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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Legend of the Ravaja by Julien LeVangie is a compelling science fiction novel with Christian themes that have you absorbed immediately. The plot centers around near-immortal gunslinger Tycho Pyron, whose ancestors are human, so this means he has a hair-trigger temper and a few other human traits. Reckless and misunderstood? Yes. And since he isn't fully human, he doesn't really get the concept of death and dying. He does, however, have a mentor that he looks up to like a father, and when this man is kidnapped, Tycho begins to understand the idea, at least on an intellectual level. Since he is indwelt by the spirit Shine, he has powers that mortals don't. He takes his healing gift for granted and doesn't realize there may be a bigger purpose for it.
LeVangie has created a world you enjoy being in. His writing is easy to like, the plot easy to comprehend. Even though some of the themes are dark and there is some violence, it isn't done in an exploitative way. It's offered to show the contrast between good and evil, life and death, etc. The premise for this novel is intriguing from the outset, and the uniqueness of it--a sci-fi gunslinger--piques the curiosity. But a story has to have more than just a great idea. It has to be well-executed, and this one is. I especially like the relationship between Tycho and his mentor. There is a lot of emotional drama in this journey, and the author handles it with balance. You will feel for the characters, especially Tycho, who has a unique nature that begs to be explored (and exploited, in a good way). The Christian themes are nice, the descriptions and details are vivid, and the adventure aspect will have you riveted. If you like your science fiction with deeper meaning, Legend of the Ravaja by Julien LeVangie hits all the buttons.