Exileby Kevin R. Paglia
Mathias wanted nothing more than to live his life as an anonymous traveler trading his piloting skills for passage to the edges of explored space. Wanted by Nezzar for a crime his father committed, Mathias lives on the edge of being caught with every port he comes to. After he is captured in an escape gone bad, Mathias searches for the truth behind the crime that… See more details below
Mathias wanted nothing more than to live his life as an anonymous traveler trading his piloting skills for passage to the edges of explored space. Wanted by Nezzar for a crime his father committed, Mathias lives on the edge of being caught with every port he comes to. After he is captured in an escape gone bad, Mathias searches for the truth behind the crime that cost his father his life and so many Christians their freedom. It is a journey that takes Mathias from the outer reaches of the Alliance and back to Earth only to discover that salvation in Christ is the only thing that will save him. With that discovery, Mathias takes the hidden Christian masses and leads them against the artificial intelligence that has tried to replace God
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Though I don't normally read science fiction, I have to admit I was intrigued by the premise of this book, namely taking Christianity into the future and the middle of outer space. Mr. Paglia has done an outstanding job with this. His characters--especially Mathias--are well rounded and do a great job of advancing the story without relying on the gadgetry so usually present in other science fiction. And the supercomputer/demigod Nezzar makes Hal from '2001' look like a slide-ruler. A thought-provoking read!
PREMISE-Try a mixture of 'Star Trek' and 'Left Behind.' Mathias is the son of a man who was executed for his faith in a distant universe where the ruler is a computer and the Christians are outlaws.As such, he and his mother have been hunted for years. They don't have the same faith as Mathias's father, but they start the book 'guilty by association.' After his mother is killed, our hero is forced to find God and lead a group of Christians to retake their freedom. POSITIVE ELEMENTS-Mathias cares about the Christians, even before he becomes one. While in prison,the Christians aren't given food and are forced to subside on a brown 'sludge.' Since he is not a Christian, Mathias is given the opportunity to eat real food, but refuses, as he doesn't want to eat while the Christians starve. SEXUAL CONTENT-Very little. Mathias and his wife kiss. Before they are married, the author takes great pains to point out that they do not sleep together. This is a refreshing change from modern fiction that depicts characters hopping into bed together at the drop of a hat. Even after the wedding, the author leaves all details of their sex life to the imagination. VIOLENT CONTENT-This is my only real area of concern. The Christians start the book as pacifists, but end up is an epic space battle by the end of the book. Christian characters are (understood) brutally blinded and de-limbed. Believers are thrown into a space station's power core as a means of execution. The former two tortures are done before the victims actually appear in the book. The first time that the execution is shown, the characters hear the victim scream as his life ends. The other two times that it is shown, the victims actually survive, though only the last of these really shows a miracle that saves the victims. CRUDE OF PROFANE LANGUAGE-Three words. They are minor, but tend to stick out in a Christian book. This just doesn't seem to fit the genre'. DRUG AND ALCOHOL CONTENT-None. OTHER NEGATIVE ELEMENTS-First, there seems to be a number of grammatical errors that weren't caught by the editors. This tends to detract from the enjoyment of the book when you see the author repeat a phrase repeat a phrase. Next, names of ships should really be italicized to set them apart from the text. The author also, for the most part, didn't separate time periods or individual's thoughts in any way. Some times one paragraph would end and the very next paragraph, without a space or separation marks, would take the reader to the next day or the thoughts of a totally different character. Just correcting this one problem on future books, if this does, indeed, become a series, will make them much more readable. Finally, the cover price is a bit high for a trade paperback. I would have almost expected to have purchased a hardback for this price. CONCLUSION-It is interesting to see Christian fiction to move into the Sci-Fi realm. The book, at times, reads like a Star Trek novel, though it tends to slow when the good characters interact with each other. The plot is a good one, however. If you can get past the few minor swear words, as well as the $19.95 price tag, it's definitely worth a read.
Exile has a highly imaginative plot. The time is the future. Mathais, a man who is hunted all his life by a supreme force, lives on the edge to stay alive. He becomes a reluctant hero. The Christians of that time are supressed by an AI that thinks it is a god, and they must outwit it to continue their existence. In the flavor of Christian Si-Fi, this novel would interest both genres as well as those who enjoy a good book. I experianced apathy for our hero as he struggled against the enemies of the Christians, then becomes a beliver along the way. There are many scenes that put you in the middle of the action, including the final battle. Once I picked up the book, I couldn't put it down.