Jeannie Van Rompaey

Critique of my novel, OASIS


One of my readers sent me this critique of my novel, Oasis. I am so delighted with the interpretation that I decided to share it with readers of my blog on my website. How gratifying it is to know that someone really understands your work!


Critique of OASIS, A novel by Jeannie van Rompaey

Oasis is the first part of a trilogy, dealing with aspects of normality. What is normal? Imagine an Earth, destroyed by human profligacy and devastated by a plague, which results in genomes gone mad. The mutant humanoids are still us even with two heads or three legs or bracelets of snakes. But never normal to the Completes, those who escape the ravages of disease. The idea that co-existence is possible is pie in the sky.

But no blood, no extermination here. Science conceives a series of self sufficient compounds and houses the mutants on earth. Don’t leave this safety, the air outside is toxic. They thank whatever gods there are that the mutants are almost always barren so that’s one problem solved. Duty done, they decamp into space to recreate a green world.

Little Mercury remembers nothing except his compound. He’s there at the beginning of the struggles for power, for the inevitable questioning of their position there. He is comfortable in his mutant world.

Then his life changes. His Complete father tracks him down and in secret erases his mutant characteristics but not his memories. He goes home to the green enclave of leisure and plenty, no longer Mercury but Michael. He makes friends, falls in love, and integrates into his father’s family.

Ms. van Rompaey has made sure that we feel empathy with Mercury/Michael as he tries to make moral sense of his predicament. He hacks into the programmes that monitor the compounds he left and sees the increasing ferment among his brothers and sisters. They desire.. They want.. And why not? He begins to dream of the possibility of real integration. At the end of the first book, we are left with the desire to see how, Michael, the idealist will fare. More than that, as mutants start to reach the Complete enclaves, the attitudes of all parties will present us with a mirror image of our own world.

The author has written a thoughtful multi layered novel. Accept that the occasional concept may stretch our imaginations and read it as a participant in a remarkable world.

A. Brown