Sunday, December 9, 2012
The Prophet by R.J. Larson
Ela, the Infinite, and Ela's crippled sister, Tzana, embark on a journey save a foreign nation- both on the physical level, and the supernatural realm. Ela learns to embrace her role, but as with almost all things worth doing, it is not easy. To make things complicated above her difficult role, it seems as if the Infinite is leading her to break her duties as prophet.
Prophet starts out as a nice, poetic book. In fact, the whole book is quite poetic, really. I was able to picture every scene beautifully and down to details. Mentally, this book started out with a quiet, cinematic scene. My anticipation was instantly heightened. A little further in, and the story began to trail a predictable path, but still a pleasant one with promise. A little further, I loved the wondrously descriptive scenes, and then, smack. It sort of hit me at once. "Oh!", I thought, "This is supposed to be in the setting of the Middle East!" That thought really gnawed at me as I searched to confirm my theory, until it was dis-proven? Or was it? For the rest of the time I read the novel I was stuck trying to figure out the true setting. The setting was simply too vague and seemingly unsure of itself. I feel a map and definitive border lines would have helped. As is, the story had an almost eerie, timeless-and-lost sort of feel to it that didn't seem to blend with the story.
Another frustrating element was the predictability of the characters. I don't think a single one surprised me. I did care for them a little for a while, but their monotonous and perfect paths eventually bored me. There wasn't really much true conflict, curiosity, courage, or creativity; leaving them to be composed of naught but words. By the end, I had lost interest, and any plan of following the remainder of the story. If anything, this story seemed more like a collection of feel-good short stories and poems.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House, in exchange for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.