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    Steven James
    Thomas Nelson / 2019 / Trade Paperback
    $10.99 Retail: $16.99 Save 35% ($6.00)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 9 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    Stock No: WW5225256
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Displaying items 1-5 of 9
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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    A pretty good book
    October 15, 2019
    Patti P.
    Kestrel, her AI Jordan, and Nick Vernon create an interesting trio to read about. I found the story to keep my interest and attention. The idea of reading a book set in the future with artificial intelligence, and suspense made me wonder about what the book would be like. As a conservative Christian, I had to broaden my ideas to accept a female pastor, but the storyline really worked at some points. However, the idea of a devastating event forcing a Christian to step away from his or her faith is completely believable.

    Jordan, the AI, poses thoughts and questions that cause Kestrel to stretch her ideas and beliefs. The multiple storylines caused me to occasionally lose focus and interest in the book.

    So if you want to read a book set in the future dealing with artificial intelligence and the future, check out this book for yourself.

    I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.
  2. NJ
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    captivating and thought-provoking
    October 13, 2019
    MJSH
    NJ
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    "Life is so precious and brief and fleeting, and... experiencing all that it has to offer without despairing at its brevity truly did lie at its heart."

    Wow, what an incredible and powerful sci-fi thriller from Steven James! This is the first book by the author I have read and I am stunned by his creativity, his flawless execution of a detailed and complex plot, and his seamless and emotion-packed writing style that grips you from page one and doesn't let go. The philosophical, spiritual, and social questions and dilemmas the author raises through an intensely personal look at a world 30 years into the future, where artificial intelligence is so advanced to look human, will linger days after you finish the book. This thought-provoking novel about the essence of human-ness - addressing grief and suffering, faith and hope, love and forgiveness, and the afterlife - will resonate with everyone, not just fans of sci-fi or thrillers. It is one of the most captivating and stirring novels of 2019 and an absolute must-read.

    The story is written in multiple points of view:

    1) first person narrative from Kestrel, a Methodist pastor suffering from losing her daughter

    2) third person present omniscient narrative from Jordan, Kestrel's artificial companion and

    3) third person narratives from Nick, the police officer tracking down domestic terrorists, and a couple of the villains/terrorists working to violently destroy the next innovation

    The multiple points of view bring the plot together on a larger scale and enhance the reading experience rather than confuse or detract. The three major characters Kestrel, Nick, and Jordan are multi-layered and well-developed and their interactions truly tug at the heart-strings. Who would have thought that interaction between an artificial intelligence and a human would bring tears? But be prepared. Jordan is nothing like any robot you've met and he WILL make you cry.

    I received a copy of the book from Thomas Nelson via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Lesson for Humanity
    October 12, 2019
    Mrs ARS
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Synapse was a most riveting read that pulled me into a future that was different but in some ways very much the same as today.

    Thirty years from now AI's are common. There are "purists" terrorists that are against them and do not want the AI's to take over (like Terminator). So the purists decide to do harm and kill people instead. Basically doing what they believe the AI's will eventually do.

    The beginning really smacks the reader with humanity and the fragileness of all of it. Of dreams shattering and hopes failing. Kestrel, a woman pastor, has just suffered a great tragedy and her faith has been rocked. As she is coming home the terrorists strike. She puts aside her own pain and sets out to help those she can.

    However, there is an evil underbelly in the shadows that has some nefarious purposes. And for some reason as the reader must discover, Kestrel is in the middle of it.

    Kestrel is not the only interesting character. Trevor her estranged brother and vice president of the biggest AI corporation and staunch atheist. He sends her an AI by the name of Jordan, who Trevor says is different than the rest. Jordan is a unique character, almost like a Pinocchio. He is not human but he wants to be as human as possible and this in itself raises some interesting questions.

    The other character is a federal agent by the name of Nick Vernon who is trying to take down the terrorists groups. All of these characters and more really made this story unique.

    There is a lot of good nuggets of truth in this story that I just relished and will have me thinking about for some time to come. One of the things the author did was use scripture as part of the story, but never in a preachy way. It flowed smoothly and naturally especially in the face of such pain and suffering and questions being asked.

    I highly recommend this sci-fi novel. It had a lot for the reader to think about on life, God, pain, and hope.

    I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
  4. Nashville, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent Writing that Makes You Think
    October 11, 2019
    Suzie
    Nashville, TN
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    In Synapse, Steven James creates a world of naturals (humans), artificials, and plussers (humans with AI enhancements) thirty years in the future. As readers are plunged into a world ripe with technological advances, political unrest centered around the artificials, and an imminent attack, they will also be challenged to examine their own hearts and faith.

    The perspectives of multiple characters give readers a 360 view while keeping them in the dark as to who the mastermind behind the attack is. I especially connected with Kestral and Jordan in this book.

    James doesn't shy away from one of the most difficult faith questions. If God is God, then why do people suffer? As Kestrel, who is a minister, struggles with her own faith after experiencing a painful loss (in the first chapter), Jordan examines the questions of faith with child-like curiosity and wonder.

    If that's not enough to convince you, James weaves a tale that is concise and engaging, making it difficult to set the book down until the final word is read.

    Disclosure statement:

    I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
  5. OR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Suspenseful Faith-based Sci-fi
    October 11, 2019
    MaryAnn
    OR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Synapse - eBook.
    This is the first Steven James book I've read, but it won't be the last. His attention to detail in his well-constructed futuristic story world brings it to life in a vivid way. Since that period is not so far removed from our present day, the two mesh seamlessly together. The dramatic tale, and the struggles of life and faith it addresses, cannot help but draw the reader in and evoke questions regarding artificial intelligence and how far we want it to go and whether nonhumans could have faith or find forgiveness. The fascinating possibilities in this novel also create potential situations for abuse and misuse--so I don't know if I'd like to witness such a world or not. The characters--real and artificial--seem authentic and well-developed. Nearing the conclusion, I choked up several times, even for a self-sacrificing Artificial. This would make a great book club choice since the story begs deep discussion. Kudos to an author I've heard great things about. I received a copy from Celebrate Lit. All opinions are my own.
Displaying items 1-5 of 9
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