Babouc's Vision

Fiction - Science Fiction
184 Pages
Reviewed on 12/07/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite

At first, Babouc's Vision seems a bit Dickensian, a la A Christmas Carol, as our main character Harl Babouc gets a spectral visit from a phantasm/angel/spirit with a compelling mission. However, in this case, Babouc is more the reporter, tasked with weighing and measuring the good vs. evil of his own city to determine whether the fates will destroy it or spare it. The world that Glenn Searfoss has built is gritty, grimy, and a bit sweaty. It's quite violent. And you really get a shock as you dive from mind to mind with Harl and experience the good and bad this world has to offer. I did stumble at times to understand the new terms and slang of this particular city but found it charming and it helped build a picture in my head of what the characters' day-to-day lives look like. I loved that I really felt what the characters were feeling. When one wipes sweat from her brow, you feel the sting of the sunburn on her cheeks, the scrape of the cheaply woven cloth. 

Honestly, the realism in Babouc's Vision might be too much for some readers. It's easy to see yourself in the characters, depending on where you are in life and especially given the dark, anxious world we live in today. April and Tom fighting to have a child and the eugenics storyline were the most interesting to me but all the characters had compelling narratives and stories and I enjoyed each one, although some left me stressed out and feeling a bit blue. Glenn Searfoss does a wonderful job of making a case for humanity - the good with the bad, as they both reflect the truth of simple existence.

Emma Megan

It's 2041, and CynCity is a hazardous place to live. Day-to-day survival is difficult as people can't trust one another and are terrified of each another more than anything. Ithuriel, a divine figure, visits Harl Babouc, a small businessman who owns an appliance repair shop. Ithuriel lets Harl know that he has been chosen for a mission that will decide his city's fate. While being a bodiless presence, a specter, Harl must examine all the city's citizens to learn about them and see if they should live or die. Thus, Harl learns from April, Tom Wyman, Nora Abernathy, Martha, Izzy, Luis, and other people how their city reached the point of being so destructive but at the same time so adaptable. Babouc's Vision by Glenn Searfoss is an outstanding dystopian science fiction novel about a city on the verge of destruction.

I found Babouc's Vision by Glenn Searfoss a very peculiar, stimulating, and challenging read. I have never read anything like this novel. It's completely compelling, unpredictable, and a little bit frightening. Glenn writes with amazing detail and objectivity as he primarily focuses on the characters, making them incredibly interesting, and the apocalyptic world he presents feels very real. Glenn offers many concepts worth reflecting on, such as whenever one should define good by intent or by the result and how life is always able to find its own way to cling to survival and hope. Babouc's Vision by Glenn Searfoss is an absorbing, well-plotted science fiction novel set in a dystopian world that every fan of this genre should not miss.

Pikasho Deka

Set in a not-too-distant future, Babouc's Vision by Glenn Searfoss is an amalgamation of loosely connected stories featuring the inhabitants of a dystopian metropolis called CynCity. Harl Babouc, a tinker, finds himself reluctantly assigned as an observer by the angels to determine whether his city's population deserves to survive an upcoming catastrophe or not. Nora Abernathy, an elderly woman, struggles to cover the costs of an operation for a terminal illness as a rogue doctor conspires to swindle her insurance coverage. Seventeen-year-old Luis finds himself mired in gang-related activities while trying to provide a life for his unborn child. Tom and April try to convince their doctor to approve them as genetically suitable to bear a child. Recently homeless Izzy embraces a rare act of kindness from a young girl named Carrisa.

Melancholic and poignant, Babouc's Vision is a grim reminder of the fact that society's current ills may bear a dark future for our children. Author Glenn Searfoss touches upon some serious topics such as population explosion, the environmental impact of human activity on the planet, the rise of unchecked corporatism, and much more. Despite the large cast and multiple POV storylines, you find yourself caring for each character as they face the adversities of their lives. Each story acts as a mirror to showcase real-world issues that we face today. Searfoss's slice-of-life narratives leave a lot to ponder about long after you've finished reading the book. If you love stories that make you introspect, Babouc's Vision is a gem of a book for you.