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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Cali the Destroyer by Sol Luckman is a thought-provoking and absorbing dystopian tale with a New Age touch. It balances the exploration of human relationships with environmental, social, and political issues. Caliandra and Juice are young lovers caught in a society that has lost its pluralist sense. Cali is a famous white pop singer whose mother died in an unusual circumstance six months ago. Cali’s insanely jealous stepmother, Olga, who acts as her manager, is bent on sabotaging her stepdaughter’s career. Juice is a person of color with deep, personal grief. Cali believes that her mother is still alive, and together with Juice, they will embark on a journey to a dreamlike realm to find her mother. From here, Cali will learn about the Luminous Child and how to save the planet from the unjust rule of the Fatherland.
Cali the Destroyer is not just about identity—it is about searching your soul and determining who you are and your purpose for being placed on Earth. Sol Luckman hits all the right notes as his novel doesn’t struggle a bit to assert itself because it doesn’t have to. The story and its theme simply flow, and it is bound to find an appreciative audience. Moreover, the supporting figures with identifiable characteristics blend well into the story as a whole, and their interaction with Caliandra amplifies her qualities as a protagonist. Cali, by virtue of her origins and what she stands for, keeps you hanging on. You keep rooting for her, and you become curious about the fate of her relationship with Juice. Cali the Destroyer is an illuminating and deep read, and the result is a must-read tale in tune with contemporary concerns that it dresses up as an Orwellian future.