Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Austin Boyd's The Return ~ Reviewed

The Return
Austin Boyd
Paperback: 491 pages
Publisher: Navpress Publishing Group (July 13, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 157683946X
ISBN-13: 978-1576839461

Back Cover Copy:

Is seeing believing?

With nothing left for him on Earth, Rear Admiral John Wells didn't hesitate to lead a third NASA team to Mars, but he never dreamed that one day they'd look out their laboratory module into the lights of a slow-moving vehicle no their own. In the third installment fo the Mars Hill Classified series, life on Mars becomes increasingly more unpredictable as the past collides with the future, and nothing, not even the dead, is as it seems.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the fate of hundreds, including John Wells' family -- presumed dead these last six years -- rests precariously in the hands of Malcolm Raines, self-proclaimed Guardian of the Mother Seed and Principal Cleric of Saint Michael's Remnant, and his insidious plans for the Father Race.

Wells will find himself in a race against time an all odds to expose the truth: about Mars, about Malcolm Rains, and, if he's very brave, about himself.

My Review:

I need to go on record here...I'm not a sci-fi lover. So when I picked up The Return, the next book on my stack not knowing what to expect and turned to the first scene set on Mars, date 2020, I nearly choked.

This novel is 460 pages long, give or take a few.

But, I had committed to reading the book and writing a review. And since I try to find good things to say in my reviews, I was a little concerned that I could find something good at all to praise.

Then I started reading.

Well done, Mr. Boyd. Boyd nails character, story and believability. I'll admit that there were a few techie spots that I skimmed. Seriously, details on titanium from Russia and DNA strands and windows for rocket launch do nothing for me. But I was seriously impressed with Boyd's skill with characterization, plotting and his solid and sometimes beautiful writing style. He takes the reader to Mars through the mind of a grieving astronaut and into the thoughts and heart of a confused fifteen year old girl, as well as another dozen or so characters throughout this novel.

After a few paragraphs I turned the book over and read all about Austin. Talk about a techie genius...Yikes. But a techie genius who writes poetry.

Not only has he mastered the basics, he has a great touch with realistic spirituality. Though Christian conversions happen within this novel, they are thoughtful and believable and lack the platitudes that have bothered those who complain about unrealistic pie-in-the-sky Christian fiction.

I'm not going to suggest that those who detest sci-fi run out and grab a copy. But I will suggest that anyone who likes a great story check further into Austin Boyd. Very, very impressed, Austin Boyd.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

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