Friday, October 29, 2010

Book Review: The God Hater by Bill Myers

The God Hater: A NovelThe God Hater by Bill Myers
Publisher: Howard Books
Publish Date: September 28, 2010
Paperback, 320 pages
Suspense/Thriller, Christian Fiction

My Review:
Why I read this: The book sounded fascinating when I got the blurb for the FIRST Wild Card Tour and I have been wanting to read Bill Myers for awhile.

How is the novel driven:  The characters are important, but it's plot that drives this one.

My thoughts:  When I started this book, I knew it sounded like a good book, but I never thought I would be as thoroughly sucked into the book as I was.  In the first 5 pages I was already not wanting to put it down and I went through the first 100 pages no problem on the first night (and I was tired and not feeling well).  The second night I would have finished it, but I became very sleepy, but I did get through about 150 pages, I even stayed up late to get that far.

The story in this book is really comprised of two stories.  One is the story of Nicholas, Travis, Annie and Rusty.  Nicholas is the atheist, he's beat Christianity and other religions out of students for many years and often shows up in Annie's class to spar with her about religious things.  Annie is a biochemist and a Christian, she is a single mother to her 5-year-old son Rusty.  She is Nicholas' closest friend so when things start to seem strange in Nicholas' world she is right there.  Travis is Nicholas' brother and a computer programmer who has created a world that mimics our world and is further working on the artificial intelligence technology to market it.  It's this world that begins to get everyone in trouble while teaching them things as well.

The second story is of the world Travis and others have created.  While trying to make the society continue they learn a lot about philosophy and how religion does play a role in society.  I found this computerized society fascinating.  It was kind of like dystopian fiction in the midst of a suspense book and it just held my attention so well.

I enjoyed this story from Nicholas' point-of-view being an atheist.  It made it very interesting and gave the whole story a more authentic feel.  As things began to happen in  this alternate world (computer world), I knew kind of what was going on but I enjoyed watching it all unfold.

The God Hater is an amazing story, it reads fast, the characters are interesting, the suspense is intense and the weaving of the two worlds together is wonderfully done.  I think my only problem is I wish the characters had been slightly more developed, but I did get enough of a feel for them to understand motivations so it's not a major complaint.  You have to give up something to get this much suspense and two worlds into 300 pages.  Bill Myers does a magnificent job telling the story and really making a point without beating  you over the head.  There is lots to think about at the end of this book.

This was my first book by Bill Myers and I will now be checking out his backlist as well as looking forward to his new titles.

My Rating: 4.75/5.0

About the Book:

A cranky, atheistic philosophy professor loves to shred the faith of incoming freshmen. He is chosen by a group of scientists to create a philosophy for a computer-generated world exactly like ours. Much to his frustration every model he introduces—from Darwinism, to Existentialism, to Relativism, to Buddhism—fails. The only way to preserve the computer world is to introduce laws from outside their system through a Law Giver. Of course this goes against everything he's ever believed, and he hates it. But even that doesn't completely work because the citizens of that world become legalists and completely miss the spirit behind the Law. The only way to save them is to create a computer character like himself to personally live and explain it. He does. So now there are two of him—the one in our world and the one in the computer world. Unfortunately a rival has introduced a virus into the computer world. Things grow worse until our computer-world professor sees the only way to save his world is to personally absorb the virus and the penalty for breaking the Law. Of course, it's clear to all, including our real-world professor, that this act of selfless love has become a reenactment of the Gospel. It is the only possible choice to save their computer world and, as he finally understands, our own.

About the Author:

Myers holds a degree in Theater Arts from the University of Washington and an honorary doctorate from the Theological Institute of Nimes, France, where he taught. As author/screenwriter/director his work has won over 50 national and international awards, including the C.S. Lewis Honor Award. His DVDs and books have sold 8 million copies. His children’s DVD and book series, McGee and Me, has sold 4.5 million copies, has won 40 Gold and Platinum awards, and has been aired on ABC as well as in 80 countries. His My Life As… series has sold 2.1 million copies. He has written, directed, and done voice work for Focus on the Family’s Adventures in Odyssey radio series and is the voice of Jesus in Zondervan’s NIV Audio Bible. As an author, nearly all of his children's series have made the bestseller list, as well as 7 of his adult novels. He has been interviewed for Good Morning America and ABC Nightly News. Several of his novels are currently under option for motion pictures, including Blood of Heaven, Threshold, Eli, Fire of Heaven, When the Last Leaf Falls, and Forbidden Doors. The motion picture, The Wager, starring Randy Travis and based on Myers’s novel by the same name, was released in 2009.


FTC Information: Special thanks to Libby Reed, Publicity Assistant, HOWARD BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster for sending me a review copy.  All opinions expressed are my own and they are my honest opinions, I am not compensated anything beyond receiving the book for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.


Hannah Marie said...

Excellent review. I was debating picking up the book, but it sounds excellent from your review. I'm excited to pick it up and probably pass it on to my dad. Thanks for the review and recommendation!

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