Comagate Vol I, The Loops and Lies by Benjamin Michael Greene

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Fall into the world of Comagate, purgatory for creative Minds, where inhabitants have one final chance to live dreams while awaiting Judgment or continue with “The Fall”. Benjamin Michael Greene’s debut title, whose depiction of purgatory is the product of a vivid imagination, rich in detail, with vivid/eloquent descriptions evoking all of the senses, and an impressive cast of characters. In my opinion, Comagate reads like a cross between science fiction/fantasy with a tiny sprinkle of Stephen King gore (The Teaparty of Kahnd L. Vik and Sugar Plum). Each chapter relates the story of a different character, while stories interweave. In the realm of Comagate, time is static, meaningless and different from what Minds experienced during life in the Origin (before Comagate). You’ll meet Chimey Sweep, Skosha, Nof (“Dreadlock Man”), Gerald the Green Chair, C-157, Passerbine the Beetle Maker, Sugar Plum, Kahnd L. Vik, Mr. Turtle, Cogsmith (“The Hammer”, Marjorie, Barkeley, Jottidun, Mimah, Olde King Cole, and Stitcher (returns Mind to the Origin), among others. Greene describes in vivid sensory detail various areas of Comagate, including Steamworks, Overlap (safe land “in-between” where people could live out the lives they desired, on the outskirts of Steamworks), bordered by Mining District on one side of Overlap, and Drafts (sole area of Comagate with green grass, meadows, trees, blue skies, and castles) on the other side of Overlap. My first favourite chapter is The Fall where Greene speaks directly to the reader describing what it will feel like. C-157, relates the story of C-157 who keeps watch over Comagate with its gigantic lens eye. “Sparks rained continually from its joints, illuminating the dark with dancing fireflies, while the dark acrid smoke of the burning metal belched towards the sky, thickening the depressive blanket that killed all life that was not designed by the Hammer.” 86 The World, relates Chimey Sweep’s journey through Drafts to patronize Stine’s Pub. With Greene’s tremendous gift for description, I could imagine vividly the Drafts as Chimey navigates, where “the forest was old. He could smell it. It was a dank, wet smell mixed with an earthy musk and the faint wisps of dark growth foliage. The canopy wasn’t particularly thick, as much of the sky could be seen, but the cloud covered sky kept any rays of sunlight to a maximum of zero.” I enjoyed this read and am anxiously awaiting Greene’s forthcoming title, as well as Comagate Volume II.

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