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G.M. Lawrence’s career as an author can only excel from here given the sophistication of his first novel. Q: Awakening focuses on the quest of conflicted hero, Dr. Declan Stewart, in not only searching for an ancient manuscript (“quelles”), a lost gospel believed to be written by Christ, but also regaining his faith in people and God after years of hiding.

The writing in Q: Awakening is elegant and clever, providing multiple layers and insight into a variety of complex cultural, political, and religious components. While this is an action-packed, save-the-world adventure, there is significantly more depth due to the philosophical aspects and the conflicts among and within the characters as well as the motives driving each of them. And all of this can draw a variety of audiences ranging from diehard adventure/thriller fans to those interested in modern philosophical fiction.

The read is captivating and enjoyably consuming in everything from character development to the vivid settings covering anything from New Zealand to the deserts of Saudi Arabia. While most plots have one villain, Q: Awakening has multiple villains with multiple agendas. Some want to profit from Q while others want to destroy it.  

Beyond struggling with accepting that Q is his destiny and obsession, Declan is also interesting because of his struggle with moving forward after already having lost so much during his prior search for Q. As with any good and believable hero, Declan is flawed and even mysterious. His constantly weighed conscience forces him to accept his mission despite the fact he insists he doesn’t believe it is the salvation of the human race.

The quality of writing and imagination mixed with the detail and realness of the characters and places is quite refreshing. Since Q: Awakening is the first in Lawrence’s trilogy, the remaining novels have quite a bit to live up to as well as a lot of questions to answer. Given the complexity and adventure in this novel, a screen adaptation would also be successful and well-received.

G.M. Lawrence

 

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