Book Review: Jesus Skeptic

Jesus Skeptic

My Rating – Put it on your list

Level – Easy, moderate length (300ish)

Summary
The subtitle does a good job of laying out the premise of the book. As a trained skeptic (journalist) he looks into the impact of Christians and into the credibility of the claims for Christ. The latter is a kind of a classical apologetics for Christ, while the former is more of a modern defense and response to some of the attacks against Christians today.

The book is broken into three parts – Skeptics Welcome, Measuring Christianity’s Impact on Society, and The Most Influential Person – as well as preface, intro, conclusion, and three appendices. The first part is autobiographical and how he came to start exploring Christianity. As an aside for this section, I didn’t like his capitalization of ‘primary evidence’ or him treating the term like it was new or proprietary. The second part looks at things like scientist who were Christians during the scientific revolution, the early Christian efforts to care for people which led to the creation of hospitals, as well as the establishment of public education and Universities. The final part is mostly classic apologetics – did Jesus exist, what did he do, what did his followers believe about him.

My Thoughts
This is also a little nit-picky, but the subtitle doesn’t match the order of the next parts in the book. He explore impact first. Of course most early schools were started to train pastors, and public schools were established to teach literacy, so that people could read the Bible. He takes this to combat the attack that Christians are anti-intellectual today, and as general evidence of the goodness of Christianity (especially with hospitals). He is a little all or nothing in that approach, because there are certainly anti-intellectual Christians, and many of those are big in the home school movement and the general attack on public school that exists today (all with no trace of irony). He has a chapter on the scientific revolution, and the impact of Christians who were important scientist. The stories are good and the evidence of their belief is pretty clear, but I don’t think it will have the apologetic impact he seems to think it might. Similarly, he focuses on abolitionist and slaves that were Christian, but I think attacks on Christianity will only focus on defenders of slavery (which he does acknowledge) or generally doubt the validity of the slaves beliefs.

The final section is the best part of the book, and probably the most useful for young or new Christians. Proof that Jesus (the person) existed is overwhelming and not in dispute in academia, I think the only doubters are internet Atheists, but he does a good job displaying the information from sources outside of Christianity. A common attack against Christian beliefs is that the Resurrection and Deification of Christ were much later additions to the established Church (despite clear evidence to the contrary in the Bible). I think the Divinci Code makes this claim, so it is pretty popular now. Of course there is non-Christian written evidence by Jewish and Greek historians written a few decades (not centuries) after Christ that state that Christians claim Jesus was raised from the dead and that they worshiped him as a god.

The final chapter alone is worth the book. The middle section is good. It is important for Christians to know their history and the impact we’ve had on the world, but the apologetic aspect of the last part is of greater importance. As a church, we’ve done a poor job education our people and this is especially true in history and apologetcs. The books is really well written and very accessible. My hope would be that it would spark some interest in Christians knowing more about ourselves and better able to defend attacks. If you are starting this topic, or already interested, this is a book to add to your list.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Bible Tells Me So…

The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It

My Rating – If you are looking for something

Level – Medium length, easy read (Enns is an academic, but writes for a popular audience)

Summary
In some ways it is a little difficult to summarize this book. This is one of his few books that is written entirely for popular audiences, and he uses a unique form/structure, so it bounces around some. If you are familiar with Enns, there won’t be too much new here. For the most part you are getting some higher criticism, difficult passage in the Old Testament (as in, both things we just don’t like and unclear Hebrew), Jesus reinterpreting the Old Testament and changing the Law (because he is God), and Paul doing the same (in light of the resurrection).  The first chapter is autobiographical and touches on the subtitle of the book, but the following chapters mostly fit into the above outlines.

There are seven chapters – I’ll take door number three; God did what?!; God likes stories; Why doesn’t God make up his mind?; Jesus is bigger than the Bible; No one saw this coming; and The Bible, just as it is. The last chapter is a mostly summary and concluding remarks. Each chapter is broken into short (usually just under 5 pages) writings on anecdotes or individual passages form the Bible.

My Thoughts
If you never read any of Enns, this book could be a good places to start. If you have read most of his other books, maybe pass. Alternatively, if you want a summary of this book and response you could read Longmen’s Confronting Old Testament Controversies. You do get a little bit more of the his life story in the first chapter, but I was expecting more on the subtitle. I thought there were be more a thesis regarding our hyper focus on arguing/defending the Bible, and then the impact of that on how we read it. I agree with the former, and was really hoping on my insight on the later. However, often the subtitle and sometimes in the the title are written by the editors/publisher. I might have passed if I had know how small a part of the book this idea was.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. I really like Enns as a writer, his style is short and funny. Everything is very readable, almost like a large compilation of blog posts (but better/more organized). There are points with which I disagree, and some of his translation seem a little too lose, making them lead more to the point he is trying to make than a stricter/better interpretation. It wouldn’t be a the top of my list, but if you’ve read a good bit about OT issues/problems/’contradictions’ or the way Jesus/Paul change/reinterpret them and you are still looking for something, this would be a good option. He has an appendix of notes and further reading from people who agree and disagree with him.

2020 Reading Challenge

I didn’t not reach my goal last year, so I’m trying to be even more realistic this year. I was really torn on setting the goal at 12 or 15. Going with 12 really seems doable, but that isn’t very challenging is it? So, I’ll try to push myself and get the 15 I’d like to read. I have 10 laid out already, one more fiction that will be one or the other depending on which one is in stock at the Library this weekend. The other four will be some combination of the many books on my past few challenges that I have not gotten to yet, a book I want to borrow from a buddy, and ARC books (which, I really plan to ramp down this year).

Non-fictionGödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, at 822 pages, this is the second biggest book on my list for this year and one of my top five life goal, big book, non-fiction books to pick up. I started it last year, and only went a few chapters in, it isn’t really the amazing book I had heard, but maybe it picks up. If not, it will be the first major book I’ve given up on. If I have time, I want to get to is The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, which is a book I bought for Mrs. MMT a few years ago on the advice of MxPx front man Mike Herrera

Biography/autobiographyA Full Life: Reflections at Ninety was on my list the last three years, but I didn’t make it to it, so I’ll stick it back on this list. Thankfully, Jimmy has hung on with me.

Fiction – At 864 pages, Anna Karenina, will be my biggest book this year and the third longest single volume fiction book I’ve ever read. This was on my list last year, but Mrs. MMT stole it; however, she did enjoy it. Next up for fiction is either Dune or The Gunslinger. I’ve heard good things about both, and I always like sci-fi, but even better, they are both intro’s to long series, which is nice because I don’t have to think about what to read next. Not sure which it will be, heading to the library with Sprout this weekend and I’ll grab which ever they have. Rounding out fiction for the year will be The World’s Great Short Stories, because I like short stories.

Christian-y type books – Only four books are planned in this category this year, though this categories tends to be the largest due to ARC books and loans from friends. Technically, I’ve already one (Jesus Skeptic). The other three are The Meaning of Marriage by Keller, which is supposed to be one of the best and one my community group may do. One we’ve already started is The Great Divorce. Another book I’ve had on my list for a few years is Speaking Truth in Love, so I fully intend to finally knock that out.

This category is also good for my unplanned mostly due to ARCs, but also my long list of books I’d like to read such as Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand, Basic Christianity, and Church History in Plain Language. I also have the idea of potentially read reading Prayer (Keller), which is something I rarely do.

Commentaries, Theology, and Language – No big commentary this year and Greek for the Rest of Us, will, unfortunately, remain on the backburner for now. The only goal I have this year is Foundations of the Christian Faith (Boice). I’ve read chapters of this at various time for different studies of Theology, but I’ve never sat down to read the whole thing cover to cover, despite it being the one I recommend to people. Boice was a pastor, so this volume is less technical than others, while still being thorough (740) pages. To that end, it is on the list because Mrs. MMT wants to study theology, so I am reading it with her.

Time permitting, I’ll finally knock out Five Views on Biblical Inearrency. This has also been on my list for about three years, and it has been awhile since I’ve been able to read one of the X Views on… type books, so maybe I will be able to get to it at some point.

Devotional – I read the Bible last year (ish), so I’m back to a true devotional. It must be the year of Keller for me, so I’m doing Songs of Jesus, which is a devotional based on the Psalms. I did a devotional/commentary on Psalms a few years ago and really enjoyed it.

That is it for this year, hopefully life will permit me to get to these.

 

2019 Reading Challenge Review

TL;DR – Fail.

I had 20 book on my 2019 Read Challenge, 16 that were specifically called out and four that were TBD’s, overall, I only hit 10 (depending on how you count) with only four that were on my specific list. Turns out that a twin pregnancy, and actually having two infants, is a bit more tiring and time consuming that I had originally thought. Who knew?

I didn’t get to many on my list, six of them I never opened, but two I started and didn’t finish. One was Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, which I’m a few hundred pages into, and may actually give up on. It is well written, and kind of funny, but it is long and tedious and incredibly repetitive. I know people on the internet love this book, but I’m either too dump or too smart, so I guess I’ll never know. It sounds funny, but the other book I didn’t finish was the Bible. Specifically, the M’Cheyne reading plan, which I’ve written about before and generally liked. This year, however, I didn’t like it. So, there will be a forthcoming post about the pros/cons. I also didn’t have 30 minutes to read the Bible each morning as I had hoped. I feel good that I read all the parts that I wasn’t sure I’ve read before, so at least now I’m confident I’ve read the Bible in it’s entirety.

Here are the books I did read:

The Rise of Endymion (reviewed) – Final book in the Hyperion Cantos series. Somewhat of a weak ending, but overall on of the great Sci-fi series I’ve ever read.
Just After Sunset – Collection of short stories from Stephen King, who might be favorite fiction writer of all time. The stories were hit or miss, but mostly good, with one story line making it into my nightmare, so that is a good sign.
Einstein Never Used Flashcards – I’ve had this book on the list of a bit, but thought it had more to do with that 3-5 range for children. Instead, it is more broadly about how small children learn, starting as young as six months. It has a lot of cool experiments you can run on your own children.
New International Greek Commentary on Mark – I’ll have a review of this later, but a different kind than usual with thoughts on the other two-three commentaries I skimmed.
Knowing God – Short study on the attributes of God, even better than I thought it would be. Still need to review it.
The Bible Tells Me So – I still need to get a review out for this, but I was little disappointed. In some ways, if you’ve followed Enns at all, there was knowing new, and the subtitle (how defending the Bible left us unable to read it) was less a part of the book, and therefore less challenge, than I anticipated.
12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You (reviewed) – This was an interesting read after reading Irresistible. I wouldn’t say it is necessary a Christian take on it, but maybe how we should react as Christians. It is also specifically focused on smart phones.
Confronting Old Testament Controversies (reviewed) – Probably the best book I read this year, would recommend it over The Bible Tells Me So.
The Power of Christian Contentment (reviewed) – This was one of the few ARC titles I read this year, and providentially came at an important time in my life.
Narrative Apologetics (reviewed) – Another one of the ARC books I received this year.
A Christmas Carol – I’ll probably put of the review of this book until December, for obvious reasons. I know the story well, I watch two-four of the movie adaptations every year and have done so for decades. I’ve even seen this play (as an adult, I think it is the only one I’ve ever seen). It is one of my all time favorite stories, and now one of my favorite books.

So, that’s it for me this year. I’ll reload a few more on to the 2020 Challenge and see if I can do better this time.

Top Post’s of 2019

Doing a top post’s of a year is what all good, lazy bloggers do at the end of the year. This is actually only the second one I’ve done because I didn’t know until last year that WordPress gave me all these stats. Anyway, overall, this year was a little better than I thought. I had the least post since I started taking the blog a little more seriously back in 2016 (I had over 100 post that year), with only 16. I was happy to see that my views/visitors were actually higher than 2017, but dipped from last year (63 post and almost 50,000 words). I think this is due to finally have some legacy past, some that keep showing up in search engines. For instance, Sapiens led in 2017 and 2018, despite being posted in 2016; it dropped to 11 this year. This has led to an interesting impact, as no a single posts I actually wrote this year made it to my top 10 viewed post this year. So, here it is, my most viewed posts of 2019:

Book Review: We’re Pregnant
Book Review: Disciplines of a Godly Man
1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11
Book Review: Imperfect Disciple
Book Review: Darkness is My Only Companion
Book Review: Five Marks of a Man
Book Review: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
1 Thessalonians 1-2:12
Cheat Sheet to the Minor Prophets
Book Review: Practicing the King’s Economy

Unsurprisingly, seven of the 10 were book reviews. For my review last year, I noted that these are the majority of what I did, and also the most popular, and that I should do more of them. Yet, my goal was to actually do less and focus on more original content, however that didn’t really happen this year. Of the seven book reviews, six were in the top ten last year (Five Marks of a Man being the outside), which I think must have more to do with the popularity of the book than with what I have to say about it. What was surprising, where two of my seven part Thessalonians, series were in the top 10, and my Cheat Sheet (which was my intro) to the Minor Prophets made its way up there, despite being written back in 2016. The Minor Prophets series (which I never finished) and the Thessalonians series are probably the two series/set of writings I’m most proud of, so it was cool to see them pop up. 

Of posts actually written this year, I’m Still Here was number one. I would think the page view would skew heavily towards things written in the January, but interestingly, while 2019 Reading Challenge was number 3 (and my second post written), my 2018 Reading Challenge review (first post written) was the least viewed of the year. Maybe bad timing.

I’ll post one prediction for 2020, I think the Review I did this year for Confronting Old Testament Controversies will be up there. It is a great book, and I hope it takes off. So, that is it for 2019. I appreciate everyone who has read or commented on my posts. Thanks for playing along, I’ll try to do better next year.

Book Review: Narrative Apologetics

Narrative Apologetics

My Rating – Probably not worth your time

Level – Short book, but difficult read with academic style and assumed advanced knowledge of apologetics

Summary
Narrative apologetics as a concept is essentially using stories as an apologetic and even evangelistic tool. Not the ‘major conversion’ testimony style, but more of fiction stories that show longing and comparing that to God’s story or something like the exile to explain how we live in the world today.

The book is broken into seven chapters – Introducing Narrative Apologetics, The Theological Foundations of Narrative Apologetics, The Practical Application of Narrative Apologetics, Biblical Narratives: Opening Windows of Perception, Strategies and Criteria for Narrative Apologetcs, The Christian Story and the Meaning of Life, Handing Over: Developing Narrative Approaches to Apologetics. Additionally, there are roughly 20 pages of notes to end the book.

My Thoughts
I’ll start by saying the content of the book isn’t as bad as my rating may suggest. Where it fails is being related to a popular audience. I could be wrong, that might not be the target audience for this book, however, when you write a book that is under 150 pages, I have to think your goal was to reach a wide array. I’ll start with the good, though. The content is solid, and the strength of the book is the Biblical Narrative and The Christian Story chapters. I think these are the best in explaining what narrative apologetics is and what to do with it.

However, the book just feels off. It doesn’t feel like a stand alone book. I seems more like an intro chapter in a large tome of apologetics. If you have ever read one of those 900-1,300 page academic systematcs, you’ll know that ‘theology proper’ intro is usually around 100 pages (which this book would probably shift two with large page size).

As you can tell by the chapter titles, the book is also written in a very academic style. There are numerous citations on every page, a good bit of the in this chapter we will..and we have seen… to begin and end the chapters, and of course the typical academic repetitiveness. The chapters don’t necessarily stand on their own, but still make references to other chapters yet still summarize. So, even as short as it was, it could have been edited even shorter.

Again, the content is pretty good, and could be worth reading if you know what you are getting into. If you buy the book to get an academic intro to a larger concept, I think it could be alright, but as an attempt to reach a popular audience, I really think it missed. If you are interested, I’d just search around and see if there is a shorter academic paper or a popular talk/interview he has done on the topic and maybe go from there. As it is, though, the book just probably isn’t worth your time.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Book Review: Confronting Old Testament Controversies

Cover Art

Confronting Old Testament Controversies

My Rating – Must Read

Level – Moderate difficulty (good knowledge of OT and history, but written for popular audience), medium length (about 300 pages)

Summary
The content of the book is straight from the title, reviewing controversial passages from the Old Testament. Longman is an Old Testament scholar, so there is much of his own research and writing on his view, but he interacts with at least 2-3 opposing views/books on each subject.

The lay out of the book is the introduction (un-paginated, but y’all need to read it) then the four controversies (Creation & Evolution, History, Divine Violence, Sexuality) and then an epilogue (he titles ‘Final Word’). Each chapter is broken into three or four subsections with a conclusion at the end and an excurses or two along the way. The other chapters are probably clear, but ‘History’ refers to the Exodus and the Conquests.

My Thoughts
The only real critique I have is probably an issue for the publisher, the subtitle list Evolution, Sexuality, History, and Violence which neither matches the order of the chapters, nor is it in alphabetical order. Not sure why they chose they order they did, and maybe it doesn’t bother anyone else, but here we are.

I think books like this will only become more important as we move further in our post-Christian world (at least in the West). The subtitle of Enns’ The Bible Tells Me So… really explains our situation: ‘Why defending Scripture has left us unable to read it’. This was the way I learned about the Bible in high school, and I hear much of this way of thinking form people today. This is especially true for the first two chapters (Creation & Evolution, and History). People want to rush to defend it in a modern way against modern critiques and ignore what the point was (and still is) from a theological perspective when it was written thousands of years ago. I should note if you like Enns, Longman was his professor at one point and interacts with his book in this book.

I believe strongly that everyone should have this book for the first two chapters alone. I fear one reason we argue the way we do about Genesis and early books is it is just simpler. We don’t want to reason, or read, or understand something beyond the basics, most ‘literal’ understanding. This book would do well to challenge both people ‘for & against’ some of the readings of the early books of the Bible.

The Divine Violence section was maybe the weakest, but I think it is still an important one. Some of the most basic attacks from New Atheists are based on things like the so called genocide and cosmic child abuse. While this isn’t as strong as other sections, it is well worth interacting with, if for no other reason than learning more of the other side. Similarly, there probably isn’t much new for most people about Sexuality. The Bible is pretty clear, and most arguments against this perspective come down to personal preference (E.g. I think it is fine if they love each other, who cares?, etc.) However, this section does give some good verses as well as the whole picture throughout the Bible. Maybe more interesting than that, it also puts the spotlight back on us and challenge the fact of polygamy in the Bible, which was fairly challenging.

As I mentioned above, this really is a must read for anyone who wants to take the Bible seriously. If we care about the Bible and want to understand it (and views against it), we need to interact more with controversies and other hard aspects that challenge our understanding or reading of the Bible.

 

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Power of Christian Contentment

The Power of Christian Contentment: Finding Deeper, Richer Christ-Centered Joy by [Davis, Andrew M.]

The Power of Christian Contentment: Finding Deeper, Richer Christ-Centered Joy

My Rating – Put it on your list

Level – Quick, Easy

Summary
The book is broken into four parts – The Secret of Contentment, How to Find Contentment, The Value of Contentment, and Keeping Content. Each section is contains two to four chapters, for a total of 12. The two chapters of part one, set out the foundation of the book. He refers to The Rare Jewel of  Christian Contentment, a collection of sermons by Puritan pastor Jeremiah Burroughs. In the second chapter, he points to Paul and all he suffered, and to the well known verses in Philippians 4, where Paul states that he has learned to be content in all situations. Davis refers back to The Rare Jewel and Paul’s writings throughout the rest of his book.

My Thoughts
I think overall this is a pretty good book. I’m always hesitant to recommend a book that seems to just expand on another book (other than the Bible). The cynical side of me would say skip this book read Rare Jewels instead, especially because you can find it for free online. That said it is written by a Puritan and (at least the copy I found) isn’t updated English. In addition, Burroughs could not have imagined the power, let alone prosperity Christians find themselves in today, so an update is needed.

The strength of the book, and probably worth the read on it’s own, is Chapter 10, Contentment in Prosperity. This is the main issue with the American Church today, and he has a good bit of stats and convicting challenges in this chapter. I’m not big into marking up my books, but I had to make notes on a few pages on this chapter.  I think he makes an important call to Christians. Usually, the call to contentment is in a time of less, but he points out the ‘abundance’ we currently have, and yet we are still not content (on the whole), so we seem to be doing something wrong.

This chapter, along with the commentary on a Paul and the distillation of the classic, Rare Jewels, this is a book to put on your list. If you are specifically interested/concerned with contentment, this is probably (outside of Paul) you best bet to get started. Davis is a strong writer that goes deep, but keeps it accessible to a wider audience.

* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Good Metal Friday 2019

I post the guys all the time, but only because they have the best content of any Christian Metal out there. This song is taken/based on a quote from the puritan John Flavel. See the quote below, watch the video, listen to the song, and think (maybe even ponder) and the bargain that Christ made for us. He took on our debts, our sins, and trespasses, and paid them all, paid them in full; with his blood. He drank the cup of God’s wrath, that we would have everlasting life.

Today, on Good Friday, we commemorate His death, His propitiation of our sins, that we me be seen as blameless before God. His death was the substitutionary atonement for our sins. He took our place, so that we can have a place with Him, as adopted sons and daughters of God. Reflect on this tomorrow, as we await the commemoration of the resurrection and think of the hope we have.

“Here you may suppose the Father to say when driving His bargain with Christ for you.The Father speaks. “My Son, here is a company of poor, miserable souls that have utterly undone themselves and now lay open to my justice. Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them.” The Son responds. “Oh my Father. Such is my love to and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally I will be responsible for them as their guarantee. Bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they owe thee. Bring them all in, that there be no after-reckonings with them. At my hands shall thou require it. I would rather choose to suffer the wrath that is theirs then they should suffer it. Upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt.” The Father responds. “But my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must reckon to pay the last mite. Expect no abatement. Son, if I spare them… I will not spare you.” The Son responds. “Content Father. Let it be so. Charge it all upon me. I am able to discharge it. And though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures… I am content to take it.”

  • The Works of John Flavel, Vol.1, “A Display of Christ in His Essential and Mediatorial Glory”, 42 Sermons, Sermon Number 3, “The Covenant of Redemption between the Father and the Redeemer”, Use 6.

 

Book Review: The Rise of Endymion

The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion)

This is the final book in the series, check out my review of the other three – Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion, Endymion.

My Rating – Must Read

Level – Easy, Long (just over 700)

Summary
This is a nearly seamless continuation of the story from Endymion. Raul, after having separated from Aenea, continues on his own journey with the end goal of meeting back with her as planned. Captain de Soya is brought out of exile and commanded to continue his pursuit of Aenea as the Pax, the Church, and the Core all seek to capture her. As the final story in the Cantos, this is where they all come together and finally meet, and the story concludes with two big twists, one is you didn’t see coming, and the other, which was underwhelming, see below if you don’t mind spoilers (if a book published over 20 years ago fall under spoiler protection).

My Thoughts
The beginning of this book is so smoothly integrated to the prior in the series that they must have been written together. That being said, he may have intended this book to be two. For one, it was over 700 pages, but striking, it seems rushed at the end. By the last quarter of the book, he has over 2,000 pages of story written, and the story-line endings are wrapped up much too quickly. This is particularly true with the Shrike and the final scenes of Aenea.

After being the focal point, in some ways, of the first two books, the Shrike might as well not exist in this story. He plays a few roles in the early and middle parts of the book, but this is essentially written out. This might have been by design, but it is left up to the imagination exactly who/what he is. We know he is from the future, and seems to switch sides, but it never become clear who actually sent him. His ending doesn’t necessarily feel rushed as much as it does that the whole of the story and Simmons himself, just moved on.

The other issue I had, and this was certainly due to rushing, was the ending with Aenea. At this point, we are four books in, thousands of pages, and we are clearing reaching the apex of the story arc, and then, it is just…over. The attack, they fail (as she states throughout the book, so not a spoiler) and she dies. It is maybe a few pages and very much anti-climatic.

That’s not to say the book isn’t worth reading, it is a great book, I enjoyed a good 500-600 pages of it, but it is just a bit rushed at the end. On its own, I might rate it at three (maybe a four, as there are some trippy sci-fi thoughts in here, such as falling in a gas giant planet, and how long you can fall and still be in the atmosphere), if you are looking for something, but if you’ve read the other three, you have to finish it. It really become a must read.

Spoilers
There are two twist/surprise endings as I mentioned above. I’ll start with the bad, the future time that Aenea and Raul spend on Earth. It was just kind of dumb. You start to see it coming, especially the more they talk about her child and how she can’t talk about it. The bigger issue is, it doesn’t work with time travel. That doesn’t need to be so many months, it can appear as a second, because it doesn’t actually exist in regular time. The other twist was incredible, did not see it coming at all and is maybe worth these two books on their own. Simmons could have developed the idea of Watchers a bit more, or gone into some more, like I said, he seemed a little rushed, but having A. Bettik be one, was just brilliant writing.