Monday, April 11

The Final Summit - a review

The Final Summit by Andy Andrews

David Ponder, first appearing in The Traveler’s Gift, returns in The Final Summit, set nearly 30 years after his quest for knowledge and truth.  He has learned the Seven Decisions and has worked hard to employ them in everything he does.  Yet he seems to have hit some sort of rut in his life, despite all the success he has earned.  He feels somewhat out of place in the world.  But then Gabriel returns and brings him to The Final Summit.  A gathering of all Traveler’s throughout history has been called, and David has been selected to lead them.  They are told that because of the course it has chosen, humankind may well be nearing its end, or at least undergo a cleansing reminiscent of the Flood.  David and the other Traveler’s must correctly figure out what humankind must do to avoid this destruction.  The guidelines: the answer is two words, they only have five guesses, and they have a time limit.

I have not read The Traveler’s Gift, nor did I realize when requesting this book from Booksneeze that The Final Summit was a sequel of sorts.  There are many times, especially in the first quarter of the book, that David’s travels are discussed.  This led to a bit of confusion and made it harder to get into the story.  I have, however, read The Noticer, which I previously reviewed and enjoyed, though it is a completely separate world and story from this one.

The Final Summit has several wonderful glimpses into human nature.  Many of those are provided by Gabriel, who oversees the Summit.  In one instance, Gabriel decries our egotistical nature.  “As humans, you think you are stronger than ever before.  You worship your own intelligence.”

During the times the Travel’s have to discuss how they will answer, they take the time to try to figure out why it is that humanity has to change and ways that it could most effectively do so.    During those times we are treated to glimpse of history.  One of the men was particularly interesting: Eric Erickson, who Andy reveals as playing a huge role in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II, though Erickson is seldom found mentioned in history books.

Presentation of historical information comes fairly often.  As a Travel joins the head table for discussion, they take time to introduce themselves and tell a bit about their history.  While with Eric Erickson it was interesting and informative, the rest I found boring or unnecessary, which leads me to the problems I had with The Final Summit.

Blending fiction and nonfiction together in a bizarre way, the book is often hampered by talk of historical events.  After the summit begins we are treated to historical information about Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, King David, Joan of Arc, and others.  However, Gabriel makes it clear at the beginning of the Summit that there is a time limit.  Yet then a considerable amount of time was devoted to historical background of a person.  At one point Winston Churchill takes time to give Lincoln a penny and explain how the penny inspired him.  Interesting, but it was unnecessary and pulled me out of the story.

The situation itself seemed implausible.  The idea that God was considering a huge catastrophic event to wipe out nearly all of humanity seemed ridiculous, especially given all of the events in the Bible from the flood to the prophecies in Revelation.  No good support was offered for this decision.

There also wasn’t much in the way of surprise or suspense either.  If the first guess appears in the first half of the book, it seems obvious that it isn’t going to be the right answer.  It didn’t inspire me to try to come up with my own answer either, which I feel it was trying to do.

Though I haven’t read The Traveler’s Gift, I’ve heard it’s a great book which is truly inspiring.  I cannot say this, however, for The Final Summit.  Despite flashes of insight, the rest of the book seems dull and uninspired.  The idea that there is one principle that will save humanity seems ridiculous.  For it does not seem that any principle can save humanity.  And I doubt that Andy Andrews has discovered the one principle that could save humanity.

2/5 stars

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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