Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What If...?

So, what if some homeless guy starts healing the sick one day, a fellow who remains anonymous as long as he can and asks nothing in return from those whose lives he has saved? Would you believe that he was performing miracles or would your skeptical nature make you certain that he was involved in one of the biggest scams ever pulled on a gullible public? But then what if he healed one of your children, granting that child the future that was about to be lost to some terminal illness? Then would you believe?

When one skeptical New York reporter survives a terrible automobile accident despite losing so much blood that she could not have possibly lived through it, she decides to find the man who reportedly molested her in the street as she was bleeding to death. And when she walks out of the hospital just hours after doctors gave up on saving her life, that is exactly what she does.

It soon becomes obvious to Mary that the man was, in fact, healing her injuries, not molesting her, and she suddenly realizes that she has been handed every reporter’s dream story. She comes to understand that she has become part of something much bigger than just a career-making newspaper story, however, and finds herself falling in love with the man and his mission, a turn of events that places her in more danger than she ever could have imagined.

A man like John, a healer and a visionary who wants to change the world forever, is a threat to some powerful people who like things just the way they are. John has a plan, after all, that would end poverty everywhere in the world and allow mankind to live the Utopian lifestyle that has been dreamed of for centuries. His very existence is a threat to those on top of the heap who do not want to lose their power and economic dominance. When the governments of countries such as China and Russia demand that the U.S. put a muzzle on John, he literally becomes a threat to world peace, and there are plenty of people suddenly willing to do whatever it takes to shut him up.

What If? is quite a ride and it has one of the strangest endings I have encountered in a long time. It is a provocative look at what might happen if a true miracle worker were to suddenly appear in the modern day world, a hopeful, but sad, story about the most likely “what if” scenario that would develop from such an event.

Steve N. Lee has written an unusual thriller that will have the reader quickly turning pages almost all the way through it. My only quarrel with Lee’s storytelling is the excessive number of pages he used on a rather anticlimactic court trial toward the end of the book. That section, in fact, stalled the book’s momentum to such an extent that it became somewhat of a chore to get through it. But that is a small complaint when compared to the pace maintained in the rest of the book.

WARNING: Do not succumb to the temptation to read the book’s ending first because this is one time that I can guarantee that you will regret doing that.

Rated at: 4.0


See Bethany's Review Here

7 comments:

  1. Sam, my TBR list has doubled since I started reading your blog. Definitely have to add this one!:)

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  2. Sam, will you quit reading and reviewing books?! I've got books I've bought eons ago that I'm never going to get to at this rate. :)

    What If sounds good. It also sounds somewhat like it's going unfold exactly the way I'd expect it to if it actually happened.

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  3. Carrie, it's a pretty cynical look at what would likely happen...it's not at all a "feel good" kind of book.

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  4. Hi Sam,

    I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to review 'What if...?'. (Sorry to comment so late but your review was posted while I was on holiday.)

    I’m absolutely thrilled you enjoyed my book and found it a page turner. It’s always a joy to learn you’ve entertained and touched someone. Makes all those endless months of hard work worthwhile!

    I’m sorry to hear you found the courtroom a little slow. When so much had happened and yet there was still so much mystery, the pace was intentionally slowed to allow plenty of space for the reveals. (Early drafts were quicker but some readers, mainly those who skim read, missed vital clues as to what was truly going on.)

    Jen, Carrie – I hope you enjoy my work. Thanks for the interest.

    Thanks again, Sam. All the best,
    Steve

    Steve N. Lee
    author of ‘What if…?’

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  5. Steve, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments for us...much appreciated.

    I do see how you used the trial to add some missing details and answers. I suppose that the pace of the book had me in such a rush to find out how it ended that the slowdown for the trial just really struck me as a wall to climb over. But like I said, that was a minor quarrel in such a fast-paced and fun book.

    Best of luck to you in the future. I'll be watching to see what you do next.

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  6. I just reviewed this too! I love reading reviews after I have read the book, it really allows me to understand more what other readers got out of it.

    The courtroom scene didn't seem slow to me, that was actually very interesting to me. Funny how we are all so different. :)

    Great review Sam!

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