Broken Angel: A Novel - eBook  -     By: Sigmund Brouwer
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Broken Angel: A Novel - eBook

WaterBrook Press / 2008 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 9780307446343
ISBN-13: 9780307446343
Availability: In Stock

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Sigmund Brouwer's world of the future will be a harsh one. No longer united, the nation has divided into Appalachia, a world of technocratic religious Inquisitors who keep the people living in the 19th century through torture and technology, and the Outside, where Christian witness has been erased and genetic experimentation abounds.

Both societies are harsh ones for misfits. Caitlyn, Brouwer's Broken Angel, is a misfit, a freak, whom her father, Jordan, has taken to Appalacia to protect. However, the government Outside has found out about Caitlyn and has sent an agent to pick her up inside Appalachia. In cooperation, the Appalachian government has put Mason Lee, their most violent and successful bounty hunter, on Jordan's and Caitlyn's trail. When Jordan sacrifices himself to help Caitlyn escape, Lee's dogs tear up Jordan so badly that he dies on the table before he can be resuscitated by the local doctor for the outside agent, Carson Pierce, to question.

On the run, Caitlyn acquires two other "freaks." Young numerical whiz Theo Balder, although nearly blind, has unusually sharp hearing. He has escaped from the punishment factories and would rather die than return. And big, gentle Billy Jasper has been set up by Mason Lee for an arson and murder he didn't commit. With Lee and Pierce closing in on them, Caitlyn, Theo, and Billy have no choice but to flee to the dreaded Clan where they may find freedom, captivity, or even death.

Science fiction is a rare genre for Christian writers. If the best science fiction raises questions, Brower has written a great science fiction novel. He combines fascinating characters, a suspenseful plot, DNA manipulation, and big questions. With our country currently divided over life issues, what will it look like in 100 years? What could science do with DNA manipulation? Once they begin experimenting with cloning, where will it end? How will it affect those who are experimented upon?

However, some of Brower's message seems to attack those Christians who have become involved in the political process, at the same time lamenting their absence on the Outside to prevent the very philosophies and movements that they attack now: "Outside, most people knew that decades ago, the religious fundamentalists lost their ability to transform society when they became a political movement. Their boycotts and protests were so commonplace, any outcry against anything beyond the narrow range of what they saw as Biblically acceptable was dismissed as a knee-jerk reaction. Once Appalachia was established, no one opposed liber- alism and humanism Outside." (p. 194)

This contemplation makes sense in the mind of one of the Outsiders, but I find it troubling coming from the major "mature Christian" in the book. I don't know of any fundamentalists who want to take over the country using torture, technology, and illiteracy.

The other troubling element of the story is more confusing than a problem. After reading the section several times, I'm still unclear on the ending: How the Outside government found out about Caitlyn and how Appalachia captured the Clan. Brouwer may have given this reader a little too much credit for catching on, but some of the ends he tied up raised more questions than they solved. Perhaps the sequel will clear these issues up.

All in all, Brouwer has written a fascinating story with a setting reminiscent of 1984 or Brave New World. Science fiction fans who enjoy Michael Crichton's stories would enjoy this read. Brouwer gives us a thought-provoking look at what DNA experimentation may mean in the future. -- Debbie Wilson,

Publisher's Weekly

In this addictively readable futuristic Christian dystopia, Brouwer (The Last Disciple) takes readers inside a state run by literalistic, controlling fundamentalists. There, reading is a serious crime; citizens are drugged into submission; and those who break rules are either sent to slave labor factories or stoned to death. Occasionally, a few brave souls try to escape to “Outside.” At the center of this novel is Caitlyn, a disfigured but graceful and brave young woman whose father essentially orders her to make a run for it. For reasons not revealed (even to Caitlyn) until the very end, she is chased by a variety of people who want her dead or alive. While trying to escape, Caitlin meets up with two traveling companions who have their own reasons for fleeing, and she is aided by a sort of underground railroad. Its leaders believe the fundamentalist government has distorted true Christianity, so they risk everything to help people get Outside to freedom. The terrific pacing is surpassed only by the character development; the many supporting characters are extremely well-drawn. Brouwer adds even more suspense by regularly revealing that some of these characters are not who they appear to be. (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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