A man who lives in a future peaceful world ruled by a religious government finds himself questioning his circumstances in Sims's second book of a planned trilogy.
Paul Watanabe lives in a post-Armageddon world that has been without war for hundreds of years. A Jerusalem-based, Big Brother-esque government headed by Christ-figure Lord Emmanuel rules the planet. People live to be hundreds of years old, famine is unknown and there are rules for everything, from how to get married to how to choose a career. Everything’s fine as long as one follows the rules, but Watanabe is vaguely unhappy. Middle portions of trilogies often wind up as placeholders, setting up events for the final installment while not providing much in the way of significance, and this is the fate here. The novel, which is essentially one of conversations, sees little action. Characters have long discussions with each other, but unfortunately these heart-to-hearts don’t generally advance the plot. Chapters begin and end with insignificant actions, providing little incentive to read further. While the future world is unusual—none of that typical scene of humans fighting machines on a blasted landscape here—there’s not enough description of it. Occasionally, the author opens the curtain to reveal a bit of the realm, and the book comes to life, such as when an archeological find prompts the characters to discuss the rationale behind a store being called Best Buy. But then the curtains shut again, and yet more conversations ensue, ending any momentum gained. Author Sims nimbly moves around his large cast of characters, but the reader never gets to understand the motivation for any except Watanabe.
A futuristic novel with insufficient worldbuilding.