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As part of this year’s Black Friday Christian Book Sale Blog Tour, I had the opportunity to read Implant by J. Grace Pennington to review it. When reading it, I couldn’t put it down–it was a fast read, not too in-depth but engaging all the same.

The book’s concept–a medical miracle implant which can cure cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and practically all other diseases, but which has been turned into a way to control people–is what drew me to the story.

The main strength of this book is certainly its characters. Gordon Harding just wants to be a nice person–he doesn’t want to fight, but he ultimately has to take a stand. Neil Crater, an intelligent man trapped in a nightmare world, unsure of who to trust. Doc, who doesn’t want anyone to know his real name.

However, outside of those main three, there are only a few other characters who are fully fleshed-out. I wish they had all gotten more development.

Secondly, the setting. When I was reading the main action of the book, I saw a bombed-out Wild West town surrounded by tents in my mind’s eye. Post-apocalyptic and similar genres aren’t often setting-rich, focusing on characters instead.

And finally, the main premise. Gordon Harding is someone who wants to live. By the end of the book, he becomes someone willing to sacrifice his life, and someone who is willing to avert the future he’s been a part of.

What bothered me about this book was I didn’t feel very connected to anyone outside of the three main characters. Also, I began to see the main major plot twist coming from about 50 pages in, though maybe that’s because I read so much fiction. When a character’s real name is not revealed, there’s always a reason for it. (Unless you’re watching Doctor Who. Then it’s just artistic choice.)

One thing I was relieved about, reading the book: this book does not involve mind control. I feel that mind control and other forms of zombie-ism are overused in fiction–I much prefer when the characters have the free will to make their own (right or wrong) choices. There’s something powerful in that–perhaps more powerful than the pedantic trope of “oh, he did it against his own will!”

I do feel that the ending may have been a bit of a cop-out. However, as that same cop-out was very much a part of making everything worse before the climax, I can excuse it.

Another thing I would have liked to see more of would be Gordon trying to rejoin society after his big adventure. After all, you’ve just had a life-changing experience. What do you do now?

All in all, I would give this book 3.7 out of five stars.

From November 24th-30th a huge selection of discounted books is available at indiechristianbooks.com. You can also join the Indie Christian Authors for a week-long Facebook party during the same dates, or visit http://www.indiechristianbooks.com/supporters/ for more information. There’s also a giveaway–visit http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/62a405b99/ for that.