Book Review: “The Final Summit” by Andy Andrews

August 8, 2011

The Final Summitis a book that tries to wrap life principles in a historical fiction exterior. It is somewhat of a continuation of the story from Andy Andrews’ earlier book, The Traveler’s Gift(which I also read, per someone’s suggestion). To be entirely honest, I was fairly unimpressed with this book, and actually rather disappointed in light of one comment on the back of the cover referring to Andrews as a mixture of C.S. Lewis. The book does not hold a candle to Lewis in hardly any regard.

It reads like a psuedo-Christian self-help/motivational book that tried (and failed) to be dressed in the historical fiction genre. The result is a very predictable plot line with flat characters that appeared to be added afterwards merely to try and flesh out the principles. So from a literary and story-telling perspective, it was always laborious for me to open the book and read. Furthermore, the principles also seemed to be as one-dimensional and dull as the characters – I think someone could have written all that was said in the book in about two pages, and saved everyone the time it took to read the other 220.
But those issues aside, the biggest problem I have with the book is the conclusion and premise of the whole book. The story centers around the question of “What one thing must humanity do to restore [themselves] to a successful civilization?” I won’t ruin the answer (although I don’t find it particularly insightful, if not redundant), but the nature of the question shows the implicit flaw in any answer one might give. Coming from a Christian worldview, my answer would be “Nothing! Humanity can do nothing themselves!” You’re asking the wrong question. If history has taught us anything, isn’t it clear that humanity can’t seem to get it right? Utopia is no closer than it was 1,000 years ago – yet we somehow think we just need to figure out the thing that will finally work. Not a chance. Humanity can do nothing themselves – we need God to it for us. And that is the beauty of the gospel. God did – in Jesus Christ!
But where is that in this book? Nowhere. Sadly, the focus is on man doing something, rather than on what God has done and will do. My biggest problem with the book is that it is set in heaven, with biblical characters and a (cultural) Christian exterior – but it focuses on man instead of on God. It is anthroprocentric rather than Christocentric. It misses the main point of Christianity and the Bible (and history, I would argue)! It misses the gospel. That is a travesty.
I could say more, but I think you get the picture. I would not recommend this book to anyone.
Rating: 1.5/5 
Note: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review (and obviously, I did not do so). The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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