Deep Black Road
by Allen Scovil
WestBow Press

"Ricky had only enough time to put his hands up defensively before it rammed into him and smashed him against the near wall."

Ricky's life changed forever after he was killed. The son of a top scientist in the field of robotics, he was helping his father and a fellow scientist with their work when an out-of-control robot inhabited by the "spark" of a chimp attacked him. In a desperate attempt to save him, Ricky's spark was transferred from his battered body into another robot before the boy died. In the few minutes prior to this exchange, however, Ricky found himself standing naked on top of a lifeless hill within sight of death's door. There he encountered a tall white-robed man and a large black dragon. Despite the dragon's desire to have him, the man said it was not yet Ricky's time and sent him back to the land of the living, saying that he was destined "for great and terrible things." Just how great and terrible these would be, and how the world would be changed, Ricky would soon discover.

In this fast-paced science fiction novel, Scovil raises intriguing questions about what constitutes humanity while weaving Christian themes throughout the narrative. For example, the change in how Ricky reacts to people and situations once he is no longer affected by bodily urges is entertaining, but the obvious emotional longings he feels still mark him as human, as does his desire to follow God once he discovers he is real. While the book doesn't follow the typical interpretations of the prophecies of the end times common to most Christian novels, it does include many of the same ideas associated with the Antichrist and the persecution of believers. Filled with suspense, sci-fi action, thought-provoking ideas, and technological advancements that seem reachable in the not-too-distant future, Scovil's story has a lot going for it.

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