Adam James Chouinard’s novel EMBRACE INVERSE VIBRATIONS begins when a man who has been unconsciously repeating the same actions in perpetuity finally awakens to the fact that he exists upon reading a letter in verse that alerts him to his reality. A trail of rhyming messages brings him to a sage, who tells him he must embark on a journey to discover who he is, how he came to be in this place, and what he must do next. His name, he realizes, is Davis, and he has lived a whole life before the beginning of his repetitive existence that he does not remember. Over the course of the book, he encounters a series of bizarre individuals, from talking animals to arguing fishermen, to tedious bureaucrats, that help him realize certain aspects of his missing life and push him toward introductions to the seven sages who guide him toward enlightenment.
The book is long and winding, with Alice in Wonderland-like encounters and philosophical discussions that intrigue and provoke deep thought. Davis’s realizations are increasingly more complex as his journey progresses, encompassing binaries like good and evil, order and disorder, independence and interdependence, and life and death. The book asks big questions and provides even bigger answers, offering enlightening and meaningful guidance for life through the allegory of Davis’s journey through this vast spiritual world. Two-thirds of the way through, Davis listens to a chapters-long, drawn out tale told by a man named Animulus about the political development of his land. From there on, the book alternates chapters following Davis and Animulus in turn, but it takes a while for the connections between their two stories to be revealed.
EMBRACE INVERSE VIBRATIONS contains many characters with similar Latin-sounding names, which can make discerning who is who difficult. Recurring characters have personality traits that run deep and influence their dialogue, especially when conversing with Davis about philosophy. A variety of perspectives are offered and detailed, allowing Davis to fully understand the broad scope of the world and his life. These conversations make up much of the text, alongside Davis’s internal strife as he contemplates his identity and his purpose. His musings are emotionally wrought and immersive. The language is explorative and meandering when appropriate for a thoughtful tone, and it is faster paced and provides more tactile descriptions in scenes of action to mirror the plot’s urgency.
With the surrealist adventure of “Alice in Wonderland” and the philosophical discussions of “The Alchemist”, Adam James Chouinard’s EMBRACE INVERSE VIBRATIONS is a meandering and enlightening epic with an ambitious scope.
~Aimee Jodoin for IndieReader