“Baronas imagines a world steeped in great spiritual power in this debut novel. Jude Ryder is an aspiring filmmaker turned drug dealer – as well as a deep James Dean aficionado – who finds himself in 1970s India searching for a larger spiritual truth. Jude encounters a couple of ascetics who promise to take him to meet Shiva . . . The yogis turn out to be real deal . . . and Jude sets off on a quest that will take him to the edges of reality and truth. He learns the concept of true war, wherein the soul must free itself of entrapments, and of the brahmastra, a spiritual nuclear bomb that can wreak havoc on the foes of the fighter who possesses it. His training will take him across the world, from Haridwar to his native Los Angeles, where a power rises that threatens to destabilize the balance of the universe. Navigating through a secret world of cults, spirits, loves and betrayals, Jude embarks on a journey to become a true mystical warrior and defeat the ultimate enemy: that which resides inside himself. . . . The application of Hindu spiritualism to a Western-style urban fantasy novel is intriguing, and Baronas displays ambition in the range of concepts he attempts to address. . . . A high-concept . . . fantasy tale inspired by Hindu teachings.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“WOW! What a wild and informational ride.” – Sylvia Taylor, Author of The Fisher Queen
Adventure of the spiritual path
Highway of Spirits follows the journey of the unlikely mystical warrior Jude Ryder. Seldom do we encounter a more flawed protagonist as Jude (drug dealer, thief, murderer?) as he travels the arduous path toward spiritual unity. This is a mature rendering delving into advanced mystical practices and philosophies. Walking the razor’s edge has never been more difficult as Jude attempts to navigate his path among various practices both light and dark. There are true kernels of wisdom here. Discussions about true war being about ego ring true, so do the various descriptions of the raising of prana (Kundalini). The portrayal of near death experience induced by cobra venom is intriguing. The exploration of calming the stormy ocean of external reality as a necessity to transcend illusion are all interesting concepts. This is all part of achieving “God’s Eye,” a piece of becoming the mystical warrior Jude longs to be. The book has an off- beat, odd balance of innocence and optimism, high energy adventure, and spinning out of control. Can Jude find his way through the many varieties of truth, both real and imagined, while managing not to get caught up in upsetting the balance of the universe?
– Ellis Nelson, Author “Into the Land of the Snows”