“Celina got up and rushed again to the circle but the force around the circle obstructed her from getting to her son. She hit the force with all she had, and screamed with all her strength but nothing happened. She turned to the man and rushed towards him; yelling in a crazy manner and ready to tear him apart but the huge man pushed her back and she fell to the floor like a bag of bones. She yelled with all of her might, hitting the unseen shield as she wailed in a crazy mood.
Celina continued to hit hard on the shield that blocked her from reaching her son, she didn’t even realise she was the only one left in the room. She had lost touch with everything about life. She suddenly came back to reality, got up after a while and wobbled towards the door of the room. She fell down outside unable to watch her son in the horrific scene, she couldn’t hear the boy anymore, only the cracking sound of the burning flames. She covered her ears, squeezed her body together on the floor with her knees bent towards her face and wailed bitterly in horror.”
For booklovers in general and enthusiasts of literature in particular, it is usually difficult to keep up with trends. One minute the emphasis appears to be on literary fiction, the next there seems to be some sort of creative focus on memoirs and non-fictional elements. Now and then there is the tendency to tell stories that flow in absolute defiance of reality and probable causes of action, and the beauty in all this is that for those who want to read these stories and travel through the worlds created therein, they are spoilt for choice.
“Vitrian Secrets: The Healing Mendez” is a novel set in an alternative reality, with events playing out in locations that could pass for a Scandinavian nation. Its author, Dele Andersen, introduces us to a set of reclusive individuals, known as Vitrians, who are blessed with the ability to see demons. Over the centuries, they learn to repel and protect themselves from these unpleasant creatures. Peace reigns for a while, until the demons re-emerge, this time targeting infants perceived to carry on the legacy of the devil-detectors. A woman loses her baby son to the marauding creatures, but her timely alarm saves the life of a little girl miles away.
Wanda, the little girl in question, grows up to be an adventurous, lively and curious teenager. One day at the closing hours of school, she runs into the creatures who wanted her dead nearly a decade and a half earlier. She escapes unhurt, but her brother, Jason, is kidnapped and gravely poisoned. A set of tools known as the Healing Mendez exist to cure him, but even those have been taken away by a group of rebels, who make it clear that they want her in exchange for the tools of healing. As a “Chosen One” and carrier of the lineage of Vitrians, she is a primary target. She makes her way to a major fortress, but is confused as to whom she can trust, while struggling to come to terms with the possibility of her brother’s death.
The book explores the themes of sacrifice, selflessness, friendship and sense of responsibility. There is also room across the pages to dwell on deception, loss, distrust, and the perennial battle between good and evil.
The novel begins at a really slow pace, but gradually picks up before the mid-point, as a fantasy-themed book should. There is a significant dose of description too, and while the rule of “show, don’t tell” is violated again and again, the language makes for a simple read but a narrative of this nature need not be too flowery by way of prose.
“Vitrian Secrets: The Healing Mendez” closes out with the feel of an incomplete body of work, but the likely idea is that there is a sequel on the cards, so this is pretty pardonable. This is a book reminiscent of the epic movies of the late 80’s as well as the lovable fantasy franchises from foreign authors that we grew up with, and in an age where the likes of Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Blood and Bone) and Nnedi Okoroafor (Akata Witch, Who Fears Death) dominate headlines in literary spheres, Andersen’s writing will find good company on bookshelves.
You can find Dele Andersen’s Vitrian Secrets and other books for sale here – Dele Andersen App(Google and Apple)