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Reviewed by Lex Allen for Readers' Favorite
Book one of the Forsaken Series, The Christ Project is set in the distant future following a great war that left half the earth uninhabitable and the other half a dystopian world firmly in the control of a renegade United Nations with a military enforcement arm once known as NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization). All forms of religion have long since been banned and the practice of any religious ritual (including prayer or the mention of any god) could get you thrown into prison or killed on the spot. When an ex-bishop and recently paroled prisoner visits what’s left of the Vatican, he alerts authorities who pull out all the stops to find him. Marcellus wants to steal the Shroud of Turin to save the earth, effecting the Second Coming with a combination of science and religious ritual. The chase is on!
The Christ Project by Donald Allen Kirch attracted me for two reasons. The first was the premise. I love religious / sci-fi thrillers and the second reason is that I write in the same genre. The premise lived up to my expectations and then some. Kirch writes with a flowing style that leads the reader toward the climax with excellent characterization, plotting, and several sub-plot lines without giving anything away until the very end. All of his characters are true to life in action and dialogue. His knowledge of biblical events, adept word-smithing, and a mix of science fiction with religious prophecy in a future dystopian world brought the story to life visually, an effect often missed by less talented authors. An aspect of the story I would be remiss not to mention is the Deus ex Machina. Most authors are careful to avoid these instances where a problem is resolved without any discernible explanation or reason. Kirch not only embraced it, his Deus ex Machina at the conclusion of the story was realistic, appropriate and perfectly executed. Highly recommended and I’ll be looking forward to book two.