Sean Roberts by F. L. Ruby
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on June 9, 2017
Pages: 462
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five-stars

Sean Roberts

By:  F.L. Ruby

Do you love your family?  The odds are extremely high that if you are lucky enough to have a family, then they will mean the world to you.  Would you ever purposefully hurt a family member?  Once again, the answer to that question is quite obvious…of course not!  That being the case, how would the world actually be different if all humans were essentially members of the same family?  If we were all as one?  That is quite the intriguing thought is it not?  How could there possibly be continual conflict, hate and war if we are all part of the same familial unit?  If you are full of love for others, it is not very likely that you will negatively attack them.  If you have a keen interest in such philosophical notions, but enjoy exploring them in the form of an entirely engaging and exciting novel, then Sean Roberts by F.L. Ruby, is an excellent reading selection!

The story revolves around the life of the main character, Sean Roberts.  A local college professor, he has undergone a divorce and is experiencing crippling financial pressure.  He is clearly the perfect example of  a “down on his luck” individual.  Be that as it may, he does have one thing going for him-the love of his fiancee, Phoebe Webb.  However, when Sean begins to have a series of dreams which are intense and entirely engrossing, things begin to change. These are no mere ordinary dreams mind you.  They are lucid and explore the real history of his ancestors from centuries ago. Sean is actually there as part of the dreams and is able to bring back this past information to the present due to his lucid state.  The dreams are both horrific and beautiful.  They explore the hate and cruelty which human beings can develop, but also focus on the bond of family and eternal love.

Unfortunately, these all consuming dreams not only cause great discomfort for Sean, but they put a serious strain on his relationship with Phoebe as well.  With everything seemingly falling apart around him, Sean and his unique dreaming abilities begin to be targeted by other more devious and manipulative minds from beyond.  Will Sean be able to bring everything back together and use his unique gift for the benefit of humanity?  Or will Phoebe disappear forever from his life as others capitalize upon Sean and use his powers in the name of greed, hate and evil?

There can be little doubt that the driving theme of this novel is that “love conquers all.”  Love is frequently juxtaposed with hate and it always manages to come out on top.  However, the way in which this motif is presented is entirely captivating.  The author blends all the elements of a top-notch thriller with aspects of philosophy and history.  There are also facets of science, oneirology and psychology which are thrown in for good measure!  In my opinion, It is quite difficult to “label” this novel as any particular genre.  Some would call it historical fiction and others would classify it as a philosophic thriller.  Personally, I choose to just call it one excellent story!  The writing flows neatly and intelligently consistently connecting the main ideas.  It captures the reader’s emotions as they travel to rock bottom with Sean and keenly feel the desperation which is cleverly mixed with hope.  The reader will hold on and keep reading so they can see what the next twist or turn the plot will reveal.  That level of emotional engagement is truly what readers value.

In regards to character development, there are a wide array of characters in the novel.  They are all developed in quite sufficient depth to match their corresponding roles in the story.  Sean however, clearly is the focus and grows the most by far throughout the novel.  We are able to see his various “ups and downs”, temptations and ultimate strength of resolve as the tale progresses.  Without a doubt, he is developed in great depth and he himself is a clever match with the overall motif of the story.  For instance, he has every possible excuse to be bitter and resentful about his lot in life, but he battles against such inclinations and instead lives and breathes love.

Overall I loved this novel and it is quite difficult to pick something out which I would recommend be improved upon.  Perhaps the only thing for me was that it became occasionally difficult to determine if Sean was dreaming or if it was real action happening.  Particularly near the end of the story.  Nevertheless, I also believe this was more than likely the point.  The author purposefully utilized this device so that the reader would actually “become” Sean and gain a feeling for what he was actually experiencing in a lucid dream state.

I would highly recommend this novel to adult fans of great literature and fiction.   There is basically something in it for everyone!

5 out of 5 Lucid stars for this one!  *****

About the Author:

F.L. Ruby was born in Freeport, New York and briefly lived on Long Island before moving to Ramsey, New Jersey, eventually moving to Upstate New York. Sean Roberts is F.L. Ruby’s breakout debut novel. Since its release, Mr. Ruby has been actively involved in book club meetings, as well as book signings and meet and greet author nights. He recently taught a writer’s workshop, “How to write characters, scenes, and settings.” He’s been interviewed on WMAP radio on Long Island to discuss Sean Roberts, as well as interviews with several media outlets.

He lives in Pittsford, New York with his three children: Mack, Sophie, and Tori.

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five-stars