Vanna Bonta’s Flight is definitely in a class – and genre – of its own. Falling under the category of what Bonta calls “quantum fiction”, the story that unravels is both science fiction and fantasy. The discussion of particles, alternate realities and the like is so prominent in the text that it almost feels like an entertaining lesson in quantum physics.
The book follows two characters intertwined by what could be called fate or a collision of two worlds – the truth much remains to be seen. Our first main character, Mendle Orian, is a science-fiction writer whose real life has been swept up by his obsession with his profession.
His two worlds collide when a naked woman with amnesia winds up in his hotel room during a science fiction conference. He names her Aira, the same moniker of the heroine of his latest book. In a fashion that seems to have been adopted by the Disney hit Kyle XY, Aira does not have belly button and Mendle soon begins to notice a number of similarities between Aira, his character and Aira, the mystery guest.
As the story unfolds, Aira begins to remember her past and, oddly enough, it mirrors that of the earlier pages in Mendle’s book. Even more intriguing is the superhuman powers and intelligence that Aira displays as time progresses. All of this begins to beg the question of whether Mendle created Aira or if Aira came first and just appeared due to Mendle’s faith in her? Is Mendle now in Aira’s dimension or is it vice versa? The imaginable possibilities are endless in this tale of cosmic love.
In the audiobook format, the third-person prose coupled with Bonta’s soft, slow read and almost ethereal-like voice makes the journey through Flight even more thought-provoking and awe-inspiring. When reading the pages of the text, one notices that Bonta writes in a very sophisticated manner; which most readers will find quite refreshing.
This book seems to be more of a in depth look at the realities we tend to create around us than a space adventure. Of course, if you read a lot of the original science fiction literature from the 19th and early 20th century you will find that this is what this genre excels at. The story focus on Mendle Orion, a novelist who lives in Los Angeles. Mendle loves to contemplate reality and physics as he determines that reality is what you want to define. We live in a world of Newtonian physics, the science that Newton basically created, which declares that reality is fixed; it cannot change or be changed. Mendle rejects this idea through his character of Aira (a character he has created in his latest fictional novel). He is locked in a loveless relationship, something for which Aira provides escape from.
Mendle lives in a world of fiction, in a way. He has created Aira, an interdimensional being who is beautiful, lovely, sensual, and possess the rare ability of real love. She is everything that Mendle’s girlfriend isn’t (who is self-centered, arrogant, and controlling). As Mendle continues writing his novel, Aira and her world becomes more real to him than what most of us call reality. As a result Mendle’s girlfriend believes that he is going insane. However, Mendle’s novel starts to mirror his own life and the events that are happening around him.
Like I said this book deals heavily on the nature of reality. What is it? This to me is definitely science fiction. Mendle believes that reality can be the physical world we live in or a metaphysical (fantasy if you will) world that exists only in our minds. His girlfriend, Sandra, tends to believe that reality is this world, the one we are currently in. I like how the author is able to bring the two together. The two realities, the fantasies in our minds and the one we physically live in can coexist. Mostly, I am reminded of something someone once told me, “If you can think it, then it is real.”
But the story also focuses on cause and effect; another big component in science fiction, though it usually happens in time travel stories. Mendle begins by writing a story, a fictional novel. But the characters in his hos book start to come to life around him and his world starts to mirror his novel. So which started first. Did the creation of the novel bring everything into existence around him, or is it the other way around? Or is Mendle simply writing about people who already exist in a parallel universe?As for the writing style, it has an easy flow. I didn’t find may instances where I felt the writing was choppy or exhaustive. It is very descriptive. The author is able to portray a world that is similar to ours without having to resort to long narrative to get her point across. The characters are all unique and richly developed. The writing is engaging in a way where you stay involved in the story even though it concentrates more on philosophical ideas than action. All in all a decent read. If you want real science fiction, you will want to read this book.
Vanna Bonta is not a good writer in my opinion. Most of the positive reviews you will find on Amazon or elsewhere are praising the concepts preached in the story… and that’s one problem I had.. it really seemed to me that I was being preached too. Several times in the story the two main characters go off on long conversations that don’t move the plot in any way. I won’t go into detail on the concepts and ideas presented that people seem to like so much. For me they were far too lightweight to justify the drudge of reading the novel.
One Big issue that made it difficult to impossible to enjoy was at least one writing habit the author could not control. It seems that no one in other reviews I read bothered to assess the authors writing style. I kept wondering if she had gone to and “adverb and adjective sale” before writing this book. If you have any understanding of the concept “don’t use two words where one will do,” this book will drive you insane at moments. Worse yet, some of the “big” words she used weren’t a good fit; the simpler option would have been much more precise.
Here are a few quotes: .
”… her craft was obliterated into disintegration.”
“Then, a silent howl rose from here, mutely shrieking of a wound she could not comprehend. Beseeching, imploring for someone to….”
“… somehow evicting the terrible torment….”
Obliterated where? What kind of torment?
Probably most significant: The story line didn’t grab me at all.
I should have gone with poor rating of other reviewers. To my opinion this is a fantasy story. Only references to quantum physics or scifi convention, does not qualify this book as science fiction. Too much estrogen, love and peace, the author should not have narrated the book. The first 2 hours of the story was unbearable, I skipped a few chapters ahead. I was totally lost on what was the story about. The story did not have a bite in the begining to capture ones attention. It seemed this was the authors first book, it lacked good story telling technique.
I could only listen to 20 minutes of this drivel. The writing was bad and the reading was worse, both of which were extremely disappointing because the premise was interesting. Don't waste your time with this one.
I'm keeping this for its ideas and the way they were expressed. But...yee gods, it is _badly_ written. Flat out. Listening to it instead of reading it makes it a little more bearable, so you can get to the philosophical bits. But...really, she probably should've just wrote it as philosophy and not SF.
I'm a long time Audible listener with approximately 80 audio books in my library, and this is the first one I couldn't finish.
The author employs extreemly long & flowery language that does little to either develop the characters or to move the plot along. She also throws in numerous psudo-scientific terms that really have no meaning at all.
My background is in engineerig and have paticular fondness for good science fiction. Good science fiction will get both the physics (classical or quantum)right and create an engaging story. This book does neither.
In fairness, I've only listened to the first couple of hours. Perhaps there is an engaging story in there somewhere but I'm not willing to endure the language and nonsense to find out.
There's a joke that if we ever have a woman president we'll never go to war, but there will be some serious negotiations every 28 days! The point is that a female approach is different, and certainly this science fiction novel by a woman exemplified that. The use of SF was an artistic choice to prepare a metaphor: our souls, and the feeling of love, transcend the corporal and exist eternally in the universe. For my puny male brain, the book was overly romantic mush and about 50% too long. It was rare for more than a few minutes to go by without romantic musings, or the author using the characters to state her position of the absolute spiritual authority of creativity over other human abilities. This book was a polemic that challenged the status quo and evil in the world, and proposed its own spiritual approach. I appreciated the author's points, but it was tedious to have them presented redudantly literally *hundreds* of times over 17 hours of listening.