Friday, January 11, 2013

City of Dreams

At this point in time, I have read through nearly the complete fiction library authored by Stephen Lawhead. There was one last book that I had skipped, but I finally got around to reading it. The fact is that I really enjoyed it, but I do not recommend that you read it. That book is called City of Dreams, co-authored by Stephen Lawhead and his son Ross. Let me tell you about this work.

This story represents a modern retelling of the early part of the New Testament, set in New York City. In this world, the Christian savior has not yet come and humanity still suffers with all of the burdens of unforgiven sin that it did 2000 years ago. In City of Dreams we read a story about the nascent rise of the lamb. It was an interesting idea that continually made me draw parallels between the biblical account and the characters in this work.

The story involves Alex Hunter, a special agent for the iron-fisted world government organization ICON. Hunter has been assigned to infiltrate a radical terrorist cell that poses as a religious, anti-establishment activist group. Hunter continually seems one step behind the interlinked web of politicians, police leaders, and organized crime. He stumbles upon hints and suggestions of a deep-seated corruption, but cannot make full sense of any of it. He no longer knows who to trust, the ICON leadership, the police chief, or the governor. All seem to be chasing something just beyond his understanding. Somehow the death of a vagabond prophet named Washer John leads Hunter to a humble and perplexing man named Joshua Jones who seems to have drawn considerable interest from a number of disparate forces.

The story was interesting and reasonably well written. So, why would I not recommend this book? Well the answer is that this book was written as part of a trilogy. The second book entitled Rogue Nation and the third book entitled World Without End were written but for some reason the publisher decided not to put them out and the project was shelved. The Lawheads claim that they are still trying to find some avenue for their release, but they are not making any progress. This situation is a shame, especially for those the readers who were left hanging.