This blog seeks to promote Christian speculative fiction and theological literacy based on the premise all of life is under God’s rule. As authors of Christian fiction and fantasy, we believe our writing comes under that rule. Therefore, as writers of Christian literature, we have an obligation not to entertain only, but more importantly, to convey clearly and unequivocally the truth of Holy Scripture.
September 2015, Christian Fiction and Fantasy Blog Tour
The First Principle, by Marissa Shrock.
After the Great Collapse and the Second Civil War,
the geographical and polical makeup of Canada, Mexico, and the United States
was reformed by the Council of World Peacekeepers into the United Regions of
North America. Governor Wilkins of the The Great Lakes Regions is about to be
nominated for the presidency of URNA, when Vivica, her daughter finds out that
she’s pregnant. Term law requires that she abort the child, which Vivica has no
problem doing. But she begins to have second thoughts when she is challenged by
her boyfriend and father of the child,
Ben to keep the baby. Ben is a Chrisitian, who acknowledges his sin and seeks
to make things right between him and Vivica and the baby she is carrying.
Keeping the baby would not be an easy task as teen girls are constantly
monitored. However, Vivica does have a knack for hacking into networks and modifying
information, a skill that has been financially rewarded by those whose school
grades were in need of adjustment. She’s able to keep her pregancy test results
negative, but she is up against the clock as time is obviously going to reveal
something that no hacking skill is going to be able to amend.
Christianity is an offense to Vivica, but her continued interest in him, and an
almost unwilling acknowledgement of a commitment to protect her baby, keeps her
from rejecting it outright. To make matters more complicated, Ben is part of
the rebel contingent that is gaining in strength; any commitment to him is to
place Vivica in opposition to her mother and the whole naturalist philosophy
that dominates the political and social structure of URNA.
Shrock has written a tale that takes current-day issues and injects them into a
future that is teetering between dystopia and eutopia. Vivica has to make some
hard choices, any of which is going to place her in opposition to family or
The story is
fairly well-written, though there is one thing that I find very annoying – free
indirect speech. An occasional use is acceptable, but a steady diet can become very
irritating. I do not doubt that I am in the minority on this, but I think it is
a cheap, colorless way to peek into someone’s mind and see what is going on.
Overlooking that, I am quite pleased with Ms Shrock’s writing.
that the strong, and at times tract-like (though artful), presentation of Christianity might be
a source of consternation for some, but frankly, I think it has its place in
Christian literature. If the purpose of a story is to present the Christian
faith in a straightforward, head-on manner, The
First Principle fills the bill. I suspect that is at least part of what the
author had in mind. In concert with that was the subtle and sometimes not so
subtle encapsulation of the social issues of today – teen pregnancy, abortion,
rationale for abortion, the anti-intellectual charge against Chrisitianity,
etc. Some of it may come across as stereotypical and might detract from the
story, but regardless, the issues are laid out for the reader. For those who
are familiar with them already, they might find the novel one-dimensional. But for
the world of teens in which not much thought has been given to the issues, or
in which the party-line has been uncritically swallowed, this story is precisely
what is needed, and it is in that I find its greatest value.
that, but it was very entertaining. An enjoyable read that I have no problem
I am very
grateful to Kregal Publications which provided a copy for this review for the September,
2015 Christian Fantasy and Fiction Blog Tour.