Bill Myers was one of the first Christian SF novelists from among "CBA" publishers whose story made me go, "Wow, that was cool!" That first book, which I read 15 years ago, had a mildly disappointing ending (but what led up to the ending rivetted me). Well, now it's cool the CSFF blog tour is hosting his THE GOD HATER.
I'm still in the midst of reading it, and so a review will not make it for the tour--will come later. But I notice what is the same from that first experience with BLOOD OF HEAVEN--yes, the initial reason I enjoyed his writing is the fast pace. THE GOD HATER has a nice clip.
I can get easily bored these days with films and books and tv shows. Maybe middle-age onset ADD. Who knows? So, the writing has to be gorgeous, or the characters fascinating, or the pace nifty, or the plot twisty and wild to hold me . I don't have the patience for meandering "seen that before" stuff anymore. I need something to keep me from drifting off or roving over to another tome.
Here, it starts with a cable news talk show skewering of a Christian author by a philosophy professor and avowed "God Hater"--which will give you flashbacks to any number of similar real life events. The "God Hater" main character will remind some of Richard Dawkins on a cranky day, I suppose, or Chris Hitchens (who, Lord love him, is always entertaining and sometimes quite impatient and skewery). Profoundly anti-Christian/anti-religion. The character doesn't make us wanna root for him, until we get more of a glimpse into his life (lonely, reclusive) and issues. His snappy-comeback interaction with Annie, possibly his only friend (a colleague at a university). I like how they go back and forth and the affection that binds them all the same. The professor's computer whiz/hacker/rascal of a brother definitely gets the conflict ball rolling--with the FBI and Homeland Security in for the fun. There is a virtual reality world that is brutal and is the "fantasy" feeling portion of the story, and this is as far as I go.
I think for ADD readers who want to get on with things, the pace works. I don't think it's giving anything away that we expect our "God Hater" to soften in his stance if not altogether flip his position.
Myer's prose is not lyrical or particularly deep, but it keeps things moving along unobtrusively, and in a thriller/SF book, that works fine for me if the story interests me. Keeping it lean and clean is fine.
Some of the quips/comebacks will feel very much like what you've read in apologetical mass market books/brochures. (Well, so far. Granted, I'm not even halfway through.) The author does advise us in a prefacing note to look into the science and theology ourselves, not to depend on him for full depths and total accuracy. :) Shoot, I'd do the same for any work of CSF fiction.
But I can tell you that it's hard to put down. I WANT to know what comes next, so after this post, I'm going back to my reading. That's saying something...
OH...and Bill is serializing my fave of his novels (THE FACE OF GOD) and you can read it here.
author site, or like the Facebook page, or buy the book. Note that the author site does have excerpts. Yay.
Or, if you're like me and love your e-readers--latest gen Kindle and NookColor (OMG, so great, and I read most in this format)-- find it in these formats:
And you can read some of the novel on Google Books.
Do kindly drop by the blogs of my tourmates:
Thomas Clayton Booher
Morgan L. Busse
Carol Bruce Collett
CSFF Blog Tour
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
I bought the book with my own moolah from B&N for my NookColor. I am not paid to do this promo, and I received no free book. Just saying... :)