Last Light

Terri Blackstock, Author Zondervan Publishing Company $14.99 (381p) ISBN 978-0-310-25767-7
The first book in Blackstock's Restoration series literally begins with a bang: airplanes fall out of the sky in the opening paragraphs, at which point the novel's protagonists and readers become swept up in a stunning set of circumstances, the import of which slowly sink in as the novel briskly moves forward. Unlike the deluge of dramatic depictions of the end times, in which Christians disappear and the world reacts, this story focuses on a natural phenomenon-albeit one that most of the characters believe is a message from God-that profoundly alters human society. Blackstock's main characters, the affluent Bannings, who live in suburban Birmingham, Alabama, initially react to this disaster by putting themselves first, for fear that any other strategy would endanger their lives. Soon, however, challenged by the Sermon on the Mount, they begin reaching out generously to neighbors. Their nascent attempts at a communal approach to life will likely be picked up in future novels in this series. Blackstock's subplots are less compelling than her vision of an Electromagnetic Pulse-damaged world; particularly contrived is the story's murder mystery, which plays out predictably. Still, at its best moments, this novel is in league with first-rate adventure fiction and bodes well for the series to come.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
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