The Ninth Sphere

Fiction - Drama
288 Pages
Reviewed on 03/31/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emma Megan for Readers' Favorite

The Ninth Sphere by Joseph F. Sciuto is a fantastic novel about a relatively older man hunted by regrets and faded dreams and whose life changes when he meets an orphaned little girl. Joseph Caggiano, or Joe, lives alone in Studio City, Los Angeles. While he is sitting on a bench watching youngsters play basketball, he gets interrupted by a dirty nine-year-old girl called Bee, who confesses to him that she ran away from her abusive foster parents. Bee convinces Joe not to contact the authorities, and as they spend time talking, Joe learns enough about her miserable condition, and he decides to help her. Thus, because of Bee, Joe's existence takes on a new meaning and purpose that he had not felt since he was a kid in the Bronx, surrounded by his loving family.

The Ninth Sphere by Joseph F. Sciuto is a truly fantastic novel that explores regrets, forgotten dreams, redemption, and fulfillment. Sciuto has skillfully crafted a touching story inspired by Dante's Ninth Sphere. It's beautiful and inspiring as it reminds us of the impact of the past on our present and why we should never let past regrets dictate the rest of our lives. It's also a hopeful story that assures us it is never too late to make a difference and that we can create our own heaven on earth once life gives us the opportunity to free ourselves from regrets and guilt. Sciuto impresses nicely with his ability to expose the protagonist's past and depth of character. The Ninth Sphere leaves readers believing in the power of healing.

Vincent Dublado

The Ninth Sphere by Joseph F. Sciuto is a powerful drama about one man’s discovery of the things that truly matter to him. The first chapter opens with native New Yorker Joe Caggiano narrating his daily routine, as he sits on a bench at Moorpark Recreation Center in Studio City, California, watching youngsters play basketball on two full-length courts. The story wastes no time introducing another major character, a girl named Bee, who sits beside Joe while he is broadcasting a victory song. It was an unusual encounter, as the greasy little Bee claims to have escaped from her foster parents. Joe doesn’t want anything to do with a runaway child, but in the moments of chatting with Bee, he finds the girl is filled with sweetness and persistence. Joe has been struggling to make his dream of working in the film industry a reality. Perhaps Bee is the real purpose that his life needs.

In its exploration of a sensitive theme, there is a strong element in this novel that is redeeming. That element is renewed hope and confidence. Bee is an adorable yet heartbreaking character, and Joseph F. Sciuto evokes the necessary emotional and psychological response from his audience. He has an instinct for what makes human drama. The Ninth Sphere appeals to our ability to feel empathy, a demonstration of effective storytelling with characters that evoke feelings delivered through carefully selected words. If there is anything about this story that really pulled at me, it is the idea that while there is nothing wrong with pursuing dream jobs, it never hurts to explore other paths that offer a legitimate chance to perform meaningful work. Joe may have failed to follow his dreams, but he always kept that passion with him. I highly recommended this book for its powerful take on this theme.

Diana Lopez

Joe is a lonely but friendly man. He is also a man with a lot of love to share. Bee is a beautiful nine-year-old girl who has run away from an abusive foster home. Despite her young age, her life has been full of conflict, but she has learned to fend for herself and to appreciate every single detail that life gives her. When the two meet, their lives change in ways they never imagined. The Ninth Sphere is a story of hope that shows us how cruel life can be when it takes away our loved ones, but life is also a blessing because it forms new bonds of friendship and love. Joseph F. Sciuto shows us that when you least expect it you can have a new family taking care of you.

I loved the literary references. Not only are there details that allude to The Divine Comedy, other authors are also mentioned, like the poet Lord Byron. I really liked Joe's personality because he loves sports, history, and literature, and all of that is a very significant part of the story. I also liked his counterpart: Bee, a lovely girl, who has a unique energy and takes Joe out of his comfort zone, but in a positive way where they can learn a lot from each other. The Ninth Sphere is a very tender story, centered on the theme of family unity. Joseph F. Sciuto did a beautiful job.