Journey to a Far Away Place By Gary J McCleary (detailed synopsis)

In the prologue we meet young Tommy Wells. His wife Victoria and their infant son have overnight become prisoners of war in the occupation zone which Western Australia has become.

Having quit his post in the army Tommy determines to single handedly take on the enemy with a view to rescuing his family at any cost.

Tommy reunites with his family only seconds before they are all shot dead by enemy soldiers. At this point time stands still and Tommy finds himself out of his dead body and confronting a tall man dressed in a black suit. This ‘Imposter’ is actually one of the seven ‘fallen Guardians’ who long ago decided to walk away and not follow the will of The Creator. He offers Tommy a simple choice. “Surrender to me your immortal soul and I will allow the souls of the woman and the boy through to the Guardians who rule the higher worlds.”

Tommy, who cares only for the welfare of his young family, accepts the offer and immediately finds himself in a dark and terrifying place which fits every description of Hell that he has ever thought of. The Imposter meanwhile is now free to take Tommy’s place in the enlightened utopian world of Tranador.

Now the focus shifts to Victoria who, in discarnate form, finds herself standing in a dark tunnel being drawn towards a loving bright light.

Eventually she feels herself being drawn into a new physical body and when she awakens she is met by a number of her personal Guardians who had been overseeing her life on Earth. Unfortunately one thing has gone very much amiss because these same Guardians have no record of her ever having had a husband or a son.

Victoria now heads out alone into this ‘brave new utopian world’ of Tranador where everyone has every comfort, boundless love, perfect health and eternal life. However she is a complete misfit because she is desperate to find out what has happened to her family which everyone here believes is just an illusion in her mind.

The story as a whole takes a detailed look at the darker side of the ‘Near Death Experience’ or NDE where a small number of people who are resuscitated tell of a frightening ‘Hellish’ experience in what some call the ‘Lower Astral Plane’. There is a part fairly early on in the story which will ‘creep out’ the average reader. Here Victoria finds herself completely alone with the Imposter in a dark isolated place.

After that Victoria and a small band of helpers enter the dark regions of the Lower Astral Plane commonly referred to as ‘Hell’. Here a number of different aspects are dealt with in detail.

  • Regions that overlap with the Earth Plane.
  • ‘Hollow heavens’ where true believers sometimes find themselves trapped in their own limited belief systems.
  • Traditional heavens handed down through folklore. One in particular is the Viking heaven Valhalla, the home of Mighty Odin the god of War.
  • Warfare and cruelty as a form of Hell existing on many worlds such as the Earth.
  • The traditional Hell based on Dante’s Inferno complete with burning mountains of sulphur and devils with pitchforks.

The story is told simply with interesting characters who interact in very human ways with sorrow, love and humour which allow the higher aspects of ‘humanity’ to show themselves even in a place like Hell.

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