***** A Precious Balanced World —————– Review by Rox Burkey
Author Mark Caney builds a wondrous world beneath the waves. He shares a society of the dolphins with history, legends, star interpretations, families, music, education, laws, traditions, and customs spanning the ages. The foundation is the deep respect for the ocean. The dolphin perspective and interactions explore society and ongoing environmental impacts that affect how groups feed, grow, and expand with conservation as a guideline.
The story is told primarily by the bottle-nosed dolphin, Touches the Sky, the main character. The formal introductions include the clan’s name when they come across strangers. In most cases, the exchanges are friendly and informative. Charming respect for others is an enjoyable theme that highlighted accord even across clans.
Author Caney creates a believable world of color, sounds, laughter, love, jealousy, and power struggles between those who wish to live in harmony rather than total control. The struggle for domination is brilliant with many surprises along the way. Each of the characters is individual with qualities that are relatable and endearing. The choice made by adolescents sometimes avoids the lessons of their elders, with undeniable consequences.
Mark Caney also narrates this story. His tone and cadence are consistent throughout the story. The narration voice was clear and kept me engaged as a listener. Modest voice changes were identifiable for each dolphin, separate from the narrator. I found no flaws with the audio delivery or quality of the recording.
I highly recommend this book for those who want to glance into the ocean, wonder, and explore the possibilities. A particular segment with an almost dolphin gypsy storyteller to some dolphin children kept me mesmerized as if I were one of them. It is a story for adults of all ages. It is ideal for sharing the negative human contributions to the oceans, such as trash or forgotten ships, that impact that beautiful world.
About the Author and Narrator
I became fascinated with dolphins after an extraordinary experience that started one night on a lonely stretch of desert coast in the Red Sea. There I was fortunate enough to spend many hours alone with a wild dolphin. By the time I left, I wanted to learn more about these incredible creatures.
I have been a diver since I was eighteen, when I started as a hobby while with the British military. When I was 23 I left the services to open a diving centre in Paphos, Cyprus.
I lived abroad for eighteen years and during that time travelled to many countries, training scuba instructors, conducting technical diver training and working on diving related projects. These varied from photo shoots of sharks, running private courses for Arab sheikhs, and conducting a four-month expedition to east Africa.
In 1996, I got the job of vice president with PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors) and moved back to the UK to work in their PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa office in Bristol.
I have spent a great deal of my life on or in the sea. In addition to diving frequently, my other main hobby is sailing cruising yachts.
During my life I have been fortunate to have had many encounters with dolphins, and have had the chance to study them in detail. I am also a qualified Marine Mammal Medic with BDMLR.
My novel, Dolphin Way: Rise of the Guardians, was published in 2011.