Friday, September 3, 2010
Review: Homecoming by Jason Garrett
On a perfect autumn night in the coastal village of Wicker Bay, a young couple was attacked and a life was forever changed. When teenager Nickel Warren awoke she learned her boyfriend, Eric, had mysteriously vanished.... Now, after an eighteen year absence, Eric Kade has resurfaced on Bishop's Island under circumstances as unsettling as his disappearance. Though reunited, Nickel's search for answers is sidelined by another horrific event, more deeply connected to her childhood sweetheart than she can imagine.
Living as a preacher, Eric has traveled the world for nearly two decades hunting demons in a sect named The Progeny. But a chilling prophecy has named him as a threat and turned his fellow hunters against him. With a sense of urgency, Eric has come back to the island not to rekindle the past, but to protect the home he loves from an oncoming war. Relying on the help of a rare group of locals, he builds a network of his own to defend the unknowing against a world he has come to know too well. As he works to prepare a haven, Eric will strengthen his bond with Nickel and introduce her to a world of miraculous events and unholy terror.
This book unfolded in a way I never anticipated. I thought that it was going to be about long-lost loves reuniting as demon hunters and in a way, it was, but with an added religious twist. To be honest, I never expected the religious angle. This was the first book I've come across where a religious figure actually preaches. There have been religious sects and such hunting evil before in the books I've read, but the preaching threw me a bit. You know how you're happily reading and suddenly the plot smacks you in the face like you've hit a brick wall? That's how I reacted to the religious bits. I don't like being preached at and, in my opinion, that hurt the story.
Aside from the religious bent, this wasn't a bad book. There were parts were the plot dragged a little, and the writing could have been more polished, but as a new writer, Garrett shows promise. I did feel confused at times, as maybe explanations had been edited out? For instance, how did Nickel and Brinly go from point A to point B towards the end of the book? Don't want to give away any spoilers, but I felt like I was missing something.
Gave this a 3/5 rating as I did finish the book. There were enough good bits to keep me interested and wanting to know how it all ended to avoid a 2/5. I found myself skimming the religious parts the same way I skim the sex scenes in urban fantasy when they're gratuitous extras that add nothing to the story. I'm sure that wasn't what the author was going for, but there you have it. I'm sorry to keep going back to the preaching, but it really bothered me. Maybe if he had been more subtle about it, then I wouldn't have felt like he was smacking me in the face all of the time? I've read Christian fiction before, but it didn't bother me as much as this book did for some reason. Maybe because it wasn't so in-my-face? I'm trying to figure out my strong reaction.....
Curious how others feel about a story containing both violence and preachy testimonials? Would that put you off at all, or would it make sense as that's how the good guys defeat demons? Would you still be willing to read a story with a strong Christian bent?