Genre: Satire/Science Fiction
“Most people hate politicians—unless they are one.
Wouldn’t it be great to know that what goes around does come round? That politicians who make bold promises to secure their election would have to live with the consequences of their actions—or inactions—just like us ordinary people?
To balance the karma, the politician in this story, Henrietta Radcliff Carstairs, has to review her life choices in a tribunal conducted between her last and next lifetime.”
“May Sinclair's doctorate is in the Philosophy of Metaphysics. She is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed author, and she teaches dream interpretation and analysis on the precepts of Carl G. Jung. Dr. Sinclair has at times written under her nom de plume, Mason Clare. Much of her writing relates to symbolism. She is known throughout the United States and the British Isles. All of her work is based on extensive research and study of both ancient and modern philosophical teachings, where she has learned and continues to foster a merging of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves.”
I find myself torn in trying to come to an overall conclusion about Karmic Tribunal. There are things I liked. Liked a lot. And there are other parts of the story that were problematic, at least they were for me.
I like the premise of the story that we go from one life to the next and before being reincarnated into our next life an evaluation is done of our previous life. Our next step is determined by what is going to best balance out karma. For a very simple example, this concept might have a slave owner reincarnated as a child of slaves who will probably become a slave himself.
In Karmic Tribunal we have a politician going through this evaluation. The choice of a politician as the subject of the evaluation is a good choice because it is easy to see how, depending on how the particular politician did their job, a balancing of karma could go a lot of different directions.
The issue I had was that the politician in the story was based on a real-life person and as soon as I realized who that was the premise was ruined for me. Instead of pondering the evidence submitted to the tribunal and trying to guess what they might see as appropriate karmic balancing, I reacted differently. I found myself arguing with evidence presented that didn't fit my opinion of the real person. The ability to read the story as a form of escapism or participate in the mental exercise of saying “what if” was gone. I'm not sure that it would matter what a reader's feelings about the real person are. I could see anyone having this same issue. (Most readers are going to have an opinion on the person in question.) I guess this is the risk in basing fictional characters on real people.
Borderline. I saw a few more typos or proofreading misses than I like to see in a book of this length, but they are mostly very minor errors.
Rating: *** Three Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 20-25,000 words