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A Review of “The Drawing” by Robert Leere
"The Drawing" is a Christian fiction novel by Robert Leere, a missionary and Christian author. "The Drawing" was published in 2014 and is available in print and Kindle format through Amazon.com. The book manages to meld Christian themes with science fiction for an intriguing work.
Pros of This Book
While there are a few government conspiracies in this book, from U.N. eugenics projects to others I won’t spoil, this book isn’t heavy in them. There are no secret black helicopters or government conspiracies lurking about to bring forth the New World Order.
Very few Christian novels bring in Buddhist or Hindu perspectives to what may or may not be the Rapture or Revelation, short of everyone converting to Christianity. “The Drawing” includes both Hindu and Buddhist perspectives of the ongoing religious revelations in the book as well as Christian and atheist ones. And it isn’t the heavy handed “all the Jews convert to Christianity” treatment of non-Christians one sees in the “Left Behind” series.
“The Drawing” makes serious efforts to link scientific research to Biblically based discoveries in the book. There are very few miracles described, much less Deus ex machina. (Yes, I know how odd that sounds when describing a Christian sci-fi novel.)
The characters don’t get everything they want. There is no perfect happy ending for every Christian character. A fair number of them die, including Duki’s parents. This is a realistic note in a genre that tends to see all the bad guys dead and the saved characters literally saved from every bad outcome.
There are scenes in this book reminiscent of Boko Haram’s kidnapping of Christian girls in April, 2014, and the deliberate targeting and slaughter of Christians in Iraq and Syria by ISIS in the summer of 2014. However, the book was written before these events. The author’s understanding of the active Jihad against Christians, as well as the media’s willful blind eye to the atrocities, is spot on – and an accurate prediction given the book’s publication date.
President Obama orders the construction of an interstellar space ship, as well as takes political actions to protect said spacecraft. I wish he actually had done something like this instead of gutting NASA while using it for PR to the Muslim world.
This is the most thoroughly reference fiction book I’ve ever read. I wish some of Kim Stanley Robinson’s books like “Ice Henge” and “Red Mars”, which would have been improved if he explained the many geology references or reduced their volume. “The Drawing” not only quotes Biblical scripture but the Islamic Koran. When a Muslim character paraphrases the Koran, Mr. Leere cites the full Koranic verses in the back so that readers can refer to the source and interpret it for themselves. Furthermore, Mr. Leere included short biographies of historical people referenced in the book. References to C.S. Lewis are explained, while the actual text of political orders and Presidential quotes are available for the reader’s perusal.
For those who are concerned about the Biblical worldview or theology of the book, it is squarely in line with Evangelical beliefs. Aliens are not to the exclusion of Christianity, and their inclusion is as realistic as possible within the theology. That’s quite an accomplishment, especially in an era where science fiction tends to use the aliens to bash religion or subvert it by saying the aliens were Jesus or the angels of old.
The “Left Behind” series generates books as heavy as a Harry Potter novel but with less plot or action. “The Drawing” continually moves through the plot, with only modest preaching within the context of the story. There are no fifty page monologues like Ayn Rand.
Two main characters are geniuses, but no one else is super-human. But there is nothing utterly ridiculous like the ultra-wise, flawlessly beautiful young people with super-human physiques that grace many survivalist novels, horror novels and modern action movies.
A few characters like wonder-child Duki are so incredible that it would otherwise defy belief. However, the author ties this wonder child and his soul mate to a secret eugenics plot along with performance enhancing drugs to explain how such an advanced person could exist.
The book’s plot bounces between our near future and the character’s present, about seventy years after the final events referenced on Earth. You don’t have to wait for a sequel that may never come to find out what happens to the main characters who survive the violent turmoil on Earth.
Downsides of "The Drawing"
They are drawn to the cross. The cross draws them. Yes, that is the title of the book, and the reference is repeated throughout the book to excess.
There are other refrains to the crowd whispering and they whisper after every few paragraphs and on and on. But I won’t repeat myself as often as the author did.
One of the major drawbacks of the book is the clunky writing.
What makes a boss or Senator utterly evil, in one paragraph or less? Turn them into child molesters! This happens not once but twice in the book. This is a very tiresome trope.
The Christian science fiction novel “The Drawing” by Robert Leere is an interesting addition to the Christian fiction genre. I give this novel four stars out of five. I would have given it five stars if it had better editing.