Friday, May 16, 2008

Another Review 3-Fer

I've been a bad boy for the past couple of months. I've been reading (as I always do), but I haven't been blogging about the books I'm reading. So I need to play catch-up on the three books that I know for sure I've read.

We'll start with Relentless by Robin Parrish. The funny thing is, I blogged about the sequel a while ago without having read it or Relentless. So I figured I'd better play catch-up.

If you aren't familiar with the Dominion Trilogy, it centers around Grant Borrows, an ordinary man who finds himself trapped in an incredible problem. He's no longer in his body. He's been "Shifted." His mind has been transferred into another person. More than that, he apparently has some incredible powers that he now has to learn to harness.

As if all that wasn't enough, Grant finds himself the target of a shadowy cabal, for they believe that he is the Bringer. Can Grant pull together the other people who have been Shifted and face down the people who are pursuing them?

Overall, this was a pretty good book. There was a lot of action and kept the plot moving pretty quickly. The story itself is very reminiscent of "X-Men" or "Heroes," so it felt like very familiar territory to me. The real downside to the novel was its familiarity and the glut of characters that occupy Parrish's story. There were simply too many to keep track of. I almost didn't want to keep reading this series. What salvaged it for me was the revelation of where the Gifteds' rings came from. So now Fearless is sitting on my TV, waiting to be read.

Next up is Enoch's Ghost by Bryan Davis.

This is the second book in Davis's Oracles of Fire series, the follow up to his phenomenal Dragons in Our Midst series. It follows the adventures of Sapphira, Walter, Ashley, and Karen, as they struggle to take down Mardon, an evil scientist who is trying to, for lack of a better term, cause all hell to break loose. Mardon, it turns out, is the son of Marduk, the man who tried to build the Tower of Babel, and is now trying to complete his father's work.

Davis's writing is clear and engaging, but the problem is, at this point, the story is so complex, it's a little confusing. It's been a long time since I read the DiOM and Eye of the Oracle. As a result, I was floundering for a little while even after reading the handy recap of the previous plot.

My only complaint is a theological one. I'm all for dancing on the edge of a tree branch in terms of speculative fiction. My worry is that Davis has leapt off into the unknown by speculating about what happens to aborted babies in the afterlife and so on. I had no problem recognizing this as speculation. I just worry that the kids reading these books might confuse fiction for Gospel truth.

And finally, we have Saint by Ted Dekker.

This one bugged me althought I'm partially to blame.

I want to make this clear: Ted Dekker is a great author. I love his story telling ability. He creates exciting, action-packed scenes that keep me reading and engaged. I could easily see these being adapted into movies and doing very well.


What bugged me is the fact that this is a sequel to Showdown (which, in turn, is a sequel to the Circle Trilogy) and I had no idea until about a third of the way in.

Now I realize I'm partly to blame for that. I suppose I could have looked it up on Amazon and seen that this is listed as Book #2 in the Paradise series. Or the very tiny print on the spine that labels this as part of "The Books of History Chronicles" could have clued me in. But hey, I bought this at a bookstore; why would I go to Amazon? Or why would I inspect the spine so closely? It would have been nice if there had been some warning, because once again, I was a bit lost trying to remember who all the characters were and how they related to each other.

I'm not saying that Dekker should stop writing books in this universe. I don't mind it at all. I just wish he'd give us fair warning that that's where we're going.

So there you go. Three for the price of one. And that price is free. Can't say no to that, right? Hopefully I'll be better about posting reviews in the future, but it might be a while. For some reason, I decided I had to re-read The Lord of the Rings.

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