Good morning, Readers! I hope you’re staying safe and well. Today marks the end of my second work week at home, and my library’s closure has been extended approximately another two weeks. That puts us closed a few days past Easter. It’s difficult to think about celebrating at a time like this. But, I can’t help thinking about how much more meaningful the message of Easter might seem this year: God’s supremacy and power displayed against the background of human helplessness. Perhaps, with more time at home to really think about life instead of focusing solely on now, more people will be open to the Truth. Just a thought!
Today’s book review covers Calling From the Sky by Michael Copple. Set during and after the Cold War, this book looks at one man’s life as a parachuting enthusiast and his journey to faith.
About the Book
Title: Calling From the Sky
Author: Michael Copple
Publication Date: June 2016
Synopsis: When Luke Corbett, the high achiever, star miler, and Eagle Scout, joins the Air Force in 1961, he has no idea of the dangers that await him. Overly enthusiastic as a missile analyst, Luke unintentionally leaks classified information to Soviet spies. He reports the incident, setting off a chain of events that soon has Luke and his wife, Cheryl, in the crosshairs of a vengeance plot. His attempts to protect himself and his family launch him on a new career path. Yet, one day he wakes up to find himself strapped to a tree with his arm stretched out, his hand tied to a fishing line attached to his hair-triggered hunting rifle, aimed directly at his mouth. Isolated in the forest, will he be able to get out of this one alive?
Ultimately, I’m simply not the best audience for this book. There are a lot of positive elements in it; I especially appreciated the underlying theme of faith and discovering the truth through difficult situations. However, there are too many other aspects which I couldn’t enjoy.
An example: no matter how many times I try, I cannot bring myself to enjoy reading anything directly about the military (the only exception being Sarah Sundin’s books). I ought to be able to, but somehow it never resonates. This is no shortcoming of the story or author, yet, it is a fact which prevents me from forming an entirely positive opinion of Calling From the Sky.
Then there are the characters. I’m sure that some people will appreciate them, but I failed to connect with any of them, and therefore never truly felt like I was a part of the story. Luke, especially, was difficult. He’s presented as a perfectionist in most things, but also disloyal, and overall never felt like a real person. He felt like multiple people trying to live under the same name.
On the positive side, there is a lot of traveling involved in the story. Sadly, we don’t get to see or learn much about most of the locations. Still, I enjoyed the idea of jumping around to so many different places, while maintaining continuity in the story.
Finally, there are a couple of things that happen in the last third of the book which I can’t get into detail about without spoiling a few things, but that just irritated me. These things add up to Luke’s redemption arc being short-lived, which just doesn’t sit right with me.
I am entirely certain that there are people out there who will enjoy reading Calling From the Sky very much. It is a well-developed story about a man learning who God is over the course of his life, but it is also a story with a lot of military details and a somewhat problematic protagonist. There is nothing too gruesome, but I still found myself skimming the sections that focused on the military side of things. Also, I’m sure the characters will resonate with some people, but they never really got along with me. I’m giving Calling From the Sky 3 stars. I recommend it to fans of military fiction and messy (but genuine) journey-to-faith stories.
Have you read any books like this? Ones that you can objectively say are not bad, and you know immediately that the right person would love it, but personally you just can’t bring yourself to enjoy?
Stay safe, Readers.
Until the next chapter,