December 03, 2016

The Remnant by Monte Wolverton - A Review

I don't really know what it is about dystopian futures that intrigues us, but judging from the popularity of books like The Hunger Games, 1984, and The Giver, not to mention numerous video games (like the only "real" game I can play - Fallout!), we are drawn to the worst.  Perhaps it is an appreciation for how wonderful things really are now, or we like to have our worst fears confirmed, that we are spiraling downhill to a horrible future.  Either way, humans are drawn to dystopian novels, movies and games. 

Monte Wolverton has given us a fresh look at the apocalypse in The Remnant.

From the Publisher:

In the year 2069 the Apocalypse came and went, but Jesus didn’t show up, as some expected.
Instead, a cataclysmic war, natural disasters and pandemics eradicated 90 percent of earth’s population. Now, in 2131, a totalitarian government rules the world from the majestic, opulent capitol of Carthage, Tunisia. Blamed for igniting the war, religion and religious books are banned. Citizens who will not renounce their religion are sent to work camps.

Grant Cochrin, imprisoned in a bleak petroleum camp in what was once North Dakota, leads his family and friends to escape and embark on a long, dangerous quest for a Christian community. Their resource in this journey? A cherished page torn from the now banished Bible—a remnant of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount handed down from Grant’s grandparents.

The Remnant is a good book.  It was a page-turner, I read it in only a couple of days.  The pacing was great, something I have learned I value in books.  I don't like them to drag on, I like to have forward motion.  No matter how well developed your characters, or well thought out your storyline, if the pacing is slow, I probably won't finish the book.

Character development is adequate.  When it comes to Grant, the main character, and his best friend, you can see lots of growth and change.  Many of the other secondary characters are not as developed as they could have been, but not to the detriment of the story.  It was difficult to connect with the characters for some reason, but I can't pinpoint why.

The story is really good.  It makes you think a little bit about religion, and why people worship in the ways that they do.  God's hand in their adventures is always present, whether in obviously miraculous ways, or just in meeting the right people at the right time. 

I have two complaints about the book:

One: There is an unnecessary remark degrading the King James Version Bible, and those who feel that it is the most accurate English version of the Bible.  As someone that prefers the KJV, I found this to be rather insulting. 

Two: The ending.  I am not going to tell you the end, no spoilers!  While the ending was interesting, it was not neat and tidy, wrapping up all the loose ends.  I am the kind of person who wants all the answers at the end of a book or movie.  I like the epilogues that tell you what every character in the story is doing now, or better yet did with the rest of their lives, which this does not do. 

Overall I would say that The Remnant is a well written book that many people would enjoy. 

I was given a free copy of this book in order to write an honest review.  All opinions are my own.


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