Paradigm Lost: Jamari Shaman
I want to call Paradigm Lost: Jamari Shaman by R. Roderick Rowe full-on dystopian novel with a dash of fantasy and plenty of homosexuality that will appeal to many male readers who are homosexual. But I would rather replace the word “dystopian” with that of “utopian” and say that readers, regardless of their sexual preferences, should read this book, if only for the sake of the possible solution that Rowe lays bare for the world so that it can be better connected to the spirit of the Creator within each and everyone of us.
The world of the twenty-second century is a world that bloomed from the writings of a man known as the Founder. In the Elk Creek tribe and the communities that they form, homosexual relationships are what is orthodox and heterosexual relationships are not. To become a man in this world, young men must first go through what is known as the Manhood Rites. Meanwhile, the future role they will take up in the Tribe is greatly discussed by a council of men who hold powerful positions. One young man’s role is discussed at great length, and that young man is Jamari, a potentially powerful shaman.
Even though Jamari was a lead character, the author maintained a level of mystique surrounding this attractive young man. Always up for a night of pleasurable fun, Jamari, like everyone else, is open to spending nights with various men whenever an opportunity calls for it. One of the trainees, a man named Christian, presents some much longed for conflict in this otherwise smooth flowing story.
When Christian’s affections for a female become obvious to Jamari, he is slightly irritated about it and nothing more, but I feel as though Rowe could’ve written a scene containing a Jamari who completely loses his composure somewhere, somehow. Save for a tribe of wildlings I met close to the end, this book has little antagonism. What I also noticed is that this book is more about the future than the present, yet in an ironic and tragic way the author does indeed put the Elk Creek tribe members in the here and now before the story concludes.
R. Roderick Rowe hasn’t written some overly erotic novel for homosexual men here. What I got from this a culture where having sex with those you want to have sex with comes with few barriers. A fictional utopia has been created for men who admire the beauty of other men in a societal system where it is not frowned upon but welcomed.