“There’s more to life than a beating heart, Julius.”
Julius, also called Jules, had escaped his fate as an assassin trained since childhood by the government, but the after effects of the experiments conducted on him still linger. Dependent on the injections that suppress his emotions and ultimately his humanity, Jules find himself buying and selling on the black market to get the medicines he needs to stay alive. And all the while, he continues his search for a long-lost friend and the answers that seem to only be found in the Christian Alliance: outlaws living in hiding. It’s not until he encounters Abigail, a hacker from the alliance who’s been on the run trying to return home, that he’s finally able to realize the purpose that he’d been created for.
This sci-fi space opera gave me Firefly vibes right from the start with the mixing and matching of cultures, but it had all the tech jargon of Star Trek. I loved the author’s detailed descriptions of Abigail’s hacking and Jules’ ship as well as the various ports that they stop at on their journey. Self obviously spent a lot of time building the details of her world, which leant itself well to drawing me in as a reader!
But one of the things that I enjoyed the most was how natural Jules’ faith experience is explained throughout the story. Although some of the characters might be described as preachy, his reactions to their conversations or instructions remain consistent with a very realistic experience for the average person. His story is not rushed. His faith is not fabricated. And when it comes to its stunning conclusion, I did not feel disappointed or taken aback…although I have to admit feeling surprised at the several surprise twists that come to light towards the end of the book. I’m certainly excited to see where the story goes from here!
If you’re looking for a Christian sci-fi that delivers on both world-building and story without shying away from faith conversations, then I highly recommend checking out When Legends Rise by Daphne Self.