Monday, July 23, 2007

Fearless - A Study in Ambiguity

One day someone offers you a ring that will give you superpowers. However, you have to leave your old life behind totally. Later you discover that the one's offering you that "gift" may be part of an evil organization who have their designs on how you use those powers.

That's the premise of Robin Parrish's
Fearless. The main character, Grant Borrows, is the grandson of one of the members of this secret and possibly evil organization. Grant is chosen to be "The Bringer," but isn't told what he is to bring. Grant joins with several other ringbearers as part of a looseknit organization which becomes a type of "league of superheros" who help out in various places where disaster strikes. And disaster strikes way too often in these difficult days.

Fearless is an action packed adventure ride that never stops. The action begins in the first chapter and continues right to the cliffhanger ending. Be forewarned, if you read this book, you will want to read the next in the series which won't be out until next summer.

The action is great, but the characters make this story. They are varied and complex. Take Payton, for instance, he seems to be working for both sides. Eventually, he comes over to the lighter side, but he brings dark ways with him. His bloodlust doesn't mesh well with the moral high ground taken by "the loci." However, in a disturbing, yet unfortunately, realistic way, at times it is overlooked (hopefully temporarily) in pursuit of "the greater good."

This ambiguity permeates the book. Grant uses his powers for good, but he ends up bringing destruction by accident. He is fighting against the "Secretum," an evil society dating back seven millennia, but he is the one they believe will bring about the culmination of their plans.

In fact, the loci itself reflects this tension. They are given rings of power by a potentially evil group, yet they try to do good with this power. This raises the eternal philosophical question can one do good using the tools of evil without negative consequences. It is almost Faustian. Faust seeks knowledge, but sells his soul for it. And when a flame leaps up in front of him, Mephistopheles observes, "You are bosom friends with the devil, yet you shrink from the flame."

Of course, the power may be neutral. Like fire, it might be used to cook dinner or burn down the house. This ambiguity gives an added dimension to the story making one hungry for the next book which will hopefully answer those questions.

My only criticism of the book is that it almost moves too fast for my tastes. You end up feeling almost breathless. Breaking up the major action scenes with some character development ones would be more to my taste. But on balance, I found the book to be enjoyable, thought provoking and a fine addition to my personal library.

You can read more about the author at his website and his blog. You can order the book here.

Read what others are saying about this book at the following blogs:

Trish Anderson
Brandon Barr
Wayne Thomas Batson
Jim Black
Justin Boyer
Grace Bridges
Amy Browning
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
Lisa Cromwell
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
D. G. D. Davidson
Merrie Destefano
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Andrea Graham
Russell Griffith
Jill Hart
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Christopher Hopper
Jason Joyner
Dawn King
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Rachel Marks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
John Ottinger
Robin Parrish
Lyn Perry
Cheryl Russel
Hanna Sandvig
Chawna Schroeder
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Daniel I. Weaver


Blogger Becky said...

Excellent post, Terri. You reached past the fast action to the point of the telling. Good thoughts!


July 23, 2007 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger GarthTrekker said...

Nice review - I think I'll have to read the first one first though as I like to know all the back ground, etc. Thanks for your comment at my blog. I have a 3-part Q&A with Robin at Bloggin' Outloud though that readers might like. Lyn

July 23, 2007 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Justin B. said...

I really wish I had read the first book which I have just ordered for overnight shipping. So what I am hoping to do is read the first book tommorrow and review it by Thursday!

July 24, 2007 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger karen_m said...

Very nice post, Terri. I didn't get to read this one before the blog series but the more I read about it, the more I want to! I love books that are willing to use a bit of tension/ambiguity in their heroes, and trust me, those books are hard to find in much of the Christian fic-dom.

Now I just need to find a copy.


July 24, 2007 at 3:53 PM  

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