Unlimited by Davis Bunn, companion novel to the soon-to-be-released movie by the same name, is a stand-alone suspense novel set in the Mexican border area around the town of Ojinaga.
Unlimited is a different type novel from what I usually read, and I found it very interesting. While it borders somewhat on science fiction, it's not all that far removed from the realm of possibility. The narrative focuses on two themes: 1) a device that would be able to harness wasted energy, turning it into cheap energy for the Mexican poor, and 2) the people who invest themselves in the children in the local orphanage, inspiring them to reach their God-given potential.
The novel is inspired by the life of Harold L. Finch, who walked away from his career as a NASA space scientist and dedicated himself to the children at the orphanage. I loved this character's wisdom, faith, courage, and love for the children. "The world sees these Mexican orphans as hopeless cases. Born into violence, left without family, lost. But God has planted hope in them. Hope and gifts and a boiling desire to grow beyond where they are. My aim is to help them achieve this." He was also accepting and forgiving of Simon, who initially seemed to be in it for the money and fame.
Davis Bunn did a good job conveying a feel for situations that we often hear about in the news: the US/Mexican border, poverty, drug cartels, and political corruption. They may have been slightly understated in this story, but the reality still came through.
Sometimes novelizations of movies don't work well as a novel, but the suspense, romance, and spiritual elements in Unlimited make for an entertaining read overall. I believe suspense fans will greatly enjoy this novel.
The movie version starring Fred Thompson releases October 11, 2013.
This book was provided by B&B Media and B&H Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.
Simon Orwell is a scientific genius and mastermind. Brilliant in his own right, he has come a long way from his humble beginnings and made something of himself. He has risen above his circumstances and made something of him miserable life even when no one expected him to. And he has succeeded against all the odds. But then he makes a mistake. A really big one. It no longer is about him, but the professor that he has betrayed. And the device with unlimited power that could change the life of so many people.
But as soon as Simon crosses the Mexican border, things start to unravel. The professor is dead, and someone is after Simon's life as well. Hiding in a local orphanage that offers him asylum, Simon meets the director, Harold,who has sacrificed a lucrative career and given his life and resources for children who have no one left in the world. And Simon begins to wonder if his life is ruined forever by his choices. Will he be able to redeem himself and protect his new friends at the orphanage? Or is he doomed to a life haunted by the past that refuses to be forgiven?
This was a different sort of story for me. I've never read a book of this caliber, or this genre. But it was most certainly a pleasant change of pace. The characters were not as developed as I would have liked, but Bunn compensates with plenty of snippets of their pasts. The story was exciting, fast paced, and laced with just the right amount of danger. But there was also the undercurrents of faith and redemption that made me re-evaluate my own life and the possibility of second chances.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
Unlimited is one of the all around best stories I've read in 2013, and I believe that the film that complements this book is sure to be stellar as well.
The characters in this book spark off of the page with real spirit and then shines in your memory after you finish.
Juan, a fourteen year old boy who lives so that the atmosphere around him bursts with joy, and his joy seeps into the people he cares about.
Juan is one of many orphans at Three Keys Orphanage.... a place where the Scriptures guide daily life and the Person of Christ is revealed as the source of the love and peace that are given in this place.
Harold Finch... who had a career in NASA and now runs Three Keys. This man has deep roots of faith that draw from the richness of God's Word, worn hands from working hard and giving to others, and a humble dignity about him that lets him speak wisdom and gentle rebuke without elevating himself.
Sofia. Raised at Three Keys, she stays and serves here because she loves the children and she loves Harold, the man who became father and mother to her.
A woman of fierce and beautiful intelligence, Sofia is engaged to Enrique, the mayor of their town of Ojinaga. Sofia and Enrique together could be a very powerful couple... his commitment to helping the Mexican people has never been seen to waver, and her dedication to the same goal is evident to all.
Pedro, Sofia's brother. Theses characters share an excellent bond... not just blood family but chosen friends too. Pedro is a great character... he possesses a cheerful spirit and genuine faith.
In the film, Robert Amaya (who played Javier Martinez in Courageous) has been cast as Pedro. That made me smile... he was excellent as Javier and is going to be so good as Pedro. My family is definitely looking forward to seeing him in that role! :-)
Simon... what can I say about Simon? Perhaps the most succinct thing I could say is that a very godly and brilliant man, Professor Armando Vasquez, believed that Simon would be greatly used by the Lord, and that Simon was the one who should be trusted to finish the professors last invention and the fact that Professor Vasquez never gave up on Simon means that we have to pay close attention to this young man.
The plot of this book is full of action and tension, and it highlights the culture of a place that has known a lot of tragedy and still has strength: Mexico.
And this book ends with hope... because the Gospel brings hope.
Thank you B&H Publishing for blessing me with a copy of this book through The B&B Media Group!
And now, the trailer for the film.
Unlimited: The Film is at the top of my watch list now.
This novel rose out of a vision to produce a movie called Unlimited. Bunn became involved in the project and crafting a novel tied to the film's release became part of the vision.
The novel opens as Simon Orwell has crossed over into Mexico to deliver his part of a project to his old professor. He is attacked by what appears to be a drug cartel. He manages to hide the scientific device he has with him and escape with his life. He is shocked to find out that his professor is dead. But something is not right. He had been receiving emails from the man recently - after he supposedly died.
Simon realizes his life is in danger and takes refuge in an orphanage. The man who founded the orphanage, Harold Finch, is a man who walked away from a lucrative career with NASA and consulting Fortune 500 companies to serve a higher cause. Harold takes Simon under his care, helping to find out who killed the professor and why. Simon tries to put together the devise the professor was working on - a device that would provide power that could hardly be imagined.
I did not know about the film association when I read this book so read it entirely for its entertainment value. It is a good story about a fellow who made some terrible mistakes in his life, including harming the professor he admired so much. But the professor never gave up on him. He had forgiven Simon and wanted him to succeed. And Simon comes to the point where he realizes his own spiritual need too.
There is some whiz bang physics in this novel after the likes of Tesla. The idea of the machine capturing energy otherwise dissipated is paralleled with the theme of inspiring young people in the orphanage to be all they can be. That "unlimited" theme, "you can be anything you want to be" encouragement came across in the movie promos better than I remember in the book.
As someone with a physics degree (though from over forty years ago), the titles of the book and movie bother me. The power the machine might produce is not "unlimited." There would be lots of energy and it would otherwise be unusable, but the machine would not produce an unlimited supply.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through a publicity group for the purpose of this review.
I'm SO excited because Davis Bunn has written another novel! Davis Bunn writes a fantastic novel in Unlimited. It's includes the drug cartel and lots and lots of adventure!!
We meet Simon Orwell. Poor Simon his whole life seems nothing but an endless stream of wrong choices. But just when Simon is about to give up on his dreams, his old professor calls him about a device he has discovered and he needs Simon's help. Simon has no idea what this device that creates unlimited energy is worth or that there are those who will seek for it.
Of course, Simon wants to help but is this more than Simon bargained for?!? Simon is nearly killed by whom he guesses is the drug cartel. Battered and bruised Simon seeks help and Harold Finch is the only one who seems to want to help poor Simon. Harold Finch runs the local orphanage along with his beautiful sister, Sophie. Simon learns that Harold has given up quite a career to serve God.
Simon can trust few people and there are more secrets than a basketful of weevils. But Simon perseveres because he is determined to find the killer and he wants to know the "why of it all."
The "why of it all" is quite interesting!
An excellent read! Well, honestly, this is probably the best book I've read this summer!
*This book was provided for review by B & B Media*