I loved the details of being obedient to the infinite with constant protection. This book amazed me. I quickly read all 3 books, each equivalent in greatness. I loved the romantic, adventure and comedy all put together. I sincerely hope she will continue the series or do others. 5 stars to RJ Larson!
This is the first book I have read in the Christian Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre and I would have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised. I prefer to read books based on historical fact, not fantastical imaginings. However, the author did a wonderful job creating a believable world and relatable characters. I found it easy to fall in love with each character, but especially with the heroine, Ela of Parne and her unlikely friend, Kien Lantec.
The author did a great job creating a fantasy world that was still believable. The events in the story are very similar to events during the time of the prophets in Israel in the Old Testament. R.J. Larson's goal in this story was to make the Old Testament prophets come to life in a fantasy-like world. I liked the parallelism between Old Testament events and this story.
I think my favorite part of this story was how often Ela prayed/talked to her Creator. Though "God" is never mentioned (He is referred to as the Infinite or Creator), I loved how close of a relationship and communion Ela had. She is constantly conversing with her Creator in her thoughts. She brings up more than just her worries and concerns, but her conversations are about little details of her life as well. This story was inspiring and humbling for me, realizing I do not talk to my Savior nearly as much as I should if I really want to KNOW Him. I find myself aspiring to have a better relationship, and this book helped me to see that.
Another aspect of this book that I really liked was what drove Ela to bring people to repentance. She experienced what life would be like if God withdrew His presence from her life. God grants us each breath, it is because of Him that we exist. In the story, Ela is allowed to briefly experience life without Him...it is agonizing and terrible; an idea of what eternal separation from God is like. This drives Ela to share her Creator's love. How often do we forget that God is our reason for living? We get so prideful and confident in our own abilities that we forget we are nothing without God. How many times do I take the credit for the things happening in my life? In fact, God deserves the glory for it all, not me and my "abilities" which are God-given anyways.We need Him; we are His created in need of our Creator. And yet, He gave us free will to choose to love Him, we were not forced to love Him. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. This message was also displayed loud and clear in this story.
The only thing I would have to critique about this book is that, in my opinion, the author uses "visions" excessively throughout the story. I think they are a neat element, but a bit unrealistic. Yet, in the story, the Infinite does not always answer her questions, or grant her a full and complete vision. He knows what she is capable of handling and doesn't give her every detail.... partly to build trust and partly to protect her. I feel as though the visions were overused, and would have liked to have had less of them in the story.
In summary, I really did enjoy this book. I would encourage fans of Christian Sci-Fi/Fantasy and history guru's to read this series. I was very surprised and glad I expanded my horizons a bit to encompass this story. I look forward to Book Two of this series, and hoping that the author refines her storytelling even more.
I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Prophet is such an interesting read. On one hand, the author has created this awesome world that springs to life with great characters from Ela's little sister Tzana to Kien to the destroyer called Pet. Think a knight's horse with a temperament & character attributes of a fiercely loyal dog who could kill you or love you to death. Then on the other hand, we have the Old Testament parallelisms.
I had a mixed reaction to the story. I LOVED aspects of it and then disliked other aspects, more specifically the OT parallelisms. I love allegory, but the similarities to the events in the Bible took me out of the story a bit.
That aside, the book was amazing. Right from the beginning with the snow of ashes, it drew me in and I wanted to know more. Very good, tight writing. The characters' dilemmas and possible future endeavors had us debating on what the author might have meant regarding a certain "prophecy" and us looking for some loop holes. ;-)
That said, I look forward to reading the rest of the series, once I'm mentally prepared for: