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Richard Paul Evans' A Step of Faith: A Review
I've always enjoyed reading the work of Richard Paul Evans, and the Walk series especially seems to hit home with me. A Step of Faith is book four of the series, and while each book seems to improve on the predecessor, this one seems to have slipped just a little bit. I'm not by any means saying that this book was not a pleasurable read, nor that it didn't have the emotional impact as the rest of the series. I still shed a tear or two over the story, but for some reason, it almost feels like Evans rushed this novel just a little bit, resulting in some weaker pros.
Alan Christoffersen has finally hit his stride and was closing in on the last leg of his cross country walk, when he starts suffering debilitating headaches and extreme dizzy spells, collapsing along the side of the road. Most men would have died alone in the middle of nowhere, but no, he wakes to find himself in a hospital forty five miles away from where he fainted. Apparently some good Samaritan happens to come across his lifeless body and calls for help. As he wakes, he is surrounded by all his loved ones, and he can see it in their eyes that the news is bad. Come to find out, Alan has developed a large and dangerous brain tumor, but luckily, the survival rate is high and it's operable.
Please check out the fourth book to the Walk series.
Alan agrees to return home with his father and spend some time recovering. Alan is suspicious that his father has ulterior motives with insisting that he recovers in California, but decides that its worth the chance. The operation is scheduled right away, and the prognosis is good. As Alan's body heals, his hopes of bonding with his father are dashed when he starts insisting that Alan give up his walk and stay full time. Father dear even brings in Nicole to help nurse him to health and plant the seed of staying in Alan's head. Alan quickly dismisses the offers and flies back out to Louisiana as soon as he can stand and returns to his walk. But now, he has more to walk from: the pressures from his father to return to a normal life, his feelings for Nicole that confuse him and the ghosts of missed opportunities that haunt him. As he reaches ever closer to his goal, there is a truth that he can't escape: what happens when he reaches Key West?
Evans has the incredible aspect to bring his characters to life, and he infuses them with such powerful emotions that I can feel them in my own heart and soul. For some reason, this book just doesn't seem as tight as the rest of the series. It is still a good book, and still has that great emotional impact that I love, but the middle of the book just doesn't flow as well as the others. Usually, the characters seem so alive that it's almost like they are whispering their story right in my ears as I read, but for some reason they just didn't leap off the pages in this entry. I hope for the fifth (and I'm thinking final) book, he takes his time writing and give back the quality of writing that I've come to expect. Don't let my bad opinion sway you, if you've read the series along with me, it's a book that you'll want to read. I will continue to read his work, and I'm sure I will continue to enjoy them for a long, long time.