I don’t normally read fiction, but I stumbled across Andy Andrews about 10 years ago and he has become my favorite writer (and speaker). As I was reading Andy’s new book, THE FINAL SUMMIT, I kept thinking about another fiction writer, Jeff Shaara. This book reminded me a lot of Shaara’s work in that it is considered fiction, but the details are all historically accurate.
When The Final Summit arrived, I had several other books on my reading list in front of it, but I made the same mistake I’ve made before when picking up one of Andy’s books; I read the introduction to get an idea of what it was about, … and didn’t put it down until I had finished the book. It’s not the first time one of Andy’s books has cost me a good night’s sleep.
This is also going to be a difficult book to review in that I don’t want to talk too much about content or message and spoil the book for others. After all, this is a review, not cliff notes. There are dozens of pages that I have underlined quotes, highlighted paragraphs or written margin notes. How often does that occur in a fiction book? I wonder. But that’s how laden with inspirational messages the book is.
Andy is a master storyteller. Those familiar with Andy’s work will see a certain similarity to some of his previous work, but not so much that you feel like you’re reading the same thing over again. But there should be a certain degree of similarity as this book is a sequel to THE TRAVELER’S GIFT, and although it would be helpful, I would say it is not absolutely necessary that one read The Traveler’s Gift before reading this one.
After reviewing another book by Andy Andrew’s, a critic emailed me to tell me they were surprised a Minister would rave about a book obviously void of expression of faith. And even though Andrews references such characters here as Kind David, Moses and even Jesus Christ, I believe there will be a contingency of critics who will find this book equally void of faith. I disagree.
Here, David Ponder is called on once again by the Archangel Gabriel to meet with historical figures only this time, not to salvage his own life, but to salvage humanity. David meets up at the summit with other “traveler’s”, Here I will inject my only knock on this book. I felt there were too many former travelers. So many that I got the message that the only people who had achieved great success in life had been visited by the Archangel. Yes, I know, it IS as fictional story and I am probably being too critical of the creative liberties taken by the writer, but I did get that feeling and thought it only fair to express it.
So humanity is in decline (and who can dispute that) and Ponder and the Travelers are tasked with finding the 2 word message that will restore humanity onto the right path. We are introduced to a host of historical figures, most easily recognizable to the readers, a few others not so recognizable but equally fascinating. Together they rush against the sands of time to find the answer.
The book is laden with what I call “reader take-aways”; little segments you’re going to want to remember, highlight and refer back to. Things like this little gem spoken by Joan of Arc; “For if you are breathing, then you are still alive. And if you are alive, that means you haven’t accomplished what you were placed on earth to do.”, or this line uttered by Eric Erickson (you’ll have to read the book to find out who he is), “One person with courage forms an immediate majority and others are caught up in his wake.”, and this line also spoken by Erickson that is so timely and pertinent to our world today, “A nation that has forgotten the quality of leadership it took to make a civilization great in the past is not likely to insist on greatness in its leaders today.” Can I get an “AMEN” to that one?!
I have recommended THE TRAVELER’S GIFT and THE NOTICER to countless people and have given away I don’t know how many copies of those two Andy Andrews books, and I now have to add this one to that list. I would recommend reading The Traveler’s Gift first as it will help put things into context, but as I stated earlier, this book really stands on its own and can easily be read without the previous volume.
This is another splendid book by Andy Andrews. I commend him for his contribution to mankind and all he has done to inspire so many people to a more productive, successful and enlightened life.