Sunday, 22 March 2015

Chosen by Howard Barber – Book review

Publisher’s write-up:

The End Times are almost here, inevitable and predicted by astrology, numerology, and ancient wisdom. Humanity needs a savior…but who will it be? As civilization begins to crumble, senior citizens from around the world unite to promote peace, and to help ensure that all people around the world unite to promote peace, and to help ensure that all people have water, food, and shelter. Their calling, and their sincerity, lead them to be anointed by God to identify and train the next Avatar, the next Messiah, a new Lama. Like the Essenes of old, they accept, but their quest threatens religious leaders worldwide, who try to stop them…as is another mysterious individual who will stop at nothing to destroy them. Into this whirlwind of intrigue and danger step Howard and Bonnie, who have embraced their destiny to identify the next great spiritual leader. Will they succeed in finding and protecting the child who must lead the world, or will the forced arrayed against them win in the end? The future of humanity is at stake… who will be chosen?’

Chosen is a spiritual novella with a good mixture of elements of normal science fiction. The story is presumably happening at a time in the future where a group of senior citizens (SASCs) led by Howard and Bonnie and they’ve a very important task; choosing the next great person who could set things right in the world and bring them in line with the will of god.

However, their task is not that easy and their mission isn’t well conceived by established religious institutions and one of the identified candidates of Howard – Emily, that is, comes under attack. The story revolves around the recovery of Emily – who is taken care of by SASCs and a part of her body is replaced by a robot and subsequent to that; her self-realisation and then, moving towards the mission of attaining enlightenment.

I did like the concept of this book – of merging science fiction and spirituality in the same story, which is rather unusual and I felt the author didn’t drag it too long and came straight to the point. I really liked the parts of the book, where Emily was still recovering from the accident, how she had to learn to use her abilities and use it towards her mission and it was brought out very well. Moreover, unlike other stories surrounding spirituality, the mission of the protagonist was rather unambiguous and there was no digression from the author and last but not the least, the story was short and sweet.

However, with that being said, I’m someone who personally believes that it is nearly impossible to bring science and religion in line with each other and most often, are contradictory to each other and I found the idea of a scientist believing in a chosen one to be … rather unusual and illogical. Moreover, I felt the, book required some consistency – for a while, the entire story was in third person and after the departure of Howard, it shifted to first person from Emily’s perspective and eventually, towards the end of the book, it became a first person from her brother, Curly’s perspective. Moreover, there were a lot of editing issues – such as using spellings such as ‘genious’ or phrases like ‘principle mission’ but I’m willing to overlook all those as those are errors for which, I'd always give the benefit of doubt to the author of possible oversight. Moreover, I felt the references to Christianity are difficult for someone from other backgrounds to appreciate, including myself.

On the whole, I felt this novella is good for light reading on a short journey and could be enjoyed by those who do believe that science and religion can get along with each other. On the whole, I had a satisfying experience reading this book.

Rating – 6/10

Have a nice day,


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