My latest read is a book titled Shawn Hawk by author Roger Elwood. While I can’t say it’s the best book in the world, I enjoyed it more than Warren’s Wilderness…but not as much as Faulkner’s Unvanquished. The thing I will say is that it is a very fast read. I had the thing finished (about a hundred and twenty-five pages) in about two and a half hours. Generally, I don’t read books quite that fast, but I did this one.
If you look too long at the cover, it’s difficult to tell what the title is. The book is titled after the name of the main character and it is inscribed on the cover in exactly the same font as the author’s name. A little confusing and poor design by the publisher.
Maybe the reason I finished it so quickly was the simplicity of the work. After the opening 20 pages or so, Shawn is the only character on an alien planet. **I think I’m supposed to put “Spoiler Warning” here** I don’t worry too much about spoiling it as it’s not a new book. In fact, the publisher’s date on it is 1995. Anyway, in this story of the future, the earth is in such a bad shape that people are leaving it in droves. Technology has advanced to the point that individual families can now take a spaceship and head out to one of the multitude of colonies and/or worlds ripe for colonization. In the early pages, Shawn has left earth with only his mother and father on the ship with him.
Wouldn’t you know it, the ship crashes and Shawn becomes the only human on an alien world. Monkey Planet (Planet of the Apes) worked because the monkeys also talked and you could get their perspective and all that. The problem on this planet is that none of them can actually do much talking to him. They do find ways to communicate, especially a small tribe of monkey-like things, the entire tribe of which Shawn kills off by disease. Much like Americans did to the Indians when colonizing North America.
Elwood finds a nice way to work in belief in God, the one true God of Jesus Christ and not some “made-up” God that sounds an awful lot like ours. That was a nice touch and very refreshing to see in a science-fiction book.
There’s no indication that this book was intended for a younger audience, but I’d highly recommend it for a 12-15-ish age group. It moves along at a nice clip, is science fiction, and has Christianity firmly presented.
I found this book like I find a lot of the books I buy-on sale at the local Christian book store. I’m not certain I would have paid a “new” price for it, but if you can find it for $4 or less, buy it, read it, give it to an young teen.