Sunday, November 4, 2007

Faith Awakened


Faith Awakened is the tale of two women, both Irish, living in two very different worlds. Both begin their lives in Belfast or nearby Bangor. They both love the beach and the sea, and they are both Believers. Beyond that, their lives take far different turns, as do the circumstances in which they live. The narrative, all told in first person but from two different perspectives, spends a few chapters with Mariah, and then switches to Faith. Any person who has read a few novels knows that there must be a point where the two them intersect in some way, but the question is how and when. The answer comes as a surprise.

The story seems to start in the middle or near the end, as Mariah is obviously in a frantic race with time in a bleak future world. Hurriedly she is rounding up a group of people, putting them into cubicles and hooking them up to something that is painful for a moment. We know their lives are at stake. But why? Are they going into stasis or committing suicide, planning to meet “in Paradise on the other side?” This is the brief introduction.

In Chapter 1, the reader is introduced to Faith as a child. It appears that her life is idyllic, yet something is constantly nagging at her. The nagging feeling is one of the things that kept me looking for some problem to show up eventually in her life. When the story switches back to Mariah, it goes to a time a while before the introduction, when she is a slave to the One World system that is running everything and every one. Basically, in order to get food, the people of the world had to agree to the terms of the powerful leaders, which virtually meant enslavement. One day, a mysterious stranger invites Mariah to a secret meeting of the followers of the Awakener, and her life changes completely. However, there are many twists and turns in both of their lives, more than I can even hint at in this review. I may be somewhat slow, but it took me a long time to suspect the connection between these two women who had such very different lives.

This was a very different type of novel, more like a romance novel on one hand, but very definitely science fiction with lots of technical/futuristic portions. It would appear that Ms. Bridges has done her homework. I love her descriptions of places, especially along the shore near Bangor and Belfast. Really, she does a masterful job of describing people and ideas as well as scenes. I was saddened when a couple of the characters died in some unexpected turns of events. Once I started reading, I honestly could not stop, reading far into the wee hours of the morning. For the most part, it was an easy read, although I became a little bogged down on the technical elements. This is a fresh narrative full of nuances, twists, and surprises. The projected audience is probably adult, but adolescents would be just as engrossed in it as I was. I believe most proponents of Speculative Christian fiction (romance, too) will enjoy Grace Bridges’ first novel.


Faith Awakened by Grace Bridges
180 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4303-1111-9
Publisher: Lulu.com
Copyright: © 2007
Country: New Zealand
Available Nov. 5, 2007 through Amazon.com as well as Lulu.com

2 comments:

Grace Bridges said...

Thank you Cathi for a very "deep" review :) I am collecting links to all the reviews at http://gracebridges.blogspot.com

GarthTrekker said...

Good review. Congrats to Grace on both the book and the blogtour. My blurb and review is up at Bloggin' Outloud. Lyn