Reviewed by Eric Wilson
Eternity Falls by Kirk Outerbridge
"The mystery elements are solid, if not anything too deep, and the sci-fi aspects grow more interesting as the story moves along."
Marcher Lord Press is the front runner in fantasy/sci-fi novels written from a Christian worldview. "Eternity Falls", one of the newest releases, boasts a fantastic cover and title, and I couldn't wait to explore this world of mystery and imagination. Set in 2081, the story mixes elements of "Blade Runner", "The Terminator", and a hard-boiled detective novel.
Macey is a former government agent called to investigate the demise of a famous actress. She should still be alive, particularly since she was a client of Miracle Treatment, meant to keep people living long past their expected lifespan. If Macey can prove the starlet died of unnatural causes, he will save the company billions instead of watching them lose clients who trusted the treatment's effectiveness. The only problem is that someone within the company seems to be involved, for motives unknown. Complicating matters further, Macey's investigation links him with an attractive woman whose own livelihood is directly connected to Miracle Treatment. When sparks fly between them, will it cloud his vision? Or hers?
"Eternity Falls" works on many levels, and I enjoyed the fast-paced conclusion that reminded me of "District 9." The mystery elements are solid, if not anything too deep, and the sci-fi aspects grow more interesting as the story moves along.
On the other hand, the book stumbled in dealing with ethical and romantic concepts. Outerbridge has worked many biblical ideas into the story, but ends up hammering them home at times, when they would've been more powerful if handled subtly. And by focusing on the overt spiritual issues, he almost entirely ignores the ethical issues of extending life and choosing when to end it. For me, though, the romantic angle was the most difficult to digest. While Macey and Sheila show some chemistry, they seem to jump too quickly from being strangers with stridently different viewpoints and lifestyles to dewy-eyed intimates. For the typical audience of a sci-fi book, I suppose this might work. I had a hard time buying that either would head this direction without some serious discussions and actual building of a relationship.
Despite these caveats, "Eternity Falls" has some rousing scenes, great imagination, and strong narrative. I had a lot of fun reading the story, and Outerbridge's own emotion is palpable in the conclusion, where we see the love of two brothers as they face mortality, salvation, and the question of what happens when eternity falls.
Eric Wilson is the author of twelve novels that explore Earth's tension between heaven and hell, the latest of which is One Step Away, a twist on the story of Job. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two daughters. Visit him online at his website.