Thursday, April 14, 2011

Justine's Thoughts: The Tempest's Roar by R.A.R. Clouston

The Tempest’s Roar
By R.A.R. Clouston

Source: the author, R.A.R. Clouston
Rating: 2/5

This is a story of the whales and dolphins who rule the Seven Seas and the odyssey of a white dolphin named Apollo whose destiny is to save whalekind from destruction on this planet man calls Earth but whales know as Planet Ocean. Whether you choose to believe it or not, humans are not the only intelligent beings on this endangered blue marble drifting silently through space; for that reason, Apollo’s story must be told lest you and your kind live on in ignorance of the complex civilization that lies beneath the waves. If you dare to join him, Apollo will take you into a world filled with mystery and magic, mayhem and madness—a place of budding life and sudden death where the light of the sun penetrates only the upper layers, leaving the rest of its vast dominions inked in eternal darkness. You will find pleasure in clear, sunlit shallows above rippled sandy bottoms where tiny fish zoom and zip, and feel terror in deep, dark, cold waters where monsters dwell. And when your journey is done, you will never again look upon the oceans that surround you through the same eyes, or think about the whales and dolphins who dwell within them with the same mind, for this is a true tale of life, and death, and renewal that exists beyond the thin blue line that divides Apollo’s world from yours: it is a world unlike anything you have ever known and you ignore it at your peril.

A quote:

You are precious to me than any treasure in the ocean.

Any thoughts:

In The Tempest’s Roar, Clouston directs the story to the reader and addresses him or her as if a story is being spoken. He tells a tale of a dolphin named Apollo who is known to be different amongst all dolphins because of his rare, white skin. Although the story is centered on him, there is also a little purpoise named Pan, who we are first introduced to. I imagine him as a young child that provides the entertaining parts in the book due to his silly behaviour at times. He happens to be my favourite out of all the characters. There were quite a lot of them, which became puzzling because their names were based on Greek gods that were often hard to remember. One I found memorable though was Zeus, a great whale. The problem was, I didn’t imagine him as a great whale because I would forget what species he belongs to. This was the same for other minor characters.

The setting in my opinion is all the same: oceans. There is one exception in which a story is being told by Apollo and it took place in the aquariums in Oceania. Still, I could not grasp the details of the oceans. Phrases such as “following the migration routes” and “flows in a counter clockwise motion around the vast South Atlantic gyre” were difficult for me to imagine since I don’t have the sufficient knowledge to imagine it. I would end up either reading it gradually or skimming the paragraph to get past through it.

The writing is well done but with one important downside. Most sentences are way too long, which led me to losing what I was just reading and eventually reading without comprehending. The parts with dialogue were good and interesting, but the stories as well lasted a long time. Both Pan and Apollo have the opportunity to retell a story with formal prose that seems too unrealistic for me, even past the viability of all ocean creatures having a gathering once every year.

Themes and morals were ever present throughout this novel. Although there was a lot that was happening (war, family, God, love), one thing for certain is that this novel contains truth. Clouston addresses us, the readers, for a purpose and that is to spread his word about oceans and its creatures. We are not the only ones that God created for he created everything in existence and we must do everything we can to support life in different forms.

While this book may not be for an average teen like me, I am certain it will be a pleasure to those who strongly believe in the world’s oceanic creatures and are dedicated to helping them.

Thank you to Geri and R.A.R. Clouston for providing me a copy of this book!

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