Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Review: Arcpoint Traveler: Book One by John Wozniak

Arcpoint Traveler: Book One
by John Wozniak

32927533Arcon Franklin has grown up in ArcPoint, a community isolated for over two centuries by an impenetrable mass of tangled briars, as well as an enormous chasm known simply as "the Rift." The people of ArcPoint believe they have created a utopia: no crime, no greed, no unmet needs, and no worries. They do not care to re-connect with the outside world-to them, it is a place of anarchy and terror. Arcon once felt the same way-but no longer. Defying tradition, he establishes communication with the outside world-specifically, a girl named Elaina. Over the years, their rebellious connection blossoms into a desire for a lifetime relationship. Soon, Arcon is risking his life to make his escape. Major religions, ancient civilizations, and even modern day sociologists all point to a coming age of mass terror and chaos. But what happens after that age-after we escape into our own isolated communities, our own versions of ArcPoint? Is a time coming when we put down our weapons? Can evil be stopped, or is it an inescapable part of human nature? In ArcPoint Traveler, John Wozniak examines evidence from the Bible and current events to create a frighteningly realistic scenario of the future. Concise and fast-paced-because time is short-this debut novel reminds us of what can happen when one man is willing to risk it all.

My Take:
Nestled in a remote part of the Mojave Desert, the tiny Christian community of ArcPoint seems like the perfect, isolated utopia. The genetically modified Arc Trees, a source of food and fuel for the community, also creates an impenetrable region of massive needle-sharp briers. Nobody gets out, and nobody gets in. And that was a good thing, as two hundred years ago, the world had gone crazy, murdering one another and devolving into total anarchy. Then the radios went silent. But the ArcPoint community thrived in its isolation.
But that was back then. Now, the society of ArcPoint is in trouble. With inexplicable declining birth rates and a critical lack of females, the small Christian community is about to die off. And Arcon Franklin, descendant of the founder, isn't satisfied with life in the community. He feels an unquenchable drive to leave, to pass the barrier and meet the girl he's contacted on the outside. Will he find love, and purpose, in the world outside? Or will he bring about the destruction of the world he's known?
Drug Content:
G - if there's anything alcoholic in the novel, it's not obvious. 

PG - There's a very real danger from the four inch long thorns forming a deadly barrier around the community, and risk from the coyotes living in the perimeter of the barrier. There's a risk of death in the bottomless rift protecting the community, and some minor descriptions of the violence in the world outside. In one scene a couple is blown up from an accident involving a pressure cooker. Arcon bears the scars of many falls into the thorns.

PG - there is not any cussing that I recall in the book. The D word might be dropped a time or two.

Adult Content:
PG - The father of the girl Arcon has been communicating with has a discussion with the Ranger about sleeping arrangements and the risks involved in that. There's some discussion of fertility and barrenness.

Christian content:
The community is strongly Christian, if isolationist. Most of the characters in the book wear their faith like a comfortable cloak. The book is set during the Millennium Reign of Jesus, so for the most part there is virtually no evil except in flashbacks to the past. God gives guidance and orchestrates the lives of individuals, and they depend on His provision, guidance, and grace. I'll give latitude on the possible divergence of the plot to biblical prophesy in Revelation, as there are varying views as to when and how the Tribulation is to take place, etc. As a whole the book is wholesome and solid and an example of God's provision, guidance, and the faith of the believer.

Final analysis:
The genetic enhancements of the ArcPoint trees is well-thought out, and interestingly described. The world inside the utopian society is well-constructed and the plot is interesting. The novel is a fast-paced, encouraging read, and the world building is excellent. The characters are real enough, and the book is clean and uplifting. Five Stars!

About The Author(s):
John Wozniak is a retired international trouble-shooter in a mechanical trade.  He joined Mensa at age 28, and is currently owner of Elisha Records. He enjoys the lapidary and jewelry hobby with his wife of 30+ years in their home in Oregon.

As a trouble-shooter, he was tasked with creating multiple “what if” scenarios to protect millions of dollars worth of equipment against damage. He researched every option and contingency, because failure was extremely costly. When he transitioned from being an atheist to belief in a Creator, he utilized those skills in his faith. He discovered new terms like end of days, rapture, tribulation, and millennium. Like other buzzwords, their use was widespread, and their meanings were convoluted. In this book series, Wozniak examines life in a world after these events have happened. Actually, two lives and two worlds, that are about to collide.

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