Customer Reviews for

The Word Reclaimed

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  • Posted September 7, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Compelling, Exciting Space Opera

    Here is how I feel about cliffhangers: AAAAAAAAAUUUUUUGH!

    It doesn't help that I am still nursing a feeling of rawness over the lack of resolution in Bryan Davis's Masters and Slayers. I had to take my raw self wading into Steve Rzasa's space opera The Word Reclaimed, suspecting more and more that this story was too big for its 460 pages. I was right.

    Actually, the first thing to strike me about this book was that it is big. And I was reading a file on a Kobo, so I'm not talking about physical size. The list of significant characters and their ships/home planets/family groups in the book's front matter was almost overwhelming (to the point where I wonder if it would have been better placed in the back of the book where prospective readers couldn't see it and faint before they even get into the story). Thankfully, I didn't faint, and I did get into the story.

    The Word Reclaimed is a space opera (think Star Wars with Nazis and fewer aliens) set in the year 2602, when the people of Earth have colonized four other major worlds and united under a kingdom called the Realm of Five. The kingdom has long been benevolent, but Kesek, a secret police force in charge of enforcing a treaty of tolerance across religions, is anything but-and their power with the king is growing.

    One of Kesek's biggest roles is the capture and destruction of religious texts, including the Bible, the Qu'ran, and the Hindu Sutras. So when a surly teenager named Baden, son of an Expatriate merchant and member of the crew of the Natalia Zoja, salvages a Bible from a pirate wreck, it's bound to change his life-but in ways he can't imagine. From the moment he comes across the Bible, Baden begins to see visions and hear voices.

    At the same time, the Verge family-a family of warriors from the planet Starkweather-are called into action to put down an alleged rebellion on an outlying planet called Bethel, one of the last Christian colonies in the Realm. Cadet Trainee Alec Verge is given the chance to go along with his father, Lt. Colonel James Verge, and other stories relatives, including his aunt, Commander Colleen Verge-who, as it happens, is also dreaming dreams . . .

    The crew of the Natalia Zoja and the deployed troops from Starkweather will meet up eventually as treachery brings them into the battle of their lives-and the beginning of a battle for the Realm-and as a God who seems to be seeking them brings them into a battle for their souls.

    Marcher Lord Press publisher and editor-in-chief Jeff Gerke gives this background info on the MLP website:

    "Steve's space opera is truly an epic. Though there are dozens of characters, many of whom are superficially similar-space marines, deep space navigators, young cadets, trained assassins-I was somehow never confused who was who. That, in and of itself, is remarkable. Then add a brilliant story of deep treachery, a crumbling monarchy, forbidden faith, and a warrior family's pride-all set against the recovery of a book so dangerous that the secret police would wipe out a world to obtain-and you've got a recipe for incredible speculative fun.
    But the thing was very long. Like 170,000 words long. I started looking for a cliffhanger around the midpoint. We ended up finding a great one."

    You bet they did. But don't let that stop you from diving in-Book 2, The Word Unleashed, is already out.

    - Rachel Starr Thomson, author of The Seventh World Trilogy,

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    More than just a Sci-Fi Story

    I won Steve's book through a blog contest, and being a Sci-fi/fantasy fan I was excited to see what his writing was like and where his story would take me. The cover threw me because it doesn't begin to give an inkling to the depth that Steve shares in his story. This is a book about religious persecution on a grand universal scale. There are really bad guys, then there are bad guys that you want to like because they have been deceived and once they realize it they are torn as to which way they should go. Then there are the "good" guys who don't really know that they are the good guys, but they are just following where this "book" leads them. Just as in persecuted countries in our world today, people are hungry for the truth, for the Word of God. In Steve's world the Word has disappeared, all but one full copy - and believers are hungry for it because they want to know how God wants them to live. I was wonderfully surprised at the depth in the story, the skill in the writing, and how much I am looking forward to reading the sequel. I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    A compelling, exciting space epic

    Review by Jill Williamson

    Baden assists his father aboard their six-brace vessel the Natalia Zoja, salvaging wrecks in deep space. One day Baden makes a great find: a Bible. Any book is a relic, but this one is banned by Kesek, the secret police. Baden's dad wants him to get rid of it, but it's Baden's salvage and therefore, his rightful property. Before he can decide what to do, pirates come after them. They know Baden has the book and they want it.

    Meanwhile, a political and religious war is brewing throughout the Realm of Five and the Natalia Zoja is headed straight for it.

    A cross between Firefly and Star Trek, Rzasa pens a story filled with a great cast of characters and some sweet space battles. His Realm of Five is imaginative and well thought out and his space ships are mind boggling. Plus, the story has a deeper thread that I found compelling. A world without the word of God. It intrigued me how Rzasa depicted people trying to hold onto the hope of a creator without his word to guide them. I was totally impressed. This is a clean, exciting read that anyone who loves space epics will enjoy. Looking forward to part two.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2010

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    Two Thumbs Up! Terrific Christian science fiction for all ages!

    Baden Haczyk may seem on the surface to be a run-of-the-mill, surly teenager with a grudge against life, the Universe, and especially his dad, Simon, the captain of the Natalia Zoja, but as The Word Reclaimed unfolds, Baden fleshes out into quite an interesting character. Baden, Simon, and the crew of the Natalia Zoja find themselves on the run, escaping pirates and Kesek, the long arm of the Emperor's secret police, who have outlawed all religious books, and are waging a campaign of extermination against those who try to preserve them, and all because Baden rescues a copy of the Bible from the wreckage of a space ship that was attacked by pirates working for Kesek.

    Join Baden as he seeks to discover the meaning of the Holy Book that has fallen into his hands and decipher the enigma that is Jason, Baden's sometime protector and would-be thief of his new treasure. In the meantime, the Natalia Zoja heads for an out of the way planet called Bethel, and a firestorm of epic proportions.

    I give this book two thumbs up. Reading level: for YA and above; a very readable tale that flashes by, page after page as the plot/s unfold in unexpected ways!

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  • Posted October 2, 2010


    Steve Rzasa paints a picture of the future, all religious texts are outlawed, especially the Bible.
    Baden works aboard his father's ship as a scavenger of a sorts, scavenging what he can for themselves that the pirates leave behind. One day, Baden finds a book. He find a Bible in the wreckage of ship that had been pursued and destroyed by 'pirates.'
    Baden is ecstatic, finding a book means money, since none had been printed for two centuries. The paper itself would be worth a fortune. Reveling in his good luck, Baden starts reading and is fascinated...until it starts talking to him. On the run from Kesek police, Baden is determined to find out more from the book.
    This book has everything, action that will leave you gripping the book white-knuckled, machines that will make you say "I want one of those!", but the only bone I pick with this book is that it introduces a whole new character and plot line halfway into the novel. Despite this, this is definitely on my re-read list and recommend list.

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Sci-fi research material

    This is a good speculative fiction, considering there are not too many written from a Christian perspective. Rzasa knows his stuff when it comes to describing his complicated space world. However, about 130 pages into the book, he brings in a whole new set and group of characters to consider. This gets a little boring, as you are so used to the previous setting that you want to skip through it. Also, some of the key characters simply drop out of the story right before the new set in shown, and they never reappear.

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Consider buying at a bookstore.

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  • Posted November 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Epic Space Adventure in Spectacular Form

    This was a fantastic story of from start to finish. Steve Rzasa has created far future space epic which has elements any action/adventure or Sci-fi fan will love. The story follows two main plot lines: one involving a merchant captain and his crew who discover one of the last remaining Bibles and the other a royal military family enmeshed in an intriguing political power struggle. These dual plot lines gives amble opportunity to explore the amazing universe of characters Rzasa has created which collide climatically at the end of the book to give rise to even greater adventure for the books to come.

    The merchant captain plotline has a very Serenity like feel with its close family dynamics and a small crew. The royal family plot line is reminiscent of Mobile Suit Gundam complete with powered armor, massive space battles and a Royal alliance of planets battling Martian invaders. Not space aliens but human's who once colonized Mars but who are now displaced from their homeland and seek to reclaim it.

    Under all this great Sci-fi story and epic adventure there are some pretty deep themes. I could draw parallels with the Martians and their claim to Mars and the Palestinians and their claim to Jerusalem. The secret police known as Kesek, or Royal Stability Force has hints of Hitler's Gestapo. All this brings a depth of gravity to the story while still remaining entertaining throughout.

    Rzasa has made a terrific debut with "The Word Reclaimed". The suspenseful ending has me pawing for the next book in the series already.

    Excellent book.

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  • Posted October 26, 2009

    Space Opera at its finest.

    I really enjoyed the Word Reclaimed. It is something akin to Asimov's Empire meets Star Wars meets God's Smuggler (a non-fiction book about efforts to smuggle Bibles into Eastern Europe). An unusual mix, perhaps, but I think the book fuses it all together nicely.

    Clearly this is a universe that Steve has thought about (and probably dreamed in) for a very long time. It shows in the breadth of gadgets, characters, worlds and opposing factions. There are a number of different plotlines and all are interesting, but where the book shines brightest is when it follows the crew of the Natalia Zola-particularly Baden, the boy who (fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) finds the last Bible in a universe where sacred texts are forbidden.

    The Word Reclaimed is book one of a two book series, so don't expect everything to tie up nicely quite yet. There is enough resolution to leave you satisfied, though.for now.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how it all plays out. Again, enjoyable book. I recommend it!

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