Children of the Good

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Category: Self-published
Genre: ,
Date Published: April 17, 2014
Number of Pages: 216
Print Price: $8.84
eBook Price: $0.00

Children of the Good S1:E1 Series Premier written by Felix Whelan is a difficult book to classify.  At first, I thought it was going to be a dystopia-parable story dealing with the end of times reflecting a kind of Brave New World theme. But as I got farther into the work, it plowed right into the background events and the history of the characters, and suddenly the book took on the tone of a thriller.  In spots, it refers to spiritual realities and I was suddenly seeing prophetic imagery.  So, though it is labeled fantasy, this book has a lot more to it than meets the eye at first glance.

The story starts out with a young girl being subjected to an interrogation where she is forced to admit her part in a game where she and her friends recited a particular poem.  Then she is threatened with being separated from her family forever if she does not reveal the names of all the other children playing with her.  Apparently this poem is seriously frowned upon. Right away the reader is struck by the cruelty of the interrogating adult and the internal struggle of the child.  The child’s innocence is clear and the menacing nature of the interrogator is obvious.  What is not clear, at first, is why a poem would upset the natural order of the “school” so much so that they would come down so terrifically hard on a small child. The poem, itself, offers a few clues.  It describes the world as being created for Good but then becoming overwhelmed by Evil.  It prophesies the return of the Good. 

In the beginning,

there was only the good,

and the Good made the world,

and put all the people in it,

and the people were good,

and everyone was happy…

And when they woke up,

nobody was happy,

and the Evil made the people

be evil to each other…

But the Good is coming back…

Obviously the school is run by people heavily influenced by evil.  Later in the story, we learn about the Woman and her seed.  The Woman appears in supernatural form to the children and the remnant of the Good, while the Evil is being led by a demonic force which embodies a particular man who has become extremely powerful.

As in all good and evil stories, the good guys are ordinary people the reader can relate to, but in this story, the evil guys seem a tad too familiar as well.  Through Mr. Whelan’s chapter by chapter timeline, you get to see exactly how the evil force has managed to become so strong. I found myself being sucked into the story by the very nature of its familiarity.  He made some of the future events startlingly plausible.  By the end of the story, certain issues are resolved, not always happily, but there are a lot of new questions that need to be answered.  In order not to give the story away, it is suffice to say, that I’m hoping the remnant makes out OK, but I am quite certain that there is a tough journey ahead for everyone.

At first, I was concerned that this was going to be a simple good-guys vs bad-guys story, but Mr. Whelan veered away from that by including the history of world events and in his careful consideration of the characters.  The good guys aren’t all good and the bad guys aren’t all bad.  Everyone has a reason for the side they have chosen. 

The main guide to life at this futuristic point, The Gospel of Self, is actually quite brilliant.  I once read that Lucille Ball was converted, not by Christianity, but by a book called The Art of SelfishnessThe Gospel of Self reminded me of that very much. With events like Universal Self Day and helpful student guides to The Gospel of Self it seems that pretty much everyone is brain washed along the same lines. Personal happiness and relativistic judgment rule the day and the world.  There are definite shades of Brave New World here. I would naturally suggest that such massive brain washing is impossible, except that I see it happening in our present culture.  Attitudes and behavior that would have horrified our ancestors are now considered merely alternate life choices by the current culture. Though Mr. Whelan has taken the relativistic mind set to an extreme, it does carry the weight of plausibility.  The honesty of the characters, both good and bad, also carry the story along.

Without a doubt there is a Christian theme threaded throughout the story.  In fact, it is what holds the book together.  The Woman is the Blessed Mother and I take it that her Seed is the coming of Christ in the form of the Good.  I was a little confused about some of the imagery.  I was not sure what was being suggested at times, but I tried not to over analyze everything and instead tried to enjoy the story as it incorporated Catholic iconic images. 

The over-all style and grammar was flawless.  I did not catch a single mechanical error. At the end of the book, Mr. Whelan suggests that reviewers mention that this book would make a great movie.  At this point, though it is a very original, well told story, I would really like to know where he intends to go in the future. I’m looking, not so much for a movie, but for the next book to finish the drama of this story.  I would give Children of the Good a 5/5 and recommend it to readers: mature teens and up. Very creative work, Mr. Whelan.  Thank you.

ISBN-13: 978-1497444324
Original Language: English
Book Dimensions:

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Ann has had articles published in the New Oxford Review and the Latin Mass. She won runner-up in fiction for ARAM in the 2011 Indie Publishing Contest. The Road Goes Ever On has an imprimatur from Bishop Paprocki of the Springfield, IL diocese. ARAM, and Ishtar's Redemption have won the Catholic Writer's Guild Seal of Approval. Neb the Great and all of her books are available as e-books and paperbacks through AMAZON Books.

Her newest book, Georgios, has made it through the 1st round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest.

Ann has a B. S. in Elementary Education. She was married to John Frailey who was also an educator for many years, but passed away in December 2013 due to cancer complications. She has eight children and she home educates them while maintaining a mini-farm.

Ann devotes her time to writing books that align Christian thought with the lived adventure of becoming who we are called to be. She loves her various roles as mother, educator, and author. She enjoys spending her time with her family and friends (& critters) on their mini-farm in rural Illinois.

Ann's future fictional works will reflect on the journey-quest of humanity from our ancient past into the middle-ages. Visit her website often for her newest blog, chapters of her stories, movie and book reviews, rambling impressions on what our culture is up to these days, updates on her writings, book signings, and public speaking events.

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