Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Eternal Struggle by James Rourke review

The Eternal Struggle: Two Worlds, One War
5 stars

The Eternal Struggle: Two Worlds, One War by James Rourke was a fascinating read. He has a somewhat familiar theme of life after death taking place in Limbo, but he put a spin on it that I had never seen before. When a good person dies their soul travels to Limbo where they are confronted with a lecture hall setting explaining their options. Choose reincarnation or continue life in Limbo. If you should choose to stay in Limbo you must overcome the part of your personality that keeps you from being worth from entering Heaven. The first example given is a man who was a teacher in life who blamed his students for their lack of attention and learning, not being willing to take any responsibility himself. His task in order to be raised to Heaven is conduct the orientation seminar for the newly deceased with less than 6 questions being asked of him.

The conflict between good and evil takes place in Limbo with an all star cast of historical figures on both sides. Hitler, Stalin, Himmler, Attila the Hun and many more are the aggressors trying to take over Limbo in order to have a greater influence on Earth. Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Leonidas, are a few of the big names on the side of good. Also fighting for the side of good you have Seamus, an Irishman who has been around Limbo for awhile and is working on getting to Heaven and Jon a 17 year old kid who just arrived in Limbo and gets sucked into the conflict.

I very much enjoyed reading about all of the historical figures with Abraham Lincoln being my favorite by far. One of the main characters, Niccolo, brought the story to life. He is Limbo's longest resident and acts as a guide for many of the newcomers. Since he has been around for so long he also has a leadership role with many people looking to him for direction and inspiration.

There is also a story of political intrigue on Earth with three presidential candidates on the campaign trail. I enjoyed this book very much and talked about it so much that I think my wife is going to read it as well. This is an impressive first offering in the realm of fantasy by James Rourke. There only thing I would have liked to have seen is a map of Limbo with the various regions explained. Well done James.

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