By John Wozniak
I’m not really sure how to approach this review. I don’t exactly have anything good or bad to say about it yet I feel like I could write about this for days.
The first thing I should do is tell you exactly what this book is about. Arcpoint Traveler is a little bit dystopian, a little bit religious, a little bit adventurous. It takes bits and pieces from here and there to make a single story. We have a community that’s essentially been cut off from the rest of society for basically EVER. One day the protagonist, Arcon, manages to contact someone from outside the community—a female named Elaina. Their communication is pretty much forbidden but they go on, eventually developing a deep desire to meet one another. Of course, this prompts Arcon’s ideas to leave his home. He’d already had those desires but Elaina seemed to be the fuel to his fire.
There are truths revealed, journeys taken, and relationships broken in this book. It is something that will keep you thinking and turning the pages. But I can’t ignore the feeling that I’ve read this book before. While the world and futuristic aspects are original and somewhat unique, this book has been retold many times. I’ve read and reviewed at least three others by indie authors alone. A book about a hidden religious society with one person who wants to leave and explore the outside world. It’s like the standard for dystopian or lost societies.
I should point out that Wozniak himself does not consider this book to be dystopian but rather post-apocalyptic. I think that’s something that’ll be left up to the interpretation of the readers. I definitely tried to read it from a post-apocalyptic point of view but I found it a little difficult to separate the two genres. Not that you can’t have one without the other, but you certainly had both here. Again, this is up for debate and I’m sure it’ll be interpreted differently from reader to reader.
The biggest thing these kinds of novels tend to have in common is this underlying religious aspect. I’m never sure how to approach the religion in these kinds of books. It’s either the brainwashing enemy or the brainwashing savior.
While Wozniak didn’t exactly use faith as a crutch, it was prevalent in the book and served an important purpose to the story and character development. I’m not complaining about the inclusion of religion at all but it seems to be something that pops up in dystopian societies quite often. I will say it’s interesting to see how it’s used by different authors.
As far as the writing goes; it is written well and paced somewhat fast. The characters are believable and the events that play out are well explained. I would like to say that I enjoyed Arcon’s character very much and thought the style of narration really helped elevate him as more than just the main character but a person I could believe in and have compassion for.
I am not a huge fan of dystopian novels, especially when mixed with religion. Maybe I misunderstood the blurb when I agreed to read and review, maybe I had different expectations. Regardless, the book itself is not bad just not my particular cup of tea. I still recommend it to others, religious or not. I think it makes a nice addition to the dystopian genre—or whatever genre readers may see it in.
*I received a free copy of this email in exchange for an honest review*