Sunday, June 03, 2007

Book Review: The God Tools

Author: Gary Williams
ISBN: 0741431297

In September 1999, Scott Seymour and Curt Lockes subdued a supernatural fish. In March 2000, they suppressed an ancient serpent. Now they are about to encounter another potent creature and an antediluvian man with an astounding connection to all three beasts, known collectively as the God Tools.

On a stormy night in June 2000, Cody Seymour vanishes from his Florida home. Less than an hour after his disappearance, the President of the United States receives an alarming phone call in Washington, D.C. The message is simple yet chilling:

Mr. President, we have a problem. We have to act now.

Thus begins Scott and Curt’s most harrowing adventure with the God Tools.

As Scott frantically searches his house and neighborhood for his missing son, he senses that Cody’s disappearance is tied to ominous events that extend far beyond a family crisis. His suspicion is confirmed when Dr. Samuel Tolen – the man with deep access to government resources, the man with a multitude of skills, some of which are legal – arrives to help Scott and Curt find Cody. He also warns that, if they don’t find Cody within five days, the earth will suffer a catastrophic event equivalent to the extinction of the dinosaurs. In order to resolve both dilemmas and rid the world of all three God Tools, they must decipher clues contained in an obscure passage of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

As the story unfolds, the reader learns the answers to some of the questions that remained unresolved in the first two books. In Fish of Souls, for example, there was a hint that the pond in Scott’s backyard was no ordinary body of water. The significance of the pond becomes clear in The God Tools. Moreover, in this final book we learn that Curt and Scott’s involvement in this chain of events was not coincidental. Everything that happened to them over the past nine months was orchestrated by a character whose presence and identity are finally revealed in The God Tools. The reason for their involvement, revealed in this book, is staggering. The resolution of all the mysteries and the overall conclusion of The God Tools are deeply satisfying. And the final scene will leave you shaking your head in wonder as Mr. Williams uses an infamous disaster to dispense justice to the villains.

As much as I enjoyed this book, I should point out that Mr. Williams’ character development remains uneven. His depiction of Scott’s anguish over his missing son was poignant but not maudlin. Achieving such a balance was no small accomplishment and Mr. Williams handled it well. He also offered occasional glimpses into the hearts and minds of Curt and Sherri. But Tina and Kay remained frustratingly bland and one-dimensional throughout the series, as did some of the villains. All three books in this trilogy have been driven by their plots rather than their characters.

Overall, The God Tools, the longest and best book in the trilogy, is an agreeable read. The story’s threads are tied together tightly and the reader is propelled forward, breathlessly, until the end. The plot is engaging, the balance between description and dialogue is pleasing and the momentum never falters. Mr. Williams’ ability to construct a coherent, complex structure is noteworthy. His connections of the events and characters throughout this book and across all three books were clever, and I’m looking forward to reading his next book.

No comments: