What if faith of any kind did not exist? What if might still exist but was outlawed? What would society be like?
In The Remnant by William Michael Davidson, which I was given a copy to review, this very thing happens.
Colton Pierce apprehends Abberants--those who display symptoms of faith--and quarantines them on a remote island to ensure public safety. Years prior, the government released a genetically-engineered super flu that destroyed the genes believed to be the biological source of spiritual experience in an effort to rid the world of terrorism. As an extractor with the Center for Theological Control, Colton is dedicated to the cause.
But Colton's steadfast commitment is challenged when he learns his own son has been targeted for extraction. An underground militia, the Remnant, agrees to help Colton save his son in exchange for his assistance with their plan to free the Aberrants on the island.
Colton is faced with the most important decision of his life. Remain faithful to the CTC? Or give up everything to save his son?
Here is a little excerpt just for you--
The Center for Theological Control (CTC) held its fundraiser in the plush oceanfront Marriot in Long Beach, California. Last year’s fundraiser had been held there as well, and Colton remembered it being just as grand. An enormous, sunlit ballroom teemed with endless tables of hors d'oeuvres; waiters and waitresses scrambled between everything while balancing trays of champagne flutes with impressive dexterity. A blues band had been hired for the occasion, filling the festive event with soulful tunes.
Colton arrived a little late. He adjusted his tie as he walked in, and he hardly had a chance to take in the enormous spectacle of a party before he was handed a glass of champagne by one of the waiters, who disappeared back into the crowd. He was greeted by several co-workers who all knew him to be the number one extractor the CTC had seen in recent years and, because of his impressive abilities on the field, also knew the rumors to be true: Colton Pierce was most likely be hired as the new Chief Officer of the CTC. Secretly, he liked the jokes that implied he was much too young and much too good-looking for such a serious role. Just over forty, he’d fought and clawed his way to where he was, and he hoped that soon—tonight perhaps—Brian Barclay would officially announce that he was stepping down from his post. Everyone knew the announcement was imminent; Brian had his sights set on sandy beaches and retirement these days.
Colton jested with colleagues and took several congratulatory slaps on the back for being the Extractor of the Month once again. Then he caught sight of Selma Grissom. She was at the hors d'oeuvres table, delicately picking sushi from the display and placing them on her plate. He completely lost awareness of his colleagues and what they were saying. Hoping not to be rude, he waved a friendly goodbye and drifted toward the hors d'oeuvres table, where he grabbed a plate and began to eye the sushi himself.
“My favorite,” he said, and felt entirely fortunate that nobody else was near the spread. They were alone here, a little ways from the tables, the blues band, and the hordes of people.
“Sushi?” Selma asked.
“Yeah, that too.”
Selma looked at him and grinned subtly. She was a new secretary for the CTC’s Public Relations Office, and Colton had enjoyed the pleasure of a few brief conversations with her at meetings and in the lunch room. During those moments he’d thought the same thing he was thinking now: She was an amazingly beautiful woman. Her hair was long, not far above her belt-line, and black as the night itself. But her poise impressed Colton the most. She was confident in herself, or at least her posture seemed to broadcast that. She held herself in a way that conveyed she was valuable, rare, and confident, and Colton had been drawn to her from their first interaction. And there was something about her eyes—those green eyes of hers—that was almost mesmerizing.
What would the world be like if there was no religious belief? When the gene believed to be the source of spiritual belief is eradicated with the hopes, of ridding the world of terrorism, it finally seems like the solution to world-wide peace may have been found. Those outliers that pop up displaying faith or a belief in God are captured by the CTC and sent off to an island where they cannot spread their dangerous ideas. But when Colton Pierce, the CTC's number one extractor's son makes the list, everything turns upside down.
This book had the possibility of being very science/ technical-- dystopia end of the world type feel-- but ended up being more character based that I originally thought, which made it quite enjoyable.
At first I really did not like Colton and his arrogance, but as in any good novel his character grew throughout the book; at times it felt like it could have gotten more into deep character development; but it kept the book fast paced and exciting to read.
The ending definitely feels like it is setting up for a potential sequel and I went back and forth on my feelings about parts of the ending (but don't want to give it away of course)-- but definitely recommend this for a quick fun read.
This book is what I classify as a clean book, clean of strong graphic imagery, language and sexuality. It is also the first book of the year that is going to make my Can't Put Down List.
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