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Posted August 25, 2012
The Nameless Prince is a beautifully-crafted debut YA novel about faith,
disillusionment and innocence. Ten-year old Seth Bauman lives in the
gang-ravaged streets of Silver Lake. Abandoned by his mother right after
his birth, he shares a very dysfunctional and loveless home with his
mean Uncle Troy and his uncle’s girlfriend Cheryll. Rather than care for
the young boy, Troy and Cheryll spend most of their time on the couch in
front of the TV, killing zombies and exploding enemy tanks. Seth’s true
escape is in his drawings of dwarves, elves and dragons. Sensitive at
heart, Seth wants to understand why Uncle Troy dislikes him so much; at
the same time, he feels torn by an intense desire for approval. Though
Seth knows that his mother abandoned him, he innocently believes she’s
out there somewhere and that one day she’ll show up with an explanation
that will make it all make sense. One day, his friend Elena, whom he
always walks from school to home, is abducted by a local gang called
LAMO—the L.A. Mayan Order. Brave at heart, Seth follows the Boatman of
the L.A. River through the underground sewers and metro tunnels
underneath Silver Lake, where the LAMO headquarters are located. That’s
when the fine lines between fantasy and reality blur. In fact, they
grotesquely twist. Suddenly, Seth finds himself in a dark parallel world
in turmoil where nothing is what appears to be. He meets Constantine, a
faun who refers to Seth as The Nameless Prince, and who believes he is
the famous prince of prophesy who’s come to save their world—the
Interior—from the Dark Forces. Thus Seth embarks on a journey where he
must pass tests and solve riddles in order to discover his true name and
reunite with his long lost twin, the King. Eventually Seth realizes that
he doesn’t need to understand what’s going on, but that he must have
faith. If he fails, he could end up in the depths of the labyrinth, torn
limb from limb by the bloodthirsty Minotaur. But what is reality and
what is fantasy? Is it all really happening or is it in Seth’s mind—a
defence mechanism as a result of Elena’s abduction and the recent
violence directed towards the homeless? The Nameless Prince is a
fascinating read. I love how the author presents the different realities
and how he borrows concepts from quantum physics to enrich his plot:
none of the alternate universes are true unless you step into them.
There are parallels with Moses and Noah’s Ark and of course the novel
is, like Alice in Wonderland, a “through the whole” story. At times, the
novel reminded me of the film, Pan’s Labyrinth, where the young
protagonist also escapes into an eerie and captivating fantasy world.
However, The Nameless Prince isn’t as violent or sadistic. Ultimately,
it is a story about the balance of the universe: goodness may win but
there are always new evil forces at work. In other words, “maintaining
harmony is an eternal struggle.” Though Seth is ten years old, I’d say
the audience for this book is 12 and up, and that includes adult readers
as well. The Nameless Prince isn’t your typical YA fantasy novel
published these days. Yes, it is a classic hero’s journey with all the
tests and riddles, but it is also a book full of interesting ideas and
substance. In short, it is a book that stimulates the mind and
Posted August 3, 2012
This book falls into the "can't seem to put it down" category.
Dominic's ability to use such descriptive language to pull the reader in is impressive. Many authors can paint a picture, but not only did he succeed in showing me the Interior, I could smell it, feel it, taste it, hear it, and step foot into it. It's as if on a personal level, the author is so in touch with and driven by his senses, he was able to create this story to stimulate the reader on all levels as well. His use and grasp of vocabulary is remarkable, especially in this new age of half sentences, e-jargon, etc. There was a paragraph in which he described the energy in the area just outside the Troll's cave...BRILLIANT. While it described the scene well, it also sent a shudder of energy through me--one of many examples of how this story comes to life and engages the reader.
I kept wishing the book was longer, but I suppose I'll have to keep my fingers crossed for a sequel.
Posted July 31, 2012
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What a wonderful story!! It was the type of story that made your imagination kick into over drive. I was a hot-wheel kid. Anyone that played with hotwheels knows what that means. Entire cities were created out of cards and sand and stuff. (lack of better wording) What a fun experience. The island reminded me of my own worlds. I loved that. "Only by being tested does one know his true self". I can't tell you what this one line did to me. Every time I read that line the waterworks start. It is an amazing story. It is harder and harder to find books that keep you interested. This is one of those books and it didn't need all the "racey" content to do so. I just can't say enough about the way it transported my imagination to those childhood play times. Thank you Dominick Domingo for bringing to life a wonderful fantasy land with such an important meaning behind it. I honestly look forward to reading more from the author!
Posted July 6, 2012
THE NAMELESS PRINCE
Seth Bauman is an unhappy 10 year old boy. His mother vanished shortly after his birth, and his Uncle Troy, who is raising him, is cruel. They live in the dangerous Silver Lake neighborhood of L.A. inhabited by the Mayan gang. Seth has to walk home Elena Gomez, a 10 year old Mexican immigrant. Uncle Troy’s dangerous Mayan associates come after Seth amd kidnap Elena from the L.A. Wash. Seth sustains a head injury and the occupant of the structure on the Wash's island rescues him. The Faun, or Constantine, claims to be the gatekeeper and insists Seth is the Nameless Prince of the Magical place, Interia. He takes Seth through the network of sewers, now catacombs, guided by a dragonfly on Constantine’s shoulder. Creatures from the Wash that help, including polywogs he and Elena named, are now giants. Along with very different creatures, hey encounter a lot of danger. Seth meets his twin, Amado and learns if he doesn’t correctly answer the riddles to prove he’s the Nameless Prince, and give his real name, he will die. Fghting against the Dark Forces, he answers riddles, finds the king’s missing wife, and learns he’s been duped. He gathers creatures to fight against the Dark Forces and ends up battling one of his emissaries. About to lose, Seth finds himself back home. The Mayans and his uncle are arrested, but Elena is still missing. Seth rescues Elena and learns the truth about his mother and makes peace with Troy and Cheryll, and resolves his feelings of abandonment.
The Nameless Prince is a wonderful YA fantasy that I couldn’t put down. The author has created magnificent characters. Seth is a boy you can’t help but love. The author brings out his fears so that you sweat right along with him as he faces danger. The author also does a great job of showing his abilities and bravery, right along with his doubts and fears. The little Elena is charming and fragile and the author clearly shows Seth’s growing concern and caring for her. Nor can I say enough about the charming creatures in Interia. The giant pollywogs are a delight, and I just loved the little dragonfly that guided Constantine. The author has suspended disbelief so that it seems normal for the creatures to talk and cooperate with Seth and Constantine. I wasn’t surprised to discover the author created magnificent “bad guys” as well. They are fearsome and deadly. The interesting characters involved in the riddles Seth has to solve also seem so real with their doubts, their despair, and delight when Seth gets the answer. The author also shows the despair of Prince Amado, Seth's brother, as well as his delight when Seth solves the problem. The author also created an alternate universe that is beautiful, different, and so realistic the reader feels it would be possible to go there. The castle is both magnificent and scary, as is the river that is so deep and holds Joy, the king’s wife. When Seth dove down and almost ran out of breath, I felt the lack of air myself. The wonderful scenes are so many it would be impossible here to name them all. But I also must comment on the writing itself. It is lyrical and flows beautifully, like the most gorgeous symphony. The writer also paints pictures with those words; scenes that I half expect to pop out of the book so that I can frame them and put them on my wall.
This may be his first full length book, but he has done a masterful job, and I anxiously wait for Dominick R. Domingo’s next book.
Joan K. Maze
Posted October 18, 2012
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