By: Jeremy R. Lent
Publisher: Libros Libertad
Publication Date: February 2009
Reviewed by: Bill Alberts
Review Date: September 28, 2009
Eusebio Franklin, a simple schoolteacher from a small town, is at the United Nations, walking down a hall. In a moment, he will detonate a bomb that will bring death and destruction to everything and everyone around him. Eusebio believes that his actions will save the human race. Why does he believe such an absurd notion and more importantly, how did he come to that belief? So begins the thought-provoking new novel Requiem of the Human Soul by first time novelist Jeremy R. Lent.
The reader is drawn into Requiem of the Human Soul from page one where Eusebio is about to kill himself and all those around him. Just one short paragraph is devoted to his deadly mission and then the story backtracks to a conference room where Eusebio, a somewhat naïve person, is being questioned by a much more sophisticated human, Harry Shields. The twist is that Eusebio is a “Primal” – a human of original DNA. Harry, and those around him are d-humans, people whose DNA has been “enhanced” to create a more perfect being.
Eusebio has been carefully selected to represent Primals during a strange hearing that will determine the fate of all Primals. The PEPS proposal, to eliminate the Primal race by gradually letting them die out, is supported by most d-humans. With Harry Shields in the lead, they question Eusebio, pointing out all the horrible things Primals have done to the Earth, as well as to various animal species, and even other humans. Really, argues Harry Shields, with all the horrible things Primals have done in the past, why should they be allowed to continue?
When Eusebio is visited by Yusef, a Rejectionist (d-humans who object to the PEPS proposal), long conversations ensue about the human race. Should the Primals be saved as argued by Yusef, and if so, how? Yusef intends to enlighten Eusebio and convince him to fight for the Primals.
Much of Requiem of the Human Soul deals with the conversations, sometimes bordering on arguments, that Harry and Eusebio have about the Primal race. When the reader learns that manipulating human DNA might destroy the human soul, the story truly gets intriguing. Do d-humans have a soul? More importantly, can the soul be seen as argued by the late Julius Schumacher, the discoverer of neurographic smudges, dubbed “Schumacher’s Smudges”?
As the story progresses, Eusebio gradually becomes a stronger character, evolving from a frightened, ill-informed Primal to a character who turns the tables on Harry Shields and during one hearing even takes control of the conference and interrogates the d-human.
Requiem of the Human Soul is not a novel with lots of action scenes. Rather, it is a book that makes the reader think – what have humans done to the Earth? Do they deserve to survive into the next century? And what about the human soul? What is it and could it be traced? Would a person without a soul be less of a human? Many authors who attempt such a weighty subject get bogged down in the details and forget to develop the story. At the same time, the reading gets dry and labored. Not so with Requiem of the Human Soul. Lent keeps the plot moving along quickly with his easy, well-flowing writing style. The author’s writing talent allows the reader to get lost in the story of Eusebio while contemplating the meaning of the human soul.
Quill says: An absorbing story that asks the reader to consider whether humans, with all their destructive tendencies, deserve to continue as a race while also asking what happens to the human spirit if we evolve to a higher plane.
For more information on Requiem of the Human Soul, please visit the book's website at Human Soul.com