The Last Guardian by Shane Johnson, A Partial Review
Published 2000 by Waterbrook Press, 498 pages
Genre: Christian suspense, apocalyptic literature, fantasy, rated pg-13 (by me) for violence
I can see that this is a book a lot of people are going to like. A reader suggested it, so I checked it out of the library. (!)
The problem is that I can’t stand suspense. I’m not a Hitchcock fan, or anything like that. So I kept putting the book down when the suspense level got too much for me. Finally I decided not to finish it.
HOWEVER, if you are a Christian suspense lover, you may well love this book. So I am going to put it on your radar screen.
The book is based on the Biblical young earth. Before the disaster that we call the Flood, it was a warm world, like a greenhouse under a pink sky which somehow held plenty of water in suspension. Dinosaurs and mammoths lived in forests of fern fronds. People were there too. Evil was overtaking them.
There were fated to be 12 guardians of a holy object, who one after the other guard it until they are able to pass it off to the next guardian. Finally the eleventh guardian doesn’t find a successor. An unseen hand lifts the relic from his grasp before he dies at the hands of enemies.
Soon afterward, the Word of the Lord brings megadisaster on the planet, which writhes in pain, water, and mud. Most everyone and everything dies. Creatures are entombed, fossil beds laid down. (Noah we presume is somewhere on the other side of the world, saving remants.)
Now it is close to the present day. A modern doctoral student, TG Shass, is hiking with his friend and is caught in a thunderstorm rapelling down a rock face. Somehow he disappears for three days and reappears 2000 miles away.
The ancient relic is his now, and stays with him even when he tries to leave it with some scientists to study. So he is the 12th and last guardian. Evil spirit-creatures are now stalking him.
This is where I put the book down!
Characters are well developed. The lyrical detail is woven in. Suspense is built with little foreshadowing comments. It’s masterfully written, I can see. I assume TG moves from little faith to much more faith as the book progresses.
I know the book takes TG to another world called Noron. That’s because there’s a map of Noron at the front of the book.
So, I dare you! Check it out! Don’t be a wimp like me. And tell me if you liked it!–Phyllis Wheeler