Friday, February 27, 2015

Unbound by J. B. Simmons

I am generally not a fan of end times fiction but I really liked this novel. There are enough unique plot lines, characters and action that it kept me reading to the end, and looking forward to the next in the series.

The year is 2066. The story centers on eighteen year old Elijah Goldsmith. As the novel opens, he is part of a group of those being introduced to the highly selective International Security Agency. He is attracted to another of the inductees. He finds out Naomi is a member of a sect of Christianity, one that has strange beliefs about Jesus and the future. Elijah has been having nightmares of earthquakes and destruction, including a horrifying dragon. When he tells Naomi about his dreams, she asks him to meet with people from her group. They just may have insight into what his dreams mean.

Simmons has done a great job in crafting our world fifty years in the future. The change in world governments is realistic. I liked the technological enhancements to thinking and moving. The haunting ability to inhabit a dead body is certainly a precursor to fulfilled prophecy.

Unlike other end times novels I have read, this one seems very plausible. It does not concentrate so much on the precise fulfillment of end times prophecy as some interpret Revelation. It combines technology, espionage and a budding romantic relationship in a way that makes the novel a compelling read. It includes much about friendship and loyalty so there is the emotional aspect of the story too.

The concept of the events of 1066 initiating a millennium time table was new to me. I liked that different approach. Elijah is a reluctant participant so we encounter many conversations revealing what true Christians of the day believe about possible future events. That was a great way to inform readers about prophecy, especially those not steeped in the book of Revelation.

I would have liked to have seen a little more in the way of character development. I feel like I have not really come to know Elijah and Naomi. Perhaps that will happen in future novels.

I don't often recommend end times fiction as I am very critical of it. This novel, however, has gained my approval. I am looking forward to reading the rest in the series.

J. B. Simmons writes thrillers with an apocalyptic twist. His first series, the Gloaming books, he created an underground city with an exiled prince. The characters in the series champion the philosophies of history's great thinkers and bring them to battle. Simmons lives outside Washington, DC, with his wife and children. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia. You can find out more at http://jbsimmons.com.

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 312 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through The Book Club Network for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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