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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Christ Came From Croydon is a snapshot of what our world could look like in just a few short years. Author John Redstone bases his story in Canada, in the mid-twenty-first century when the world has devolved even more sharply into the “haves” and the “have-nots”. Whilst most of the population is struggling to merely survive and find enough food to eat, the “one percent” is still content, living in their gated communities and lacking for nothing. Not surprisingly, revolution is in the air worldwide, led by three very different organizations and three very different leaders. We have “The Movement” led by the enigmatic and secretive John Smith. The Movement’s aims appear to be world peace and unity achieved with the minimum of violence and destruction, working without and within the system to achieve such but still prepared to resort to terrorist activities to try to make the world governments pay attention. Second is the more violent and anarchist TFT (The Fundamental Truth), a splinter group of The Movement hell-bent on the violent overthrow of the world governments by the proletariat and the installation of a communist-style world government. Finally, we have the quiet, unassuming Russell Morgan from Croydon, England who has taken on cult-like status, calling for an end to all violence and for world unity. Many call Morgan The Messiah and his followers are as devoted to Morgan as early Christians were to Christ. These movements are funded, it seems, through stock-market manipulation and investment analyst Keith Cole, working in Toronto for the Bank of China, finds himself caught in the middle of an immense and violent power struggle between these competing entities.
For me, Christ Came From Croydon was a fascinating insight into a world that we seem to be hurtling towards with gay abandon at present. Author John Redstone’s creation of a world not too far from here has the ring of truth about it and that’s partly what makes it so appealing and compelling as a read. The idea that the “sheeple” will not continue accepting being second-class citizens to the one percent forever is seductive and the author did a tremendous job of portraying a world run on corruption and greed that was literally falling apart at the seams. I thought the use of current politicians and celebrities in the infrastructure names was a clever ploy and linked the present to the future beautifully e.g. Boris Johnson Airport, the S.S. Obama, etc. etc. The story is fast-paced and full of twists, turns, and not a few “red herrings”. One thing I took out of this story was that rather than the gender gap closing, as one would expect over the next few decades, in fact, it may well be that women could easily be marginalized to an even greater extent, with males having even greater freedom, power and sexual license than before. The main character, analyst Keith Cole, was written perfectly and would be readily identifiable by readers as really just an “average joe”. Yes, he was better off than the majority of the population but he was not in that elite class and the author portrayed him well as a bit of a lost soul just struggling along each day, trying to make sense of the crazy world he found himself in. I liked that there was a door left at the end for a possible sequel, should the author choose to go down that road. If you like a book that challenges you to think a bit and look at your world with different eyes, you’ll love this story. A great read that I can highly recommend.