(Note: For a chance to win a copy of this intriguing science fiction novel, leave a comment at the bottom of this blog. I’ll draw a winner on Weds., Aug. 26.)
Although I really liked this book, I did find a few minor inconsistencies, such as people not being where they were supposed to be at the end of the book.
(SPOILER ALERT. If you don’t want to read the spoiler, skip this paragraph. If the people were returned to the place they disappeared from, there’s no way Owens’ family would have been at Rice University to greet him. Also, in retrospect, I think the ending was in some ways predictable. The story ended in the only place it could have in order to be tied up in a nice neat bow. But at least I didn’t have to worry about any loose ends that way. For some readers I know this is a critical ingredient to a good book, so they would be quite happy with the ending.)
Other themes in Offworld: There is definitely a theme in Offworld that focuses on the light–a blindingly bright beacon that beckons our heroes forward. They know somehow that it is only at the source of this light that the truth will be discovered. And so they struggle on toward the light in order to find the truth. The link was not made overtly, but it reminds me of our world where Christ is the Light. If we will race toward the Light, we will certainly find the truth there.
One other theme that I found particularly heartening centered on a reassurance that we are never alone. Throughout the book the characters find strength in each other again and again.
(BIG SPOILER HERE. If you don’t want to read the spoiler, skip this paragraph. In the end, Mae, the girl who never had a family, chooses to sacrifice herself for her friends, and finds as she crosses the border into eternity that she truly is not alone either.)
Overall, I found Offworld to be a mostly enjoyable read and I would not hesitate to read other books by Parrish. I like the pacing and easy flow of his writing style and his ability to keep the story moving forward rapidly without leaving me behind.
Who is Robin Parrish?
As a journalist, Robin Parrish covered pop culture and entertainment for 14 years. In addition, he has previously authored the recently published Dominion Trilogy (Relentless in 2006, Fearless in 2007, and Merciless in 2008). Parrish is a full-time writer residing in North Carolina with his wife and son. He reportedly is no stranger to pain–both emotional and chronic physical pain–experiences which bleed over into his writing in themes of the transitory nature of human existence. He professes to have been influenced by various speculative and SciFi television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, The X-Files, comic books like Spider-Man, Avengers, and Runaways, and movies and movie makers like Star Wars, Pixar Animation Studios, M. Night Shyamalan, Christopher Nolan, Bond, Bourne and others. Parrish is now working on two additional novels, scheduled to be published in the summers of 2010 and 2011.
ADDENDUM: I would like to correct an error I made above in the first spoiler alert paragraph regarding Owens’ family. Please see Robin’s note in the comments below. I apologize for the misstatement.
To see what others have to say here are links to their blogs:
Brandon Barr, Jim Black, Justin Boyer, Keanan Brand, Gina Burgess, Canadianladybug, Melissa Carswell, Valerie Comer, Karri Compton, Amy Cruson, CSFF Blog Tour, Stacey Dale, D. G. D. Davidson, Jeff Draper, April Erwin, Karina Fabian, Linda Gilmore, Beth Goddard, Todd Michael Greene, Katie Hart, Ryan Heart, Becky Jesse, Cris Jesse, Jason Joyner, Julie, Carol Keen, Krystine Kercher, Dawn King, Melissa Meeks, Rebecca LuElla Miller, Mirtika, Eve Nielsen (posting later in the week), Nissa, John W. Otte, Lyn Perry, Steve Rice, Chawna Schroeder, James Somers, Speculative Faith, Stephanie, Rachel Starr Thomson, Steve Trower, Fred Warren, Elizabeth Williams
For more information on Offworld, see: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0764206060
Robin Parrish’s Web site – http://www.robinparrish.com/
Robin Parrish’s Twitter blog – http://twitter.com/robinparrish