Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review: Fatal Reality

“Only when we stop lying about who we are will we start growing into who we’re supposed to be.” –Kyle Borders, Fatal Reality

In a time where reality shows are ratings gold and “Reality Stars” capture the majority of entertainment headlines comes a new game involving an island, six contestants, a perilous race, and the biggest prize in history. 

There’s just one problem: neither the contestants nor the global audience has a clue a new player has entered the scene and is about to change all the rules. The new stakes? Only the winner will be allowed to live.

Fatal Reality, the debut novel by Jonathan Wakefield, introduces Kyle Borders, a well-known and respected evangelical leader who spends his life teaching how important it is to be real as believers and who joins the game with the hope of winning souls for God’s kingdom. However, like every other human on this planet, there is a secret from Kyle’s past he keeps hidden from everyone — including himself — and Daniel Vatz, a very disturbed individual who knows the truth has taken it upon himself to reveal to the world just how fake Kyle really is.

Joining the mix is an Atheist who believes humanity can only reach its full potential by throwing off the shackles of antiquated beliefs and perceived notions of right and wrong, a Muslim naval intelligence officer seeking Truth, a corporate banker from Chicago who will do just about anything to get to the top, a former NFL football player trying to regain his pride, and a TV host who has never seen beyond himself and his next contract.

Fatal Reality tackles the deadly race from multiple points of view, giving readers the opportunity to see the world through most of the character’s eyes. As with any reality series, you find yourself connecting with and rooting for each of the individuals for various reasons, and leaves you hoping against hope they’ll find a way to put their differences aside long enough for everyone to make it to the end alive.

While there are a few places where Fatal Reality borders on being dialog heavy and thus hampers the action a bit, the book is overall engaging and thought provoking. Readers, like the characters, will find themselves asking how far they would go to protect themselves and the lives of their loved ones, and are brought to the slow realization that the choices we make and the secrets we keep don’t just affect us individually, other lives are impacted as well. It also shows that no matter how far you fall there is always a chance for redemption. Best of all, the book does so without sounding preachy.

At 290 pages, Fatal Reality makes for a good weekend read, and if it offers any clear indication to Jonathan Wakefields’ future endeavors, I would say we have some incredible stories to look forward to.

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