Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Last Christian

When the daughter of a missionary couple emerges from the jungle, her entire village dead, it is to find a totally different world to that her parents told her about.  America has become completely secularised--preaching any sort of religion is seen as a hate crime, nobody seems to believe in God any more.  Not only that, but people have implants in their brain, and the first brain transfusions, replacing the human brain with an artificial one, apparently identical, are just beginning.  Abby receives a message from her grandparents: both of them dreamt that she would be the one to reintroduce Christianity to America.  But it seems an impossible task.

Invited to appear on a well-watched morning tv show, Abby speaks out about her faith, and then receives numerous threats, and will be prosecuted for inciting hatred unless she leaves the country.  But she's determined not to give up her mission, and a social historian, Deighton, decides that he'll help.  She is, after all, a fascinating cultural specimen, a survival from a past world.  Finding out what makes her tick could give him a huge insight into the 'religionists'.  Trouble is, there's a problem with brain transplants, and Abby has been given a clue to it.

Great characters, and an intriguing take on the future, this is a brilliant sci-fi/thriller novel.  I've passed it on to my mum to enjoy.  And even if you don't care about God, you have to admit that the potential to live forever would change everything.  If humans no longer die, there is no need for an afterlife.  But how would society adapt to an eternal population?

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