Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Books read in 2012: No. 5 - Antarktos Rising

by Jeremy Robinson

Started: January 17
Finished: January 25

Notes: This novel was actually a present from my family's minister while I was in the hospital a few weeks ago. It's a signed copy, so I'll make sure to give it back when finished, even though it was a gift. It's an interesting sounding plot, with the world in turmoil after continental shifting and Antarctica now a lush land ready for the taking by the world's governments.

Mini review: This author can write. His story moves along at a good pace, and I was never bored. His characters are pretty good, though a bit simplistic, in my opinion. All that being said, I had a couple of beefs with this novel. First, as a Christian thriller this novel fell into a trap I've run across in similar fiction; basically, when the big bad villains from the Bible show up, the characters all run around thrilled that the Bible has finally been proven true beyond a shadow of a doubt, yet they seem less worried about all the death and destruction going on around them. I'm exaggerating to some extent here, but not by much. I myself hold to basic Christian beliefs, but I also think God is much more subtle than we give him credit, and I also believe that being excited about the end being near and that all the sinners are about to get what's coming to them is a sin before God. Christians are supposed to be caring and loving, especially toward those they consider their enemies; for those who don't believe me, read the Bible, and not just the parts that back up some personal agenda. Secondly, I was quite disgusted with the ending. The story was going along well, then suddenly the main plot is all wrapped up in the last 20 pages while two major characters are stuck with chump deaths that don't even happen "on screen." However, despite my misgivings and my strong feelings about the religion topic, yes, I would read this author again. I wasn't turned off by his writing, and he did include an explanatory note at the beginning of the novel to point out the opinions of some of his characters were not his own. As a writer myself, I understood and didn't necessarily need his explanation, but I thought it was a nice touch and could help to open the eyes of some of his readers.


Virginia Llorca said...

Am I doing something wrong or is the mini review actually just a semi colon? This one looked like it might be interesting.

Ty Johnston said...

Virginia, you're not doing anything wrong.

Sorry, my fault. I usually put the mini review up after I've finished a book. I will say, however, I'm about a fourth of a way into the story so far and it seems well written.

Keith said...

Ty, I meant to read this post when it went up but got sidetracked by all things I had to do to start the semester. I hope I'm not too late to the conversation.

I wanted to let you know I appreciate and agree with what you said about Christian fiction. Being a Christian myself, I likewise have some problems with the genre. Aside from the fact that too often the authors sacrifice the story for a sermon, you're absolutely correct about cheering for the sinners getting what's coming to them being a sin. The God I worship doesn't want anyone to perish but all to be saved. Jesus wept not only over Lazarus but also over Jerusalem right before he was crucified. I wish more of his followers, myself included, had that attitude. Anyway, thanks for stating it like it is. It's nice to see someone who doesn't have an us-against-them outlook.

Ty Johnston said...

Thanks, Keith. I keep feeling like I was overly harsh with the author of this novel, but then again, those were my impressions upon finishing it and I can't imagine I'd be the only one. I'm not turned off by Christian fiction in general, especially in historical literature, but sometimes it rubs me the wrong way.

Odd thing, I basically have Christian beliefs and study several different versions of the Bible on a regular basis, but I don't feel comfortable calling myself a Christian in this day and age. And it's not because I fear the ridicule of those of other beliefs.