Monday, August 2, 2010
Book Review: Rooms by James L. Rubart
Author: James L. Rubart
Publisher: B&H Books
Release Date: 04/01/2010
Some reviewers have been comparing this to The Shack, a book that is also religiously oriented & set around a mysterious domicile. Since I've not yet read The Shack, I can't really say whether or not the two are similar. However, the descriptions seem to be different enough that people should go into this read with an open mind.
Micah seems to have it all: a successful business, a beautiful girlfriend/business partner, & a keen mind. When he learns that he's inherited a beach house from an eccentric uncle he barely knew, Micah's first instinct is to sell the beach house & move on with his life. After all, he never really knew his uncle & his memories of that beach are all terrible. All of those plans seem to fade away when Micah sets his eyes on the beautiful beach house despite all of the strange things that seem to be happening to him. Rooms that weren't there before suddenly appear. Business contacts claim to never have spoke to him even though Micah knows the talk took place. As the days pass, Micah finds himself becoming more & more involved with this mysterious house & more intrigued by the intriguing inhabitants of the surrounding town. But can Micah figure out what is going on? Is it possible for eternal salvation to be found through a beach house?
There are two warnings people should heed about this book, one of which would seem to be obvious. The first is that this book is very slow to start. The second is that this book is very heavy on the religious themes. While some might read the synopsis on the book jacket & know that it is religious in tone, some have been surprised at how much of the book is religious. Pretty much everything that happens in the book has a religious sense to it. This might alienate some readers who like their religious reads a little lighter.
Rooms does start off incredibly slowly, to the point where some might lose heart within the first 100 pages or so. Those readers should keep reading because even though the book does start off incredibly slow, eventually the pace does pick up & becomes an interesting enough read. The writing is a little green, but overall it is a fine first novel. The character of Micah is a suitable enough "Everyman", but the book truly shines when the secondary characters (mechanic Rick & uncle Archie) come into play. These characters are intriguing to read about & the reader might find themselves wishing for a book about these two characters & their interactions with each other.
Overall this book was an entertaining read, although it might find itself in stiff competition with some of the other religious themed books on the market. There's enough in Rooms to like though & there seems to be an fanbase growing for this book, so hopefully Rubart will be recognized in the future.
(ARC provided by Netgalley)