The Kaleidoscope

Written by Beverly Nault ⎮ Narrated by Joseph Vernon

Author: Beverly Nault
Narrator: Joseph Vernon
Length: 9 hours and 20 minutes
Publisher: Beverly Nault
Released: June 25, 2020
Genre: Romantic Thriller

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When Harold becomes the guardian of a beautiful, handcrafted kaleidoscope with mysterious powers, his world spins from black-and-white boring into technicolor chaos. Along with Pepper, their journey becomes a life-threatening race to save the 'scope from falling into the wrong hands.

Harold's a reclusive computer forensics expert forced to become an amateur detective when a mysterious kaleidoscope shows viewers more than pretty shapes and colors. He's soon joined by Pepper, a spunky breast cancer survivor who challenges him to color outside the lines and look at life - and himself - differently, and Morrie, his only real friend who has his own secrets. Together they must solve the riddle of what makes the 'scope work before the bad guys get their clutches on the valuable future-telling device.

Brilliant but socially inept, Harold has distanced himself from any connection to his dysfunctional childhood. Abandoned by a father accused of his mother's death, Harold trusts no one until the 'scope forces him to accept a circle of people he must learn to rely on. Just as he is on the verge of learning how it works and why his past connects to his future, he must face disturbing truths he's run from all his life. Join Harold and his new group of friends, including Rhashan the mail room guy always ready with Caribean-spun folklore, to Pepper who's embracing life for all it's worth. Keith and his partner Frank are also crucial to the solving but have some unfinished business of their own. When Harold's past meets his future, everyone in the gang works side by side to discover who's behind the incredibly exciting, but scary, advances in technology only dreamed of until now.

Willow's Review

5 Stars

This audiobook was provided by its author, Beverly Nault, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks, Beverly!

Beverly Nault had created a cast of unique characters Pepper, Rashan, and Walter that formed a backdrop to the main protagonist a banal computer scientist named Harold Donaldson. His life as a computer scientist was routine, mundane, predictable, until one fateful day when by sheer and utter circumstance a Kaleidoscope appeared that changed the trajectory of his predictable life. Rather abruptly Harold was catapulted from his daily grind in the computer industry to a crime detective determined to find the answers to this intriguing piece of art. Accompanied by his oddly well-faceted group of friends that were fated to meet and solve the mysteries held within the legacy of the Kaleidoscope.

The twists and turns within The Kaleidoscope's ever-changing narrative are as varied and captivating as peering into a Kaleidoscope for some time. Each time the view focuses on one aspect of the closing lights and other shape appears with another layer of the story. Comparable to an onion, this story continues to reveal many layers.

Harold's self-esteem had suffered from years of gaslighting and many forms of tumultuous abuse that he suffered as a child, including the loss of his father and the heinous murder of his mother. Harold's character provided an example of the devastating effects a problematic childhood can have on one's mind, heart, psyche, and life's path. His trouble with women and difficulty believing in himself eventuated from childhood traumas.

Narrations were performed by Joseph Vernon—his calm, crisp narratives add another level of depth to this audio experience. Throughout the novel, his tonality and infections would change to better accommodate the scene or character portrayal. This element added a richness to the book that proudly showcased the brilliant outcome of Nault and Vernon's combined talents.

The Kaleidoscope is a medley of action, crime, suspense, sci-fi, romance, and here and there a bit of dry hilarity mixed in for good measure. Also, to note this story does provide insight into the mental and emotional issues adults who suffered child abuse grapple with healing later in life. To those who enjoy a listening experience that is entertaining, fascinating, and delivered with a bit of well-written romance, this novel will keep you entertained and eager for the next chapter!

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