THE ARTEMIS CONNECTION
The Artemis Connection is a modern-day fairy tale, drawing on inspiration from Italian folklore, Greek mythology and Native American legends. The story focuses upon a young woman blessed with a special gift but also the victim of a curse.
PRAISE FROM CRITICS
An original and deftly constructed story, “The Artemis Connection” showcases the extraordinary storytelling skills of David Di Paolo as a novelist who holds his reader’s fully absorbed and entertained attention from beginning to end. Highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “The Artemis Connection” is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).
In Di Paolo’s debut fantasy, a family secret and a mysterious curse lead a skeptic on a whirlwind journey into Italy to discover the real truth. Dr. Diana Valleverde is a woman of science, but her deep-seated convictions are about to be challenged. Her brother Marco, a curator at the University of Philadelphia Museum of Archaeology, is working on an exhibit about the long-lost Mi’Ki’Passa Native American tribe, whose surviving members are only now stepping into the public eye. He’s convinced the museum is haunted. Diana doesn’t believe in hauntings, but her mind starts to change when she meets Hannah, a Mi’Ki’Passa med student with unexplainable abilities. When Diana travels to Italy for a conference and brings along a mysterious box that belonged to her late grandmother, all hell breaks loose. She begins having episodes of sleep paralysis involving menacing hallucinations, she discovers that a curse was put on her as a child, and a stranger threatens her brother’s life unless Diana turns over the box. Soon after finding herself back in the Italian village where she was born, she’s surprised to discover that her medical degree may have more to do with all of this than she thought. Although there are a lot of story elements to take in, Di Paolo deftly weaves the various plot threads together, creating an enjoyable, well-crafted mystery that whisks the reader from Philadelphia to Milan to a small village in the Italian mountains, all while exploring both Italian and Native American folklore. The fantasy elements, which are subtly teased out until the end, may occur a bit abruptly for some readers’ tastes—and the idea of magical Native Americans is well-trodden—the journey makes for a fun read. Diana’s a compelling main character who strikes just the right balance between Mulder and Scully. An imaginative fantasy that has fun weaving together folklore, medicine, and ancient curses, providing a fresh twist on a classic formula.
In By April’s Kiss, a book of poetry by David DiPaolo, we are presented with an array of poems that strike one at first descriptively, through solid and vivid image, and then emotionally, as the core of the poem becomes clear and resonates clearly through the reader. The title seems to this reader to be intriguing, hinting at some of the deeper emotions and passions that play across the poems in the book. The poetry here is informal, a kind of free verse, and it does this well – employing a slippery veer and jumping logic that is responsive to the shifting intuitions and insights of human consciousness as it sets to work on a problem or situation. A poem like “The Raven in the Mist” is a good example of what this collection does well, a long poem with narrative elements, it still possesses clear and crystal imagery throughout and a questioning tone that helps the reader to feel the same grasping after knowledge and fulfillment. The overall design of the book is professional with crisp and sharp photographs sprinkled throughout and lush painted images inserted as well. The cover image for the book is quiet and serene, signaling to the reader about the importance of introspection and reflection on the poetic journey.
The poems are memorable, the photos and artwork thematically appropriate, “By April’s Kiss” is an inherently engaging read from cover to cover. One of those rare volumes of poetry that will linger in the mind long after the book itself is finished and set back upon the shelf, “By April’s Kiss” is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library collection. ‘Let Me Not Be Vexed’: A hand not taken. / A smile not reciprocated. / An embrace not Not Be Vexed’: A hand not taken. / A smile not reciprocated. / An embrace not partaken. / A Kiss not requited. / A moment not shared. / Let these things be the markers of what should vex me.