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Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite
Desert Angels by Lyman Ditson invites us to take a walk in the desert. After meeting Boris the Angel, who speaks with a Slavic accent and has a bold head, but very persuasive wings, the protagonist finds himself on an old ship led by a green parrot. This courageous bird is determined to find the Tree of Eternity, for he's tired of taking vitamins for better health. It's a part of the protagonist's mission predicted by Boris. But he doesn't believe in the possibility of gaining immortality that easily, so he and his dog, Lion, return to the desert. Many other encounters are waiting for them, like the one with a tomb-selling vulture. More than that, Lion starts talking to him! All the protagonist wants is to return back home. But it's important to continue because the first angel has shown him his old poems, reminding him about past wounds. Will he be able to find his way back home?
This novella is multilayered and will appeal to fans of short and philosophical prose. Lyman Ditson manages to entertain and make us look deeper into our souls at the same time. He does it brilliantly in that Desert Angels is never heavy or boring, and even the biblical allusions will not scare us away. On the contrary, the language used is simple with a good pinch of humor. The features of Boris the Angel that make him so lovable, the green parrot with eye problems, and the tortoise wearing red sneakers will make us smile and stay with us forever. Also, it's impossible to predict what kind of amazing encounter awaits the protagonist around the next corner. I liked the amusing illustrations by talented Jonathan Brown very much too. The poems are rich with metaphors that embellish this wonderful book and give us many clues to understanding the stages and the final destination of the whole journey. We don't know the protagonist's name. Maybe it's because he is each and every one of us.