I am presently reading Keith Rommel's Spirit of Independence. I think he should let people know ahead of time that the book is deserving of an R rating. It is very dark. I think it could comfortably fall into the dark religious fantasy category. Why am I reading it? I somehow foundg his webpage and I read the first chapter and was very intrigued. I also read the first chapter of another book of his that is forthcoming and liked it. His style captivated me and I really wanted to know what was going to happen, so I ordered the book.
I am half way done and have mixed feelings about the book. The key thing is that the book is not Catholic so the theological outlook is not Catholic. This in itself makes it difficult to appreciate the book because, not only is the story's context beyond my horizon of beliefs, it falls beyond that of many other Christian groups. It is fantasy and fantasy is always a way to explore interesting ideas. His descriptive style, though is excellent.
He definitely has some interesting ideas, but I am not convinced that they are developed the best way possible. There are about six main characters and the book is written from multiple points of view, which is . . . unusual and may be a bit taxing. I am not always put off by multiple POVs, so that is not a major complaint. I'll definitely have more to say when I'm done reading the book. However, it is somewhat of a bear to read. I've seen very positive reviews of the book which was why I purchased it and all I can say for now is that it must be one of those deals that you either like it or you don't.
I feel bad because I could have spent the coin on a CWA-Catholic Writers Association member book and enjoyed a sure thing, but I was so intrigued by this book, and coupled with the fact that I like apocalyptic type stuff and stories that are not overbearing Catholic.