Saturday, November 23, 2019

Book Reviews: Talon of God

Talon of God
by Wesley Snipes and Ray Norman
I had mixed feelings about this book. It started out one way and then immediately went another. At some points it was something less than a book and more like a screenplay. The good part about the book is that it has a particular point of view and strongly argues for that. 

The bad news is that a great deal of the book is not interesting plot development or even fun mindless action but rather pages and pages and pages of theodicy-that is arguing for the existence of an all powerful all good God even though the world is crammed full of evils, big and small, random and deliberate, human and otherwise.

While I don't mind going down the rabbit hole that these questions pose and debating them with people I know and respect that really wasn't what I was expecting or hoping for from this book. I was expecting, and briefly got, a superhero that was very reminiscent of Snipes' best known film role, Blade.

Unlike Blade, however this hero is something of a goody two shoes, whose abilities are not primarily martial, but rather moral and emotional. This paladin is much more interested in faith, forgiveness and love than in smiting evil. He's not quite a pacifist , not running around with a broadsword, but he's pretty close.

In Chicago there's a new drug that just hit the streets. The young attractive doctor Lauryn Jefferson sees the impact of this drug first hand when a heretofore friendly homeless man is injected with the drug and starts to turn into something not of this world. 

However, even though she doesn't know how she did it, with the help of the mysterious sword armed man, known only as Talon, Lauryn is able to heal the homeless man and bring him back to himself. 

Talon thinks that this event is a sign from God. Talon intends to protect the agnostic Lauryn until she finds faith. Talon believes that Lauryn is special and will have a critical role to play in the very near future.Talon confidently states that God makes no mistakes. Lauryn thinks that Talon is too similar to her father, a preacher. Talon gets on Lauryn's nerves with his unflappability.

The homeless man's problems were just the start. The new drug floods the city. Lauryn's ex-boyfriend, Detective Will Tannenbaum, tries to find the source of the drug and sound the alarm, but finds that his attempts are blocked by his ambitious new police chief, Korrigan. 

In the meantime a mysterious billionaire and his callous right hand man have learned that Talon is in Chicago. They intend to ensure that this time Talon doesn't mess up their plans. The fate of all humanity is at stake.

In many aspects this was a mashup of the Left Behind series and the Narnia series, right down to a situation where the good guy sacrifices himself to evil just when all looks lost. Each chapter opened with a quote from the Bible just to make sure that everyone got the point. 

At a little over 300 pages in hardcover, this book won't take up too much of your time. I can't unreservedly recommend it, though it does have its moments here or there.

There are ancient orders of paladins, secret histories and magic swords, so if that sort of thing wets your whistle have at it. There is not much violence in this story. It is intensely respectful of Christian beliefs so if you are tired of writers who portray Christian believers as evil or dumb, you will enjoy this story. You also might enjoy it if you are tired of gratuitous violence or sleaze.
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