Raymond J. Mikelionis
Ewings Publishing LLC (2022)
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (02/2023)
Blue Fire is a compelling novel by Raymond Mikelionis. As the author states in his introduction, this story is a “journey” for the main character, Jon Cameron. It is definitely that, a story that is full of loss and learning about oneself. It is a bit confusing at times and must be read all the way through in order for the reader to understand what this man is going through, but the tale, at least in my opinion, is riveting as Jon attempts to find himself.
The novel is split into three parts and, while they do connect through the eyes of Cameron, they come across as separate stories in terms of content, place, and time, and I found that to be very intriguing. In the beginning of the story we have Jon Cameron working in a hospital and studying in his attempt to become a great doctor. In the middle of the story, Jon is sent to Vietnam, working as a medic on ships and learning much about a whole new part of medicine and life in terms of war. And finally, the third part of the story comes after Vietnam when Jon chooses not to return to the hospital immediately. Instead, he begins traveling through other parts of the world and meets the love of his life, who in turn leaves him to return to her husband. What follows is Jon’s life as he searches for her through various parts of the world in an attempt to find out why she left and to, hopefully, get her back.
The entire journey in Blue Fire is so well-written, even at its most confusing, and I commend the author. The descriptive writing makes the reader feel as if they are there, whether it is the emergency room in a large hospital, the deck of a ship during the war with bombs exploding overhead, to the desert as our “hero” attempts to find his love. Everything about it is descriptive and almost perfect as we watch this character honestly struggle with everything about his life and the weight on his shoulders. Above all else, the medical knowledge is beyond perfect and definitely the largest success in telling of the tale. The beginning of the book, set mostly in the ER of a large hospital, is so riveting and so successful at holding the reader’s attention, even when it is so honest and horrendous that those with a weak stomach may want to lay the book back down.
In this readers opinion, it is a very haunting tale that left me thinking about so many things such as finding one’s own strength and self, love and loss, fear and excitement in the unknown, and the next step in life. I would definitely recommend it to others.