Booksneeze review: The Final Summit, by Andy Andrews

Final Summit cover Do you like casseroles? Combinations of various ingredients, when mixed together, become a completely different food? Casseroles, for me, are culinary adventures. I never know what choices the cook has made in putting them together, so I’m always intrigued by what might be in that supper dish. Sometimes, a casserole is amazing, with previously un-thought-of combinations which create an unimagined taste.

Sometimes, casseroles are disasters; when the cook adds ingredients that just should *not* go together… and often, casseroles are simply fair-to-good. Substantial ingredients, simply combined, can create a meal which, while not out of this world, is certainly edible, and can often be enjoyable.

Why am I writing about casseroles when it comes to Andy Andrew’s book “The Final Summit”? Because it comes across to me as a literary combination dish. Part self-help book, part sci-fi, part Christian morality play, and part suspense novel, The Final Summit is a mish-mash of genre.

Without giving too much of the book away, here’s the basic recipe:
Start with:

  • one protagonist, David Ponder, an older gentleman who started from nothing, gained it all, lost it all, and gained it back again.
  • Add:

  • the Seven Decisions, a list of principles, garnered throughout the ages (via time travel, of course);
  • the Archangel Gabriel (who apparently does *not* like to be referred to as a mere angel); and
  • a veiled threat by God to destroy the world (although it will actually be humanity’s fault, not God’s).
  • Mix these ingredients together in an undefined spiritual place with an amazing table (because “you know, the Boss’s Son is a carpenter”).

    Spice with:

  • Additional “Travelers”, who are historically interesting people from various times in history, each with their own unique insight to the current crisis.
  • Cook for about 220 pages, or ten chapters. Then, when the timer goes off (and yes, there is an actual Hourglass Timer in the story), add two more chapters, combining previous elements brought up during the cooking process. (The Archangel Gabriel gives the gathered Travelers five chances to answer the question of how to avoid the threat, but they must form their collective thoughts into a two word answer.)

    If the Travelers’ Summit gives the correct two word answer to the Archangel Gabriel, the impending doom of humanity will be averted.
    If not, they will destroy themselves and God will simply start over again.

    So… did I like this book? Well, I *wanted* to.
    After all, I enjoy many of the ingredients: I’m a big sci-fi fan; I generally enjoy Christian fiction; and a good suspense novel is always tricky to put down.
    However, this *particular* combination fell flat to me. While I was intrigued with the premise, and I *really* wanted to read more interactions between the various Travelers (who wouldn’t love to watch an argument between Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein?)… the overall combination seemed merely designed to get the point across (humanity had better straighten up and fly right, or we’ll bring down God’s wrath due to our own stupidity).

    If you’re the kind of person who enjoys a casserole with a lot of ingredients which don’t necessarily go together, you might very well enjoy this book.

    As for me, I wish the author had let the concept simmer more, and let it thicken over time. Instead of a hearty, tasty casserole, this novel came across as more like thin soup.

    2/5 stars - I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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