Friday, November 07, 2008

Book Review

Leaper, by Geoffrey Wood.

This is a surprising read coming from a CBA publisher. Well, technically, WaterBrook Press is a division of Random House, so maybe that gives them a little more freedom. Hmmmm.

Anyway, Leaper tells the story of James, a recently-divorced slacker who finds one day that he has the ability to teleport himself. Or as James views it, the ability to leap from one place to another. But to paraphrase Spider-Man, with great power comes great pressure, great stress, and great disappointment. And in James' case, it also comes with great soul-searching, seeking out of God's will, and the occasional run-in with the police.

I enjoyed the light tone of the novel, the sense of humor that Wood brings to James and his predicament. As a writer, I know that ideas are a dime-a-dozen, execution is a little tougher, and ending a novel well is quite difficult. Ienjoyed the ending, as it actually wrapped up the story -- there is a temptation in super-hero stories to set up the character situation for ongoing adventures. Wood avoids this temptation, which I appreciated.

There are two distinct ways that this novel does not fit into the CBA model -- again, as a writer, I appreciate this, and it gives me hope for some of my more unusual ideas. First, there is not a salvation scene anywhere in the story. And second, James is a (moderately faithful) Catholic, and gains much wisdom from his priest. Both of these traits I found refreshing.

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