Splashdown Books (July 1, 2010)
I must start by saying that although Faith Awakened, Grace’s first novel, was a book that appealed to my tastes, this is a very different book. Grace is a talented writer but this particular book was difficult for me to get into. Please remember however that my opinion is purely subjective and a matter of personal tastes. Grace is a talented author and as usual her work shines with it’s own unique brilliance. This book reflects not only the individuality of it’s creator but the nature of The Creator who gifts each of us with original creative abilities suited to our personal talents.
Mario and Caitlin have spent their entire lives on a regimented and “emotionless” planet by the name of Monday. Their clothing, skin tones, routine, and dorms are uniform throughout the residents. The Baxters (rulers) manage everything via mindwipes when their “worker’s” emotions exceed acceptable limits as programmed in the emo-reader chips implanted on each person. When Mario begins to hear a disembodied Voice giving specific instructions as well as making what seem to be impossible promises, he wonders if he is becoming irrational and how soon he will be wiped again. When he starts mentioning these experiences to Caitlin she is leery of the truth and worried that he’ll have to start over yet again. It takes very little time before the Voice instructs him to voluntarily get taken for a wipe and indicates that Caitlin will as well. The Voice also says that they will both be freed and escape the wipe. The Words from the Voice become a litany that both Mario and Caitlin use frequently during their journey traveling through space to a series of unique planets. Although they settle in expecting some of these places to provide more than just a provisioning and rest along the way, the Voice reminds them It has not yet given them directions to settle in these places. Although they receive the next set of instructions to move on at the end the readers merely understand that they are enroute to yet another planet with no indications of a final destination but rather the sense of an ongoing journey on which they will eventually lead others.
Mario and Caitlin struggle as many of us do with trusting the voice as well as one another. They also encounter many of the emotions and desires humans experience along their life journey that can lead to detours (sin) which draw them further from the Voice (God). Grace’s allegorical tale although seemingly concluded in this volume is still in progress as are all of our faith and life journeys. The Voice only provides the next step when it is time to take it. As Mario and Caitlin must continue moving forward until the new directions are dispensed, so must we all continue our personal journeys between each set of instructions. Grace has even used her character’s experiences to illustrate that God communicates with each of us in unique ways specially suited to our individuality. (ISBN#9780986451720, 310pp, $10.95)
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