Saturday, January 19, 2008

I Finished Reading My Dad's Book and...

Social pressures can really affect a person's attitude, behavior, or belief of a certain something. This often happens with opinions on works of art or literature that a family member shows another. I know many parents get crappy drawings or finger paintings from their kids and because they love their kid they think they'll be the next Picasso.

Well I'm sure it's likely that the reviews of my dad's books are not completely well-balanced and probably somewhat biased. I like to recognize the fact that I am aware of this bias because hopefully you'll understand that I try to look at this objectively and attempt to look past my awkward position of social confinement.

That being said, I think that The Sanctuary, recently written by my dad (Gary Riedl), was wonderful. It was creative, well researched, and most importantly it kept my attention. Fiction books, in my mind, are categorized within two groups: 1) They hold my attention, or 2) They are boring and worth throwing across the room. The Sanctuary held my attention as good as any Michael Crichton or Robin Cook novel.

The Sanctuary is the second book of his Tuball series, following Tuball The Lost City. I read the first book years ago and I helped him with the first few drafts, so I never actually read the final product. I should sit down and do that one of these days. However, the great thing about these books is that you don't necessarily need to read them in order. He designed it so that you could just pick up the sequel and start reading without feeling lost.

The series is focused on a teenager named Shem, the son of Noah. It's historical fiction about Shem's youthful adventures with his uncle to and from the city of Tuball. The books feature dual story lines, one in the past and one in present day. As we read through the story of Shem and his travels to unknown cities, we also make discoveries in the present day on archaeological pursuits with Dr. Witherspoon and his graduate student, Jamal.

There is so much that I appreciate about this book. It's got it all... adventure, action, romance, inner character struggle, realistic conflict, conversation, and even some theological debate. It's a book that you don't just read and enjoy, but it additionally makes you think and ponder life once you put it down.

Now, to be fair, my dad still is a new writer. He does make mistakes. I found some errors here and there and notified him of them, but he is very appreciative of the feedback. He has such a great passion and vision for where he wants to go with his writing that he would love to be able to do it full time for the rest of his life. And I think that he could do it, too. He has great writing skills and ideas that will only propel him further into the depth of writing. I'm serious when I say that after reading certain chapters, I closed the book and thought to myself, Wow, my dad is a really great writer! I am so excited to keep reading!

So, there you go. Take what you want from my little overview. Highly recommended. I can get you a signed copy, too. ;-)