The Hour Wasp
by Jay Sheets (GoodReads Author), illustrations by Robyn Leigh Lear
Kindle edition, 90 pages, Expected pub May 28, 2017, April Gloaming Publishing
Also available in paperback

GoodReads Summary:  
It takes you on a journey, in three sections, through morose, sometimes tragic imagery (the ouroboros rinsed in venom / [flickering] the shape of things unshaped // no silken moments / only that which is always breaking / [something is always / breaking here]), and finds itself, in those melancholy moments of the second section some hint of a truth, of a reason, of hope, or a hope (the hour wasp awakens // & we are the things that take shape / & we let the things without shape take shape), and then, finally, we come to the final section, the send-off, the great, all-encompassing display of universal truths, using similar images, visions Mr. Sheets has experienced himself through dreams and meditations, and gives the reader the sense of understanding, almost accomplishment as she has waded through the dark along with the author and illustrator and come to find a sense of solace, one that may stand the test of time (i see the thousandth star / she looks to the thousandth star / the thousandth star is us // & i wonder if i / or anyone i know should be so lucky / & i light a new fire at the end of myself).

Disclaimer:  I was provided an eARC by April Gloaming Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My Review:  2 1/2-stars
I read this book through and then I read it again more slowly with a dictionary and scrap paper at hand. Then with my notes, I read it again. Parts of it, I read aloud. Then I had my daughter, who is working on an English Lit Masters Degree, read it with me and discuss it. Then I read it aloud to my daughter and my husband, who is a teacher with two masters degrees. I kept thinking maybe I just wasn't smart enough to understand all this. But education isn't the answer. It has to be in your soul, and it isn't in mine.

First of all, Mr. Sheets writes like a fantasy prophet that needs to have the riddles interpreted, like in Wheel of Time or the Belgariad. Not having a wizard or Aes Sedai handy, I understood very little of the first two-thirds of what the writer was trying to say.

Perhaps some punctuation, spacing or basic poetry rules would have helped. But Mr. Sheets didn't use any of those. In fact, I had trouble sometimes at the stops between poems. Those brackets didn't stand out all that well.

What I found I really liked about this book is this. Mr. Sheets has a wonderfully rich vocabulary. This book reads marvelously and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it dramatically to my daughter and husband (and the cat) all the way through. I was able to find pauses to breathe, but I had not a clue what most of it meant. The illustrations are quite lovely, too! Robyn Leigh Lear did a wonderful job on those.

I recommend this for those who have the soul for poetry and the time to understand Mr. Sheets rich vocabulary. Try reading it aloud.

Expected release date is May 28, 2017