Title: Eternity Falls
Author: Kirk Outerbridge
Synopsis (Courtesy of Powell’s Books): “It wasn’t supposed to happen. People who took the Miracle Treatment weren’t supposed to die – ever. Especially not the famous movie star spokesperson for the Treatment. And yet, that’s exactly what’s happened. The stunning starlet Greta Darling, who looked 22 but was really 89, has suddenly died. Of natural causes. Desperate to assure their billions of clients that the Miracle Treatment really does work, company executives call in private investigator Rick Macey. Macey’s job is to find out what really happened to Greta Darling – or, failing that, to simply come up with some other explanation for how she died. Macey is a war veteran with very special abilities, and his own reasons for taking this case. What exactly is so wonderful about living forever? Who is really pulling the strings here? What do the religious clues at the crime scene mean? And who will be left standing…when eternity falls?”
Thoughts: Christian science fiction was, to me, quite the oxymoron. Christianity and science have not had the healthiest of relationships, so it stands to reason that faith-based science fiction would not exist. However, Eternity Falls pleasantly proved me wrong.
Taking place approximately 100 years into the future, Eternity Falls revolves around technology that sounds completely plausible based on today’s technology. Unfortunately, the technology piece of the science fiction also became the most cumbersome in that it was quite difficult to follow at times. This is especially true for the action sequences, which quickly became too cerebral to be thoroughly enjoyed.
Eternity has always been of interest to humanity. Eternity Falls feeds off of this desire to end death, making it sound like a dream come true. Yet, it also reveals the downside of eternity. What does one live for when one lives forever? This is where the faith discussions come into play. These were done in such a way as to find a nice balance between believers and non-believers, focusing on the idea of forgiveness versus vengeance. It still sends the message that only those that believe in God specifically will go to heaven, which I personally find disconcerting. Still, Mr. Outerbridge presents some very thought-provoking ideas about faith and humanity’s fear of death.
Overall, Eternity Falls is a decent stab at Christian science fiction. The science was plausible but not overly realistic while being the backdrop for the real weight of the novel, the exploration of faith in a technology-driven society. The characters are a bit one-sided, and while character development is minimal, it does not detract from the suspense and pure action of the story. The language is simple and easy to follow, except for some of the technical jargon. The result is a pleasant action adventure that posits certain ideas about faith.