There are some amazing reviews for this work! Here are a couple.
The San Francisco Book Review
Paradigm Lost: Jamari Shaman
By Randal W. Collins
, $19.95, 258 pages, Format: eBook
Star Rating: 5 / 5
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 (is) 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.
Reviewed by Benjamin Ookami
And from the Pacific Book Review
(This site doesn't use the 5 Star Rating system, but, the text describes a solidly approving review!)
Jamari is expected to be a powerful shaman, but in order to achieve this expectation he needs to learn the necessary skills to be a successful member of Elk Creek Tribe community, so he begins his Manhood Rites training regime that comes with challenges and trials to help him grow stronger and become the man he needs to be. He takes on a journey across Oregon to obtain salt for the tribe. Not only will this travel test him physically, but also test his emotional and spiritual limitations. The people he meets along the way help with this trial, sometimes good and sometimes bad. This is a journey where he will learn new things about his tribe, the world around him, and himself. Once he returns home, he will no longer (be) Jamari a man, but Jamari Shaman one of the strongest and (most) respected spiritual leaders of his clan.
A story when the main character goes out on a journey of self-awareness, whether that is his intention or not, always seems to have a lot of depth and profoundness to them. “Paradigm Lost” is no different. As readers progress through the novel they begin to feel a change within themselves, even just for a moment. ”Paradigm Lost” is the second book in the Elk Creek tribe series, but readers don’t need to read the first book to understand what is happening in this one. All the important information like the Manhood Rites are touched upon early in the novel and are explained very clearly. It is incredibly easy to relate to Jamari and feel a sense of kinship with him. Readers will find themselves getting attached to him from the beginning of the novel all the way to the end.
It should be noted his novel has a strong focus on homosexual relationships, although it is not so much an erotic aspect of the novel as it is about admiring the beauty and joy of love and sex with those you want to share with regardless of gender, and the boundaries that come along with it. It is not an overpowering element, in fact it adds a different quality to the novel than if the relationships were primarily heterosexual, but it is an aspect readers should take into account when preparing to read this book. That being said, “Paradigm Lost” is a great novel that explores various aspects of life and learning how to be the person you are meant to be, whomever that is. There is not an outright central antagonist, but Jamari is seen to be at odds with himself at times. Many readers may feel as if an antagonist is needed to make a compelling book, but it is not always the case and Rowe proves just that point in his novel.
This tale was beautifully crafted and interesting to read. I would suggest it to those who enjoy a good self-aware novel, romance, adventure, but would caution those who are opposed to certain topics to go into this novel with the understanding that “conventional” ideas are not addressed in this story.
An adventure in future Oregon - Jamari has completed the first three months of the Manhood Rites. Now he sets out to build his future. He has an encounter in the wilds that leaves him shaken, but, his advisers and teachers are convinced that it means much more than Jamari can ever know. He is resistant to the sudden changes in his plans, but, he faces these new challenges with determination. There's no such thing as settling into a routine when you're a young man of the Elk Creek Tribe, and Jamari learns this with excitement and trepidation as he is assigned to an expedition down to the coast to gather salt and other coastal goods. He learns more about his tribe and their territories and he meets new peoples not of The Tribe, sometimes with exciting and new adventures, sometimes with devastating consequences. Will he come out of this first year of The Manhood Rites with his goals and dreams intact? Will he be able to embrace the new life he finds at the end of this amazing journey?