Book Review: The Hidden Worlds
By Sandra Ingerman and Katherine Wood
Published by Moon Books
Also available on Amazon
Reviewed by Molly Remer, Brigid’s Grove
Note: an audio interview with Sandra about teenagers and shamanism is available here.
The Hidden Worlds is a novel for young adults from a shamanic perspective. It weaves together core elements of modern, Western shamanic practices into a fictional narrative about a group of teenagers who are finding their own place in the world, learning about themselves and relationships, navigating the tensions of high school, and discovering their own power. The main characters take on the task of discovering the source of environmental pollution at a local lake after noticing that is killing the birds and animals that rely on the lake as an ecosystem. They undertake this mission through a combination of physical action and experience and navigation through the Dreamworld and contact with and messages from meeting their “power animals.”
I will note that as a parent reading this book aloud to my own teenage boys, some aspects of the story felt stilted, “forced,” or awkward to the audience. It can be difficult to use fiction as a teaching platform or a means to deliver specific lessons. The Hidden Worlds makes an earnest attempt to do so that does succeed in many ways, while faltering a bit in terms of dialogue and presentation. I appreciated that the cause being tackled by the teenagers in the book was a realistic challenge that something could actually be done about, rather than presenting a grandiose or fantastical scenario. The story in The Hidden Worlds is one that could actually play out in other school systems and in the lives of real young people in this country.
Ultimately, this is a tale of young people discovering their own power to change their world and their relationship to it, both in present time and in otherworldly, spiritual experience, which is a lesson that both adults and teenagers can draw inspiration and encouragement from as they face the myriad challenges in their own worlds.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.