Mark Stavish’s Review of The Last Observer

My thanks to Mr. Mark Stavish for this review – it may be found on….

A Fun and Interesting Book for an Rainy Afternoon

The Last Observer is one of those wonderful novels that can be read in an afternoon and discussed with your friends for weeks afterward. Since the release of Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code and subsequent best-seller sequels the world has been awash in books dabbling in the occult but like Brown, never truly crossing the line, or worse yet, taking the leap and the reader wishes they had stayed in place. It is not that there is anything wrong with magic in novels specifically dealing with the occult, it is instead in the way most authors write about it. Best selling authors like Brown titillate us with it only to give us a rationalized ending after 600 pages or so. Authors who have practical knowledge of magic and occultism often find out after the horse has left the barn, that while they know magic, fiction writing is not their calling. In short, all to often the reader is left wanting.

Not so with The Last Observer, if anything, we are left wanting more. Just like the novels by my good friend Dr. Joseph Lisiewski, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found here, for both its insight into occultism, but also reality itself.

The thrust of the story is simple: our hero is drawn into the conflict between two powerful magicians, along with the usual murder and mind twisting mayhem that accompanies battles between good and evil. It is here that Vasey shows us his stuff as a writer and a practicing magician. You see, Dr. Vasey is a scientist as well as a novelist. His keen awareness of the subtleties between the objective and subjective realms of existence are the real treat that the reader is given. The power of imagination, quantum physics, and ethical struggle that makes up magic on a very real level.

Maybe it is no surprise that as I went to write this review at my favorite coffee shop, that I remember the words of one of my teachers as I stood in-line waiting for my order to be taken, it was, “See everyone around you as an enlightened being. See the men as the God of Wisdom, and the women as his consort Truth. This is how they really are. Treat them each as a god and goddess.” This is a difficult task in the best of time, let alone on Black Friday. It is too easy to lapse into a lame New Age ‘namaste’ either mentally or verbally with people. But to hold onto the irate woman taking your order late in the day as a goddess, well, that just takes effort.

And that is what Vasey’s work, The Last Observer is all about – effort. The effort it takes to get and stay ‘awake’ and to see reality as it is, not as we believe it to be. The dedication of this book contains the following: To the seekers of hidden knowledge everywhere, the way is long and hard. Don’t cut corners! Yet, Vasey also addresses that age old question, raise so eloquently in the novel and movie Jurassic Park, about what happens when power is obtained without the discipline required to either understand or wield it properly?

Vasey is swift and clean in his writing, both in the scene descriptions and dialogue, making The Last Observer a book that comes in at under 120 pages and can be read in an hour or two. That said, a small part of me would love to see the dialogue in Chapter Twenty – Zeltan Speaks performed by Al Pacino just as he did his famous defense of the human condition as Satan in the movie version of The Devil’s Advocate. If you liked that scene, you’ll enjoy this strikingly honest appraisal of modern magic.

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