Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Last night I finished reading Fearless by Robin Parrish. And I came away from it ... well, a little disturbed, truth be told.
It's funny, this is the book that kind of shamed me into making sure that I always read the books for the CSFF Blog Tour. A year ago, we featured this book and I had to sheepishly admit that I hadn't read it. I was intrigued by what other people had to say and so I added it to my list of "books I gotta read at some point." Since then, I've made sure to get my grubby little hands on every book we're going to review as part of the blog tour so that I wouldn't have to plead ignorance.
Having read it now, though, I wonder what I would have said a year ago.
The premise is still intriguing. Grant Borrows, the prophesied "Bringer," and his team of Ringwearers are acting as superheroes as the world spirals out of control. They use the powers granted to them by the Rings of Dominion to try to keep people safe, all the while trying to figure out what plans the mysterious Secretum of Six holds for them.
On the plus side, Parrish crafts some very action packed sequences. It's almost like reading an action movie. He also weaves in some great mysteries and answers most (but not all) of the reader's questions, thus keeping them satisfied but also getting them on the hook to read Merciless, the final book in the series.
But for all of its good points, there was something that bothered me about these books that I finally hit on as I finished this one. God seems to be completely absent from this so-called Christian fiction. As near as I can tell, there's only oblique references to God every now and then. And I can't recall a single instance of anyone talking about Christ.
Now I'm not saying that I expect a full sermon in every Christian fiction book I read. That would turn me off. But by the end of this book, it was almost as if Parrish were simply borrowing from Biblical stories, lifting concepts and ideas as he needed them.
And maybe I'm reading into it too much, but it almost seemed like Parrish was advocating some sort of "bootstrapping" spirituality, that it's all up to us and the choices we make. It almost seemed like Parrish was cribbing from a pop psychology book rather than grounding his story in any sort of Christian theology.
Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe I missed it. Or maybe Parrish is saving the Christian stuff for the final book. From a story standpoint, this series has been an interesting ride. From a faith standpoint, not so much.