across through this series of books.
The message I came away with from this first volume of the Moonshadow Series is that being humane means much more than following the Golden Rule and treating other humans the way you would want to be treated. It globally stretches the philosophy of humanity across the spectrum of species and life form and does it very well. The book focuses mainly on the canine species but goes further to encompass all forms of life.
It also stretches the perception of good and evil as not only human traits, but also the traits of the rest of the animal kingdom. It seems to take our core beliefs and make us aware that those beliefs could possibly be wrong thus tricking us into thinking we are acting humanely when in fact we are not. These same beliefs are given to the animal characters as well, manipulating a couple of well meaning squirrels into doing evil deeds upon other members of the animal kingdom and costing them dearly.
While she does use animal characters in some evil roles, her main target is mankind and how we treat, not only each other, but the rest of the animal kingdom as well. She does a superb job of getting your mind clicking over and start thinking about how man mistreats the world upon which we live. Doll spreads a wide enough net to make the reader's thinking process lead him into some very dark places of himself as he follows the quest of Moonshadow.
This first volume made me wonder where the tale will take us and, while I am ordinarily not a huge fan of fiction, finds me wanting to continue with the second volume when it comes out. This is a good book and one that could improve people's thinking about ourselves, each other and the entire world we find ourselves living in.