Beyond Amazon

A metaphysical journey through time and space; How Curtis Trueheart came to live in the village of Duachi, by the Golden Sea.

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
258 Pages
Reviewed on 07/25/2022
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Author Biography

I am retired from construction trade and am an award winning songwriter. I have walked many paths in this journey on planet Earth, and have been spinning musical tales that explore relationships, societal maladies and deeper meanings of life for over fifty years. Now I've turned to writing a novel about those very subjects, fleshing out what it means to be human on the paths to awareness.
I am a strong supporter of "live" music performance, community radio and the spoken word. Graduate of Fairhaven College, 1995, WWU, Bellingham, WA.
Carolee and I have been co-creating for over twenty years and have written this book together. She has spent her life in song. As an elementary teacher, or singing with community choruses, her imagination and wit has carried her through many joyful performances. Life’s deeper meanings inspire her mastery of fabric art while holding the belief that a better world is in our future.
Carolee holds degrees in Early Childhood Education from Paterson State College, NJ, and Integrating the Curriculum from City University, Seattle, WA. She is also a graduate of The Children’s Institute of Literature.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Beyond Amazon: A Metaphysical Journey Through Time and Space by Jesse G. Shepherd and Carolee Shepherd is a mind-bending mystical science fiction novel. The story unravels in Dropwater, a little town in Montana hosting the August Arts Festival. Returning after several years is one of its featured musicians, Curtis Trueheart, who spent his adolescence and graduated from high school here. After his well-received performance, he meets a couple, Alecia and Randy, and later, their son. They invite him to their home on Outhere island in the Salish Sea. Looking forward to a relaxing vacation on the island, Curtis finds himself on a trip that will change his life forever. While on an evening walk on the beach, he meets a strange bearded man that is eight feet tall with shaggy hair. A puppy with peculiar features, which follows Curtis around, also appears. Alecia reveals to him that the puppy is a hu-mutt and is entrusted to him because he can give it a positive influence. She also explains that the island is where Dr. Sri Manu Nanda, a genetic scientist, began his genetic research more than a hundred years ago. Dr. Joy, as he is popularly called, experimented with shape-shifting, time jumping. and interspecies breeding, the latter to produce human species that do not willfully harm others. Curtis also learns of the existence of transportals where the mutability of time dimensions makes it possible for time travel. As Curtis tries to understand these supernatural phenomena, he enters the transportal by accident and goes on his own fascinating metaphysical journey.

Beyond Amazon is a unique science fiction story that is definitely thought-provoking. Written for young adult readers, it’s a story that will nourish the imagination and nurture the idea to make the world we live in more humane. Based on science as it relies on scientific facts, theories, and principles in support of its settings, characters, theme, and plot, it is a highly imaginative novel. What is striking about Beyond Amazon is the absence of bad characters in the storyline. The conflict here is not between the hero and the villain but rather in the choices made as the characters go on with their lives. Curtis Trueheart, the main protagonist, is easy to relate to and is a likable character. And to accompany him in his journey through time and space is quite engaging. The authors have presented their readers with a vision for the future built on the foundation of realism. In a very creative way, they create a totally different world with a link between the present and the future. This is perhaps the reason why the narrative is a fascinating read. With an inventive plot, a number of fascinating characters, and an otherworldly setting, the story is an amazing celestial mix. Every second you spend reading this book is indeed worth it. Highly recommended!

Sadiyah Bhamjee

Follow the spiritual journey of Curtis Trueheart as he discovers himself and the mystical world of the Beyond. Curtis is a traveling musician who finds himself on holiday in the quiet space of Outhere Island where things are not ordinary. Accidentally falling into Beyond, his adventure becomes even more extraordinary. He meets Dr. Joy in the place out of time, Beyond, as well as other magical characters. Dr. Joy works with genetic modification and wants to fine-tune humans into a peaceful race. If you like stories of self-discovery, you’ll love Beyond Amazon. Jesse G Shepherd and Carolee Shepherd take the reader on a peaceful journey that is free from violence, war, and darkness. Readers of romance will also love the gentle, interplanetary love of Curtis and Dr. Li. Where will Curtis’s heart take him and will he choose the road to music or will he follow his love for Dr. Li?

Beyond Amazon is full of imagination and wonderful characters. This book makes for a very peaceful escape from daily life. The descriptions are vivid and fill out the beautiful world of the Beyond. I love the imagination shown by Jesse G Shepherd and Carolee Shepherd. They have taken one concept, human genetic modification, and built this incredible world around it. It allows for a fully fleshed-out world with incredible detail and lingering images. This is a sweet novel that warms you up on a cold morning. It doesn’t rush into anything and takes its time to showcase the beauty.

Nino Lobiladze

Beyond Amazon by Jesse G Shepherd and Carolee Shepherd is a book about spiritual awakening, for it goes beyond the fantasy/sci-fi genres. Curtis Trueheart, a traveling musician and songwriter, returned to Dropwater, Montana, where he spent his youth, to participate in the local arts festival. After his performance, Curtis met Alecia, Randy, and their son, Luka. They invited him to Outhere Island in the Salish Sea as they discovered an unusual mutual bond. That is where the fascinating events began to unfold. It all started with a big raven gliding over their heads. Then, a wonderful creature, a hu-mutt, appeared before Curtis in a very special place. Later, an interdimensional transportal will take Curtis to "The Beyond" to meet with Dr. Sri Manu Nanda, igniting the biggest adventure of his life.

I loved that Jesse G Shepherd and Carolee Shepherd skillfully described a future for humankind, showing us that it can be beautiful if only we allow love to reign supreme. I liked very much that Beyond Amazon encourages and supports those who feel lonely and abandoned. I believe that it would inspire, console, and help us embrace our inner freedom. Most important, the book lovingly teaches us to appreciate others despite their different appearance or race. A very light and positive read, Beyond Amazon offers an unforgettable love story between Curtis and a very well-developed female character named Li. In my opinion, Jesse G Shepherd and Carolee Shepherd provide prominent world-building, exceptional characters, a strong storyline with a dramatic twist toward the end, and an amazing surprise in the last chapter of this marvelous book.