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Dauntless Homecoming Paperback – July 21, 2010
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About the Author
The author, Pete Koziar, holds the position of Principal Research Scientist at a major defense contractor, and also serves as the pastor/rabbi/congregational leader at B'nai Avraham Messianic Congregation just outside of Baltimore Maryland, USA. He lives happily with his wife, one son, and two attitude-enhanced little dogs.
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This story was a tremendously ambitious attempt to blend Sci-Fi with End Times theology. I found myself lost in the story, but not in a good way. The characters who encountered by the space travelers upon their return all have unusual names. There are a LOT of them and they are mostly bland, making it difficult to keep them separate. The crew members of the Dauntless were slightly more well-developed. It made keeping up with the plot a bit challenging.
The story itself is ok, but doesn't quite keep up with the scale of the story I think Koziar intended to tell. He attempted to "go deep" with issues like good v evil, the true nature of freedom, the value of faith, etc, but he tried to dig into so many issues that they all seem shorted.
The book has a number of editing issues that are typical of a self-published novel. For the most part, they aren't too distracting except for the following. There are entirely too many exclamation points in the dialogue. Considering the grim nature of what is going on, it makes the characters seem oddly upbeat. There is also the consistent misuse of "who" and "whom". It happens so much that I was beginning to wonder if maybe the particular dialect spoken by the characters simply used the words differently. The prose also leans on a number of "go to" words/phrases which results in a lot of sighing, head shaking, glaring, etc by the characters.
All-in-all I liked the book ok, but couldn't shake the feeling that it could have been so much better than it was. The prose is very readable if the issues I mentioned above don't bother you, and Koziar uses a number of interesting similes/metaphors that are often well-employed. His descriptions of the settings, particularly those outdoors, are vibrant and well-done. I'd rate this 2.5 stars rounded to 3 (but I'm a tough reviewer!).
What hooked me was the description of space travelers returning to Earth after years of travel to discover sweeping changes had occurred. I never get tired of this theme whether in the form of the ever popular Planet of the Apes or a largely forgotten work of Larry Niven - A World Out of Time.
In this respect, Dauntless Homecoming is not only not a disappointment, but ranks equal to these similar works. I enjoyed the characters - most were developed so vividly it would be easy to confuse them with real people.
The work is unapologetically Christian, but strangely avoids religious overtones and never becomes as trite as some mass publications about the end times. The author wisely avoids the tiresome Rapture issue and doesn't try to predict how events unfold, but dumps the reader into the time when good has triumphed and the world under Christ is almost a Paradise, though still holding many dangers and challenges.
This use of understatement captures the reader and places the book at a serious level rather than as a tract trying to promote the author's theology - which also makes the comparison to C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy completely plausible. Not only that, but Koziar also uses this to pull the rug out from under the reader's feet at times - providing a wonderful balance between being descriptive and still letting the reader's imagination take over. There was one part of this book where this was done so effectively, I almost had bad dreams later. Note fellow fans of 2001: A Space Odyssey and it's HAL 9000 computer will love a good part of this novel!
I enjoyed this work very much. Peter Koziar succeeded in creating a story in a setting few have dared to tread. It was a worthwhile read and one I'm sure I'll come back to again and again. I hope to hear more of Peter Koziar in the near future!
If you are pretty familiar with the Millennium teachings of the Bible (especially "Revelation" 20:1-8) you will find that "Dauntless Homecoming" is pretty credible. It suggests a way that an unbelieving part of the Millennial population might develop. Thus they would be available for the Battle of Armageddon, which immediately follows the Millennium.
If the above paragraph makes sense to you, plunge right on into "Dauntless"--it's pretty exciting. OTOH, if all this seems confusing (or dumb), I would advise you to skip "Dauntless." But be sure to wait for Koziar's next book. IMHO, he's mighty talented!
Most recent customer reviews
Originality - 5/5
Writing Style - 5/5
Plot - 4/5
Characters - 4/5
Aesthetics - 3/5
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