Tuesday, September 8, 2015

REVIEW: Searching for Meaning in Gailana (+$20 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: Searching for Meaning in Gailana
Author: John H.T. Francis 
Pages: 93
Date Published: 2015
Format: Kindle
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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Gailana is the central island of the world; Aurganots, Reminos, Hindarassis, Pelanese, and Free People, different societies with different customs and values, live in it. Gailana is old, with a history rich in events and civilisations. The mother island has undergone important changes in recent decades, including a devastating war from which the Aurganots emerged victorious. Following this war, Aurganot has become a country of wealth, technology, and power, dominating all others.

In this modern age, Aurganots value their new found joie de vivre; Pelanese love commerce and business; Reminos are still dedicated to honour and glory in war; Hindarassis continue to care most about their families; and the Free People cherish their freedom above anything else. Among the Free People, a young Levon has set a high and ambitious goal: to seek and find the ultimate meaning of all that humans do. Levon has been on his intellectual quest for years, and the coming days are significant. Paratos, the sage of Gailana, is in the land of the Free People, and Levon is readying to meet him. The young man knows that something life changing will come out from this meeting, only he does not imagine what.

In this fictional first part of The Story in Three Parts, John H.T. Francis tells the story of Levon, a young and sincere soul looking for meaning in a changing world. This short novel will take you on a journey through Gailana, shows you its diversity, and brings you close to many of its human aspects. Events will develop fast on the island, and Levon is about to be in the midst of them.
~My Thoughts~
Though very short, I was able to appreciate John H.T. Fransic's storytelling and the beginnings of this adventure.

Though fictionalized, the reality of the setting and the characters was wonderful. You really got a sense of being in another world...one right here on earth. I was excited by the setting and the characters began their journey fully-fledged with personalities and traits all of their own. This being said, plot was the primary driver of this short (as there was so little time to tell it!), and as it was broken down into three parts, it was very easy to understand the push behind each section. 

I'm still left scratching my head a little bit at the conclusion. I know I've read something that I enjoyed. The visuals were good, the characters defined, (particularly Levon) and the settings exciting...but what now? It felt like an examination of someone's thoughts, as if they were trying to piece together their own recollections from a journey a long time ago, and now we're left to our own conclusions about it. While this may be because there are three parts to the story...

The notes about the story were helpful, but also seemingly strange in their placement right in the middle of the book. They helped me look at the story through the lens that the author wanted, but distracted me from my own experience with the narrative at the beginning. Overall, I'd say that this is an exercise in fiction, both for the author and the reader. You may have to think about what everything means, but the storytelling is good. 
~Try an Excerpt!~
“Leave me the hell alone, I have no time for this right now!”

A man, who looks to be in his sixties, is walking at a fast pace. Middle height, serious demeanour, round wrinkled face, thick limbs, short fingers, and carrying a pile of papers in his right arm, the old man is gesticulating with his left arm while talking back in clear frustration. A young couple, quite eager to speak with him, is chasing him down the road. The old man is Oerius, the lead historian of Gailana in our times; and the couple are Theo and Gracie, young enthused students of history.

“But you are the only one who can help us with this. Please...” Gracie says.

“We only need you to tell us where to look, and we will be out of your way forever, we promise,” Theo adds.

“As I told you many times before, I cannot help you in this matter right now. I am too busy.”

“But why?”

At that moment, Theo then Gracie manage to catch-up with Oerius and block his way. The frustrated old man, now seeing no easy way to be left in peace without answering the young couple, says with a reluctant voice,
“Because there are no written recordings left of what you are looking for. I believe I am the only one who has knowledge of the subsequent events that took place.”

Oerius sighs and looks down to the ground.

“Then you have to help us, please. You have to tell us how the story ends.”
~Meet John!~ 
John H.T. Francis is a general thinker and writer. His main interests are in the condition of the modern man, human knowledge, and social development in our modern times. The author is universal in his calling and approach.

John H.T. Francis is the author of the trilogy The Story in Three Parts and Reflections on Fundamental Matters: Not for the Satisfied Mind. He is regularly on the move geographically and combines with his writings a career of entrepreneurship, which he hopes will one day yield similar merits in the world of action as in the world of thought.
 John will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. Thank you for the chance to win :)

  2. Hi Andra, thanks a lot for hosting my book and for your review. Your candid thoughts, including the reactions and questions the novel raised, are greatly appreciated. Thanks again for this opportunity and your time

  3. "“Leave me the hell alone, I have no time for this right now!”"
    Sounds exactly like what I'd LIKE to say to some people, LOL! (Nothing like living vicariously through your books!)

  4. I enjoyed the review and excerpt, thank you!

  5. Great review! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the excerpt!

  6. I wonder what I will make of this. Your review is most invaluable.

  7. Good review. Though new to me, this does seem like an interesting read and I like the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway :)

  8. My husband wants to read this book, but he'll have to wait until I finish it.

  9. I enjoyed the excerpt and the review. Thank you.