Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eternity Falls

Title: Eternity Falls

Series: Rick Macey #1

Author: Kirk Outerbridge

Genre: Cyberthriller

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Eternity Falls:

Too close.

Horns and screeching tires yelled at him from behind. Rick Macey counter-steered, sliding the silver Lexus sideways before nearly sideswiping a cab. He tuned his neural net to the local traffic satellite, its overhead image minimizing in the corner of his vision as he careened through another intersection in the turbocharged sedan.

Pouring rain turned the city streets into tar-black mirrors. Traffic signals and holographic billboards reflected in a disorientating array of flashing neon and laser light. He forced his eyes to see through it as he neurally shifted gears, plowing through a hazily reflected red light—rain pounding his car top in a snare drum roll.

Artificial adrenaline heightened his senses. He warned slower vehicles with a constant blaring of the horn, weaving restlessly behind them like an Indy car driver waiting for the pace car to pull away. Finally he spotted open roadway ahead on the traffic-sat. He punched the gas, wiper jets barely maintaining visibility as the methanol engine roared and his speed increased.

100 . . . 120 . . . 130 . . .

No way was he letting the killer get away.

Not this time.

A retired colonel investigates the death of a woman medically treated to live forever.

Craft: What makes a great read? Is it a premise so unique you just have to pick up the book to find out where the author is going with it? Or is it a plot that keeps the pages turning? Perhaps it’s those characters who loom larger than life in the mind of the reader or prose that sings in the ear.

Whatever the magical formulae are, Mr. Outerbridge has touched upon it with Eternity Falls. For his main protagonist, Rick Macey, does stand out in the mind as larger than life. This plot does keep the pages turning with ever increasing stakes. The premise does intrigue. And the result is a fun and satisfying story.

Content: The premise of Eternity Falls poses not only a good story question, but also implies a fascinating question spiritually: What if you could live forever?

As a result, much of the content circles around the concepts of life and death. What is the purpose of death? What does it mean to live? How do repentance, salvation, man’s free will and God’s will intersect with that? And while Eternity Falls draws some conclusions in the end, it takes the long road around, allowing the reader to see the many facets of the issue.

For other content issues, there is a fair bit of violence as you might expect in a thriller, described in a straight-forward manner but not dwelt upon. There are also a few explicit sexual references, from prostitution (escort services) to rape, though no sex scenes are portrayed, and a woman is stripped to her underclothing by the villain for one sequence. The only other notes I would make is that there seems to be implied the intention of a marriage proposal between a Christian and a non-Christian, which is anti-biblical. However, the issue is left open-ended and unresolved enough that I may be reading too much into it.

Summary: A great story, Eternity Falls has some great spiritual threads which are truly wrestled with (no pat answers), but also some high violence and sexual references. These latter elements aren’t over the top or out of joint with the book, but as a result, I probably wouldn’t recommend this for readers under sixteen. Otherwise it’s a great read, with extra appeal to guys and readers of thrillers.

Ratings: Craft—5, Content—3, Overall—4.1 out of 5

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