Disclaimer: This book may not be to the taste of some Christian readers, especially those who are sensitive to extreme violence or coarse language. The book is not overtly Christian, but intersects with Christian themes and concerns in the future world it envisions. For this reason, it will be of interest to many Christian readers. Those looking for easy conversion stories, or neat and "clean" fiction that doesn't quite accurately represent the world outside of church walls, might want to look elsewhere.
In Running Black, Patrick Todoroff envisions a possible future world in which corporations have more clout than nations, ethical concerns are overtly set aside in the face of potential economic gain, and technology is a coveted commodity. The tale of espionage and intrigue is violent, fast-paced, and thought-provoking. In many instances, it is quite chilling, both in the brutal scenes depicted and the ideas presented.
The characters in Running Black draw the reader right into the tale. They are likable and make you want to know what is going to happen next with them. The world in which they live is complex and nuanced, and full of cloak and dagger — all of which makes for a real page-turner of a book. Running Black is concerned with important issues, and it envisions the potential implications those issues could have on the world of tomorrow.
There are no easy answers to any of the questions raised in the story. The religious fanatics are still around, and the problems they cause in our real-world today are not yet fully resolved (though they've certainly exploded in Running Black). The ethical questions attached to technological advancements become a little mind-boggling in a world where everything has moved just enough beyond us to seem fantastic, even as we know we are on the brink of making some of these things a reality today. How those advancements will change our world, and how a Christian might react to those changes, is just one of the important questions explored in the book.
For anyone looking for an engaging read that tackles the difficult issues that face us today,Running Black is a great read, well worth picking up and getting sucked right into the tale.
©2010 Shelly Bryant
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