Wednesday, August 20, 2008

CFBA Tour: Merciless, by Robin Parrish

Here's a book I've been looking forward to for a long time. My take on it is below the author and book info.

Merciless by Robin Parrish

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Bethany House - July 1, 2008)


Robin Parrish


Robin Parrish had two great ambitions in his life: to have a family, and to be a published novelist. In March of 2005, he proposed to his future wife the same week he signed his first book contract.

More than ten years he spent writing for various websites, including,, and Infuze Magazine, which is a unique intersection between art and faith which he also conceived of and created.

One of his more "high concept" ideas for Infuze was to return to his love for storytelling and create a serialized tale that would play out every two weeks, telling a complete, compelling story over the course of nine months. That serialized story eventually came to the attention of several publishers, who saw it as a potential debut novel for Robin Parrish.

In 2005, Bethany House Publishers brought Robin full circle by contracting him for the rights to not only that first book, Relentless -- but two sequels including Fearless and Merciless. A trilogy that unfolded in the consecutive summers of 2006, 2007, and this year, 2008. One massive tale -- of which that first, original story would form only the foundational first volume of the three -- spread across three books.

Robin Parrish is a journalist who's written about pop culture for more than a decade. Currently he serves as Senior Editor at, a community portal that fuses social networking with magazine-style features about entertainment and culture. He and his wife, Karen and son live in North Carolina.


The world as we know it has ENDED.
DEATH and CHAOS creep across the globe and only the POWERLESS can RISE UP to stop it.

But can anything stop the onslaught of the DARKWORLD

From the earth's depths crawls a figure with skin like granite, flames for eyes, and the face of Grant Borrows.
Oblivion has arrived.

Every clock around the world has stopped. Time has frozen.

The Secretum have fulfilled the prophecy, unleashing on earth the most powerful being to walk the earth in thousands of years. His name is Oblivion and his touch is death.

He can't be slowed.
He can't be stopped.
And he can't be killed.

But as long as any live who trust in hope and love and freedom, the fight is not over.

They have only one chance before he brings forth the Darkworld.

Oblivion is: Merciless

If you would like to read the first chapter of Merciless, go HERE

Last year, when I finished Fearless, I really couldn't see where the story was headed. So, I started Merciless with a pretty open mind about what would happen next. And boy, I was not disappointed. What a ride. From the opening scenes, Robin Parrish takes the reader on a harrowing journey through darkness and chaos. At times, I wondered how he was going to resolve the story, but in the end, he did, and pretty satisfactorily, too. If you've ever wondered what the world would look like if evil was really let loose, Merciless offers a pretty convincing vision of the possibility. It's hard to talk too much about the plot without major spoilers, but I'll just say that though the story goes to some very dark places, hope and redemption awaits.

With his Dominion Trilogy, Robin Parrish has attempted something quite ambitious -- crafting a new mythology for a post-modern generation. I think he's succeeded. These are good stories, full of truth, but told in a way that is accessible to people from lots of different backgrounds, not only Christians.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Because any day is better with a picture of Kiernan

There's our boy smiling big. I went and helped a few weekends ago while Julia studied for her bar exam. I know, it was a tough job, but somebody has to do it. (the babysitting, I mean)

We had a good time, Julia got in some good studying and even a date with her husband. (And the bar exam is done and she is greatly relieved.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

A sign of the apocalypse?

Two quirks of my family:
1) We haven't watched the Olympics in years because the two stations we could get with the rabbit ears didn't carry them. But now we have cable and so that has changed.
2) Our three younger sons have no interest in televised sports.

So imagine my astonishment yesterday morning when I went into the living room and Joel was watching the U.S. men's soccer game.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

What I'm reading ...

I have eclectic tastes in reading, and usually have multiple books going at once. I've been reading some good stuff lately, so I thought I'd share:

His Majesty's Dragon, by Naomi Novik. I saw a review of the newest book in the series and thought it sounded like something I would enjoy, so I started with the first one. I was right -- I really enjoyed it. The stories are set during the Napoleonic wars, and the twist is that all the countries have, besides armies and navies, dragons! It's very cool, sort of Master & Commander meets Pern, but different. Novik writes consistent with the style of the era, her characters' attitudes reflect that time, and her descriptions and characterizations are vivid. Now that I've finished the first one, I can't wait to get hold of the next book in the series and see what happens to Temeraire (the dragon) and Will Laurence, his aviator.

The River at the Center of the World, by Simon Winchester. Back about 1995, Winchester took a voyage of the Yangtzee and this book is his account. It's also a voyage through Chinese history and it's fascinating. This is one of his earlier books, but I picked up a recent reprint this summer and I'm enjoying it (I haven't finished it yet).

Graphic Discovery: A Trout in the Milk and Other Visual Adventures, by Howard Wainer. I found this book about the development of information graphics when I was looking for a book by Edward Tufte in the K-State library. I suppose it's more of a textbook, but Wainer's style is engaging and the subject interests me. I deal with charts and graphs in my work and have always been interested in them. This book, along with Tufte's work (such as The Visual Display of Quantitative Information) are good explications of the subject.

Coming up is Merciless, by Robin Parrish, the final installment of his Dominion trilogy. I'm eager to get into this. I also just bought Water for Elephants, which everyone tells me is an excellent book, and The Jesus Creed, a book I've been meaning to read for a long time.