My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Review: The Sovereign Reigns, or Does He?

The Sovereign Reigns, or Does He? The Sovereign Reigns, or Does He? by Ray Ruppert
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this book; I requested an ebook copy from the author for review. It just didn't quite live up to my expectations.

It was a bold attempt to visualize what the Reign of Christ described in Revelation 20:1-10 might actually look like. Admittedly I have not studied pre-millennialism doctrine much, as this was rejected by the Catholic Church in 373 AD; however, recalling the Left Behind series, I was very interested in how this eschatological time would be portrayed. Given the wide variance in the interpretation of the governing scriptures, the author sets himself up an extremely difficult task. The basic story elements comply with the specific milestones that I am aware of:

1. Satan is bound/imprisoned for the duration,
2. Christ will rule the earth with his Saints.
3. Satan will be released/escape for a final conflict at the end.

The story arc only covers that last few years of the Kingdom trying to illustrate how we build up to the final battle ... Which is the biggest strike against the book. It is ALL build-up with no climax; not even a cliff-hanger ending. Nothing at all to pull me into the sequel The Sovereign's Last Battle, which hopefully has a lot more action. Of the three plotlines, the only one that was truly interesting was the space exploration branch where Mr. Ruppert introduced some very original ideas about divinity. Unfortunately he also does some rather basic info-dumps that were irritating ... Probably because I was already very familiar with the topics presented; I tended to disagree with some of the material presented as well. The other two plotlines left me feeling like I had just finished reading an infomercial for evangelicals. The character development was somewhat stilted and shallow; used primarily as a means to introduce some of the more objectionable components of what amounts to a totalitarian government under Christ's control. Perhaps this was by design so that the reader would potentially identify more with rebels ... if so, he succeeded.

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.