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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Shades of Blue: The Journey of Awakening by Gino Vallejo is a stunning collection of poetry that transcends time and place with eighty poems that range from Cleopatra in Egypt to soldiers in Iraq. The collection explores themes of end days, love, sacrifice, and time with so much said in every poem. Vallejo delivers brilliantly written poetry full of vivid imagery with poignant messages that are thought-provoking and emotional explorations that will leave an impression. The language is dazzling with a lyrical quality and a way with words that every lover of language and poetry will adore.
Gino Vallejo delivers poems that explore concepts of love, end of days and departing from a relationship while weaving in religious and historical themes. The poem Cleopatra is a stunning example of how Vallejo breathes life into history by exploring the days of the famous queen in a world of romance, power, and rebirth with her relationship with Antony and her position of royalty as the central focus points. Time is a key theme explored throughout several of the poems which often feature the concept of running out of time. This is evident in the poem An Hourglass of Time, which explores time through the lens of memories long gone and nostalgia. Other poignant poems include the trio of poems -- A Soldier's Cry, A Warrior's Legacy, and A Warrior's Tale -- with each of these opening up a discussion about war and the legacy left behind.
The end of the world is a concept throughout with Blood Moon Rising as the most significant with its focus on the idea of an ending world and imagery that includes the four horsemen coming to life and the broken seals setting forth the apocalypse. Several poems are paired with illustrations which are woven throughout with rich details that help bring some of the poems to life. The collection is bound to give several favorites with a few standouts being Just a Moment in Time, The Lost Emblem of Love, Moonlight Sonata, Cleopatra: The Song of the Nile, and The Weird Dawn of Dreams. Shades of Blue: The Journey of Awakening is a stunning collection that has a brilliant use of language, thought-provoking messages, and breathtaking imagery.