Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Book Review: "The Called" (Justin R. Price)

Speculative fiction is becoming a more widely recognized and very popular genre. One of the most familiar sub-genres is dystopian fiction, wherein the author fashions a world rife with corruption, deception, fear, oppression, tyranny, and the like. (Think Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games trilogy.)

Enter The Called, the first in a series of Christian-themed dystopian novels, by Justin R. Price.

In Price's dystopian world, all religion has been essentially extinguished by the ruling authorities, and a new worldwide government has been created under the direction and authority of a Syrian leader whose motives are not what they seem. Still, despite the oppression of those who espouse any religion at all, Yahweh is still at work, often through some of the most unlikely people and in the most unexpected ways.

The story includes elements of other sub-genres, including science fiction, apocalyptic, futurism, and thriller/suspense, seamlessly blended with Price's long-standing knowledge (personal and professional) of the Christian faith and its tenets.

Told in vignettes, jumping from the perspective and experience of one character after another after another to maintain tension and interest throughout the book, the story is well-crafted and shows a great deal of potential to attract and keep readers riveted.

Follow such characters as John, former Navy SEAL, who has been missing from his wife Maggie's life for months; David, who leads an underground movement of believers in an attempt to overthrow the corrupt government; Liam Cain, President of the United States, who has fallen under the influence of the Syrian ruler; brilliant scientist Charles, a widower after his wife Erica died of cancer, and Charles's colleague Nick; friends Abbie and Jenna; and secret believers Noah and Joanna and their prophetically gifted son, Ryan.

If I had two wishes for the novel's improvement, they would be as follows: first, that one more main character be determined and his/her perspective and story become more the central focus, to give readers someone with whom to sympathize and for whom to cheer in a more personal, less harried way; and second, that a future edition be subject to a close proofread to clear away the typos and errors, which prove unfortunate distractions in an otherwise intriguing work.

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Author: Justin R. Price
Title: The Called
ISBN: 978-1505264760
Purchase here:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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