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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
A River to the Ocean by Rayo Scala is a mesmerizing story that follows the journey of a man in search of his brother, a pilot, lost to him thirty years ago. Thanks to a message from an eccentric pilot, Jager knows his brother is alive, so he sets out to find him. The book starts with a strong premise, introducing readers to the pain that his brother experienced after the passing of his girlfriend, Tori. When his brother says, “She’s gone…” after the event, Jager knows that his brother won’t be the same again. But he never imagined that his brother’s daring and boldness could set him on a mysterious journey when he says he wants to do something that no one has ever done before. After he is gone, it will take thirty years for Jager to learn of his existence and he will do anything to reconnect with his brother. Follow him on a journey across the country in a story filled with symbolic and highly charged spiritual moments; a journey as rewarding as it is transformative.
Rayo Scala is an unusual storyteller and while the author creates characters that are fully drawn and sophisticated, the themes in his novel are spiritual, exploring higher consciousness, and deeper meanings of human connections. There are powerful insights sprinkled throughout the book and expressions like “dare to be great, boldness has power and magic…” are manifold. There are moments when readers will have to pause to reflect on the symbolic nature of words, situations, and encounters. The suspense is exacting and from the beginning of the story to its very end, the character of Jager’s brother is mysterious; readers will want to know his name but will have to read on and on, fascinated by the mystery. While it is entertaining to follow Jager as he meets a wide range of interesting characters, there is an undercurrent of a spiritual river that floods the soul of the reader and invites them to look higher than what is physically visible. A River to the Ocean is a provocative tale that is inspiring. The beautiful prose mixes with the intelligent exploration of social and political issues to deliver an enjoyable reading experience.