David Livingstone meet Indiana Jones. The famed missionary explorer and the world-renowned, cinematic adventurer come to mind as one reads Andrew Comings’ new book The Astonishing Adventures of Missionary Max (Engage Faith Press, 2012).
In a fast-paced, engaging manner, Comings masterfully weaves his tale set on the fictional island of Cabrito. Political intrigue, a mysterious past, shady villains and maniacal kingpins — the story doesn’t follow the script one imagines for a typical missionary adventure tale. And Max is no missionary-want-to-be, he comes across as a man’s man who is forced into staying on Cabrito to make a difference.
The twists and turns of the plot, characters with depth and reality, and a locale where almost anything can go, keep one guessing throughout the book. Surprises abound as we come to terms with Max’s true identity, and learn more about his newfound friends. There is a romantic angle, too, but like the rest of the book – its a little complicated. The book stays suitable for teenagers, and perhaps older elementary children, although some of the themes will be over their heads.
The story is well crafted and one wouldn’t know it is Comings’ first book from reading it. It is a work of Christian fiction, however, and this comes through with its pointed message of forgiveness and reconciliation. And Max even shares his personal testimony in one scene. Yet this aspect of the book isn’t handled in a sloppy manner, and Comings manages to keep the story from becoming preachy in a stilted sense.
Many of us want our lives to count for Christ, and we all experience the struggles that Max does as well. We may not all have a military past that haunts us, but we each have our demons. This may be why this book resonates so deeply with me. Max is an imperfect hero who’s thrust into a situation he couldn’t have foreseen. But at the end of the story we can see that God’s hand is behind bringing many of the disparate threads together.
If you’re looking for some wholesome fiction from a new and rising author, look no further than Missionary Max. I hope the work will span sequels and that it will soon be available in a print format. For now, it is available in three parts at the Amazon kindle store. Its serial release may hamper sales, but the story as a whole really is worth its salt. Help out a new author and take a look at this promising work today.
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.
The book is available as an ebook from Amazon.com (for your Kindle) and BarnesandNoble.com (for your Nook) . I hope it will be available in other formats soon: check those links later as more options may be available.
Learn more about the book and its author (a real life missionary) at the author’s blog.