Re: The Great Books! ( And What Are You Currently Reading? )
I'm still in the middle of my first reread, and I'm seriously considering reading A Ball of Beasts as an alternative to reading Feast and Dance back to back. But this is coming from someone who loved Feast, despite how it was chopped up by the editors. Probably because I didn't have to wait years and years to see Jon/Dany/Tyrion again.
Somehow this 496 page book ended up being in the upper echelon of best written books of 2014. The premise of the book is unique in its take on the science-fiction exploration new land type genre by incorporating, surprisingly, religious ideas with its preacher going to minister to the mysterious non humans, Oasans, on the planet Oasis. Its usage of Peter, the main characters, religious nature and his Christian view affecting those on the base that he was at while on Oasis as well as with the dealings of the Oasans made for a really interesting tell that was hard to predict to see where it was going. Most entertaining and compelling was his continued communications on Earth with his wife Bea who would send messages to each other. This provided excellent amounts of domestic type drama while also filling in the blanks of what was happening on Earth. Many of the stories from Bea's side had characters too that became memorable parts or just memorable events taking place. One wouldn't think her letters would prove to be just as engaging and impactful as the main story itself.
I was glued to this book for many days and was impressed with how it could bridge science fiction and Christian thinking into a wholesome story. The numerous supporting characters all battling their own monsters from their history or even having to engage with the different emotions and circumstances as a USIC member of Oasis helped to enhance this story. The tale was really endearing as well on the Oasan side with their Jesus Lover names, which was pretty heartfelt and made me smile due to how devout they are, as well as their views in their own community of those who are Jesus Lovers and those who are not. These Jesus Lovers really provide an inspiration message to Peter but to the reader as well.
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