Featured Review: The Message? by Avam Hale

Discuss the June 2015 book of the month, "The Message?" by Avam Hale.
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ALynnPowers
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Featured Review: The Message? by Avam Hale

Post by ALynnPowers » 25 Mar 2015, 08:47

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Message?" by Avam Hale.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Avam Hale’s debut novel The Message?: A thinking thriller about change and choice was written with the intent to both entertain and challenge readers, and I am fairly certain that Hale has managed to accomplish such a task within the pages of this book. In a message from the author preceding the book, Hale states, “If I get even one ‘hmmm’ out of you I will have succeeded.” I definitely experienced a few moments of “hmmm” as I read this story.

Leah Warner was just a meek, mid-Western widower with two children when a tragic car accident sent her into a coma. Though her prognosis isn’t so great, after three weeks in an unresponsive state, a miracle occurs. Not only does she wake up, fully aware of her surroundings, but the external cuts and bruises on her body are practically healed, and her internal fractures are almost fully mended. Much to the amazement of her attending neurologist, she shows no sign of brain trauma.

But Leah also claims to have been with God while she was in her coma, and God has sent her back with a simple message to share with the world: He loves everyone unconditionally, and He wants everyone to set aside worldly possessions and achievement and just love each other as well. While Leah does not intend to endorse any particular religious affiliation as she spreads this message, she soon discovers that merely promoting such a simple concept of love and selflessness comes with consequences. Her message gets mixed up in philosophy, religion, politics, and economics as they all play a role in the lives of all Americans, regardless of whether or not they believe her story.

Despite my rather simple summary of the story, this book actually contains a variety of interesting characters whose lives and roles weave together to form the overall plot, which ultimately revolves around Leah Warner. Dr. Marcus, Leah’s neurologist, is my favorite of all of the characters. A man of science, but also a man of God, Dr. Marcus is a rather subtle hero in the book as he tends to be the one to bring all of the other characters together. He is also just a really nice guy, and I had a bit of crush on him as I was reading.

While this book is definitely entertaining, I wouldn’t exactly call it a “light read.” It will make you think about religious, political, economic, and philosophical ideas. The author is obviously well-educated and did appropriate research to discuss a variety of issues. However, I never felt like the book promoted any specific religious or political agenda. It was simply a very insightful, fictional story of how one woman came to believe in God from her own experience.

I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. There were a handful of errors throughout the book, mostly in the form of missing periods at the end of short quotations, but these errors didn’t decrease the overall quality of the writing. They especially didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story as a whole. I recommend this book to readers who are looking for a book with deep meaning. Get ready to meet some interesting characters along the way.

******
The Message?
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Post by bookowlie » 26 Mar 2015, 17:53

I enjoyed reading your review. The book sounds fascinating. However, the eye on the cover creeps me out!
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ALynnPowers
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Post by ALynnPowers » 26 Mar 2015, 21:06

Thanks! I kind of like the eye. It's all window-to-the-souly and such. 8)

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Post by LJian888 » 27 Mar 2015, 04:01

I also was a little creeped out by the cover. But I couldn't find a better image. And when I hired some professional graphic designers to find me one they ultimately agreed that they couldn't come up with one either.

The eyes are a tunnel to the soul and this book is very much about the soul - well, not the soul, per se - but how we look at life and interpret reality.

It's not creepy. I assure you that. It's not paranormal. It's simply everyday life with the insertion of extraordinary, but not sci-fi, events. Everyday stuff - a little stretch - to make you think and be entertained.

In short, this is one book I hope you won't judge just by it's cover.

Avam Hale

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ALynnPowers
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Post by ALynnPowers » 27 Mar 2015, 04:07

It wasn't creepy at all! There were a few moments when I felt chills, but it was more because of the "thrill" of the book.

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Post by PashaRu » 27 Mar 2015, 08:53

Thanks for a great review. This book sounds pretty interesting. The aspect of the main character's basic message of love and selflessness getting mixed up with philosophy, religion, and politics is intriguing, as this is what basically happened to Christianity and why it exists in such a severely adulterated form today. I wonder if the author had something similar in mind.
[Insert quote here. Read. Raise an eyebrow. Be mildly amused. Rinse & repeat.]

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Post by bookowlie » 27 Mar 2015, 09:14

ALynnPowers wrote:Thanks! I kind of like the eye. It's all window-to-the-souly and such. 8)
The eye on the cover is actually very "eye-catching" (!) and might make more people want to read the book.
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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Post by ALynnPowers » 28 Mar 2015, 07:23

PashaRu wrote:Thanks for a great review. This book sounds pretty interesting. The aspect of the main character's basic message of love and selflessness getting mixed up with philosophy, religion, and politics is intriguing, as this is what basically happened to Christianity and why it exists in such a severely adulterated form today. I wonder if the author had something similar in mind.
Perhaps. You might say the same thing about other monotheistic religions as well...

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Post by Ryan » 29 Mar 2015, 00:30

Thanks for the great review. I see you were quite sure about the rating, then :)
"Reason is intelligence taking exercise. Imagination is intelligence with an erection" -- Victor Hugo.

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Post by ALynnPowers » 29 Mar 2015, 00:52

Thanks for the comments.

I'm so happy to see this as a featured review! With a Global announcement, no less!

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Post by bookowlie » 29 Mar 2015, 10:59

Congratulations!
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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Post by ALynnPowers » 29 Mar 2015, 18:47

More like, congratulations to the book/author. 8)

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Post by bookowlie » 29 Mar 2015, 19:17

What is a Global Announcement, anyway? It sounds very proper and important. :) Should I stand at attention?!

-- 29 Mar 2015, 20:37 --

Well, I actually sat down (not that I was standing up 8) ) and read the FAQ section to find out what a Global Announcement is. Very important stuff! :geek: :geek: Now I think I do need to stand at attention.
"I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship" - Louisa May Alcott

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Post by ALynnPowers » 29 Mar 2015, 22:40

bookowlie wrote:What is a Global Announcement, anyway? It sounds very proper and important. :) Should I stand at attention?!

-- 29 Mar 2015, 20:37 --

Well, I actually sat down (not that I was standing up 8) ) and read the FAQ section to find out what a Global Announcement is. Very important stuff! :geek: :geek: Now I think I do need to stand at attention.
One of those thingies that everyone on the whole site can see all over the place, from any forum?

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Post by PashaRu » 30 Mar 2015, 09:36

Congrats on having a featured review and that this will be the BOTM in June! :clap:
[Insert quote here. Read. Raise an eyebrow. Be mildly amused. Rinse & repeat.]

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