An atheistic philosophy professor, befriended by a Christian microbiologist, pulled into a secret artificial intelligence project by his brilliant computer programmer brother.
This is the frame upon which The God Hater is built.
Nicolas Mackenzie is a selfish, skeptical old curmudgeon of a philosophy professor who turned his back on God after the death of his son and wife. His only two friends in the world are Aristotle, his loyal golden retriever, and Annie, a fellow university professor who seems to understand him better than anyone else. When his taxi is commandeered by a stranger who claims to be a U.S. Homeland Security agent, Mackenzie’s world is turned upside down, never to be the same again.
Annie Brooks, professor of microbiology at UC Santa Barbara, found a friend in Mackenzie when she was shunned by her Christian friends for becoming an unwed mother. Now against all odds, Annie mothers her atheist friend who has found a soft spot in his heart for Rusty, her five-year-old son. As friends and colleagues, Annie and Mackenzie keep a bantering rivalry going at the university that pits the philosophy professor’s atheistic ideology against Annie’s belief that the universe was not formed randomly but by the hand of an intelligent Creator. Individually, Mackenzie seeks to destroy the faith of every Christian student who enters his class while Annie makes sure to point out to her students how incredibly improbable the theory of random evolution is. After hearing of Mackenzie’s wild taxi ride and then finding herself being shadowed by unknown persons, Annie finds a protector and confidant in handsome Homeland Security Agent Matthew Hostetler. Is it possible that he is attracted to her as she is to him?
Travis Mackenzie is the polar opposite of his brother Nicholas. Not only is he an irresponsible shifter, he’s also a brilliant computer programmer working on a secret project, something Nicholas–someone who doesn’t use even a telephone at home–cannot understand. When Annie finds several identical cryptic e-mails on her home computer, she wonders if Travis is trying to contact his long-lost brother. When Mackenzie disappears after seeing the notes, the hunt is on as Annie tries to find out what has happened to her dear friend.
I found that the book’s greatest strength lies in the development of these diverse characters. Bill Myers has created an unlikely trio of people who are not only accomplished professionals in each of their fields, but who are also as different from each other as different can be. Not only are Nicolas and Travis opposites, so are Nicolas and Annie. While it is not uncommon to find an atheist philosophy professor at a public university, it is not so common to find a microbiologist academician who eschews her colleagues by promoting belief in universe creation by intelligent design.
Come back tomorrow for my third and final post in the three-day CSFF blog tour of The God Hater. Meanwhile, I encourage you to check out what the other CSFF bloggers have to say about this thought-provoking book. Links are found in the sidebar to the right.
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