Reviewed by Grace Bridges
The Word Reclaimed by Steve Rzasa
"...a fresh take on spiritual sci-fi in the form of a space opera set several centuries in the future."
The Word Reclaimed is a fresh take on spiritual sci-fi in the form of a space opera set several centuries in the future. One king rules over five planets including Earth, and tolerance decrees that none may hold a religion or own any paper books - because they can't be checked by the government's constant digital spying.
We are introduced to two groups of people: the crew of the Natalia Zoja trading ship, who unexpectedly salvage an illegal Bible from a wrecked ship; and the shiny-faced military sent out to hunt them down - including a hard-nosed security investigator and a sympathetic family related to the royalty.
Already we begin to see the scope of the tale. I particularly enjoyed the realistic mix of nationalities and languages found in space, with touches like the captain's Eastern European swearing, the haiku-quoting crewmember, and the wealthy Arab trader who goes to great lengths to protect the Bible.
We get plenty of space battle scenes and planetside combat while waiting to discover the plot within the plot. I have to warn you, there is no ending to the story in this book. Rather, it serves as a high gateway and an expansive frame in which a future epic may appear.
The greatest power in this book for me is its emotive description of people's longings for the Word - people who have survived on memorized scraps for many years and yearn to see the entire truth. For that, it is a job well done.
Grace Bridges is a sci-fi author (Faith Awakened, 2007, and Legendary Space Pilgrims, 2010) and owner of Splashdown Books, an independent publisher of inspirational sci-fi and fantasy. She's a Kiwi of Irish descent living in beautiful New Zealand, and a chocaholic cat-lovin' Trekkie, Jesus freak, web designer, and all-round DIY gal who also takes care of the Lost Genre Guild blog. Tweets: @gracebridges - or visit www.gracebridges.com for more.