The Diary of a Galactic Traveler: A Soul’s Odyssey
Reviewed by Marty Shaw for Reader Views (5/11)
“The Diary of a Galactic Traveler” introduces us to a totally new concept of life-after-death, and I tip my hat to Serban for scoring an A+ on creativity and originality, but there were a few things that kept me from enjoying the adventure… and almost every single problem has to do with editing and the flow of the story, rather than the plot itself.
As far as the story goes, Gregg is a normal guy until an accident kills him and sends him on his interstellar adventure. Immediately after he dies, he finds himself transformed into a bug-like ‘sirenette,’ soaring through the vast cosmos to a planet known as Soulsland, which appears to be a mixture of waiting station and battleground. During his brief stay on Soulsland, Gregg becomes involved in interstellar warfare, political trickery, and outright treachery. Because of the way he handles himself through these events, Gregg is welcomed as a hero to a planet known as MC, where he and his assistant, Mike, have their souls transferred into more humanoid forms. Gregg, now known as Grego, and Mike, know known as Miko, learn that new bodies can’t help them escape the political mess that they started as sirenettes, and Grego must once again face off against numerous enemies as they constantly try to kill him.
My number one problem with the plot is that Gregg/Grego seems to be the embodiment of perfection. According to the storyline, many dead souls from Earth have ended up on Soulsland and the MC planet, but they were all apparently idiots because Gregg is seen as a great hero who possesses skills and intelligence never before seen by anyone. Even though he’s the new guy on the planet, Grego is able to sniff out traitors, avoid assassination attempts, and land a high-powered position in the government hierarchy. Pretty soon, it’s easy to stop worrying about all the cloak-and-dagger excitement going on because you know Grego is going to get through everything just fine. Personally, I find it hard to root for a hero who’s flawless and untouchable because there’s never any sense of drama or danger involved.
As far as editing goes, the story could’ve been made a lot tighter. There’s a whole lot of talk going on, with some potentially dramatic scenes losing their punch because everyone decides to have a lengthy conversation about it. During the transfer of his soul from the sirenette form into a humanoid body, an assassination attempt against Grego is attempted. After the plans for future safety are described, Grego has this to say:
“Chief Caio, your instructions are excellent and cover all practical possibilities for protection unless is a mole in the operating room. Since the stakes seem to be very high, I suggest that the second team of master surgeons that double up the main team be part of the process by having the authority to stop anything incorrect, unnoticed, or suspicious. Both teams and their technicians are equally responsible for the outcome of the procedure. This should not be viewed as a lack of confidence in Master Banio and Ramno, but, on the contrary, as an extra support for their impressive efforts to work under these unusual circumstances.”
By itself, this remark might not be too bad, but Caio has to respond:
“Gregg, I agree with your suggestions considering the present situation. The danger may lurk from any direction and if four excellent surgeons are involved working together and watching the unfolding of the procedure then we can guaranty its full success.”
After a few conversations like that, and there are plenty to choose from, its easy to get bored with just about everything going on, and you might notice some of those editing problem that I mentioned.
“Diary of a Galactic Traveler” does a great job of going into uncharted territory, but a main character that isn’t so perfect and some tighter writing would definitely be beneficial.