By Rexcrisanto Delson
Cordi Heritage House, $15.95, 297 pages
Part mystery, part moral tale and full-on adventure story, Igorotdo: The Enlightened Warrior Within: A Novel of Spiritual Transformation is a satisfying and unique read. Alex, a successful businessman in the US, goes back to his Igorot ancestors’ homeland in a mountainous region of the Philippines, lured by the promise of a mysterious inheritance.
Once there, he travels much more than he ever could have imagined–through different terrains and time periods, getting used to new languages and impulses with each new body he awakens in. The atmosphere of each location is created largely through action and impression and this helps develop Alex’s character. Readers will relate to this character from the get-go, before his adventures begin. They will be privy to his dreams, typical thoughts and one flashback from his childhood. This all foreshadows the nature of his future adventures.
As a matter of course, Delson provides crucial historical information and includes how these events impact circumstances that Alex faces in the various bodies he inhabits. These details simultaneously bring up questions about our prejudices and mores and how they should be anything but taken for granted. At times Igorotdo applies too much of an expository tone. But overall the pacing of the story is superb and entices the reader to make it to the end. This book is recommended for those interested in a new and authentic genre-bending narrative: a spiritual adventure with a contemporary voice.
Reviewed by Sarah Alibabaie