The Exit (Blue Moon Chronicles)
Disclaimer – Todd is a friend and colleague. So I wanted to like this debut novel. Even so, I was delighted by just how much I enjoyed it. The characters are engaging – I grew to care about them and their fate and was anxious when it appeared things might not go well. I was continually surprised by the turns in the plot – people and places and times were not what I thought, which is both one of the literary devices, as well as part of the larger point of the story. Things are not always what they seem.
In the spirit of all great science fiction and fantasy, Boddy creates a world in which to explore issues of meaning and human existence, things like truth, commitment, sacrifice, integrity, trust and loyalty. While he is engaged in theological reflection and is in conversation with apocalyptic traditions present in religious teaching, he is not preaching nor proselytizing. He seems to be genuinely saying, “I wonder…” and asking, “What if…?” and he invites us along for the ride. Even within the story it is not clear which construct of reality is held by the author, nor which will prevail in the world of the story, or the multiverse, as it were. It reminded me of the work of Mary Doria Russell: specifically The Sparrow and Children of God.
I think this book fills an important niche in that it employs fantasy, science fiction and religious themes, without speaking exclusively to either of those audiences. This is a book that can be readily enjoyed by folks who would not typically read in any of these genres. It is one you can recommend to family and friends regardless of what kind of fiction they typically read – there is something for everyone.
When I reached the end, I immediately wanted to turn and pick up the next volume. Unfortunately, he hasn’t finished it yet. Get busy man! I want to know what happens!