Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Review of The Veritas Conflict by Shaunti Feldhahn

A Schizophrenics Tale
Name of the Book: The Veritas Conflict


Author Name: Shaunti Feldhahn


ISBN: 1-57673-708-X


Publisher: Mulnomah Publishers


Type of book: Adult, christian, religious, contemporary


Year it was published: 2000


Normally this is not a book I read for fun. Under any circumstances, I wouldn't have even touched it with a fifty foot pole, but because of my friend, I had to read it. At the time my friend was encountering difficulties with reading it and so he asked me to read it, promising me a dinner at my favorite restaurant along with a book at half price books under five dollars. I care for my friend a lot, so I agreed to read it. 


This whole book was completely ridiculous in my opinion, and of course, my friend being a kind of a person that loves converting anything that moves, (an extreme Christian in other words who attempted to convert for me for the last three years,) I didn't expect anything less than that. If it wasn't for me knowing of my friend's mental state, I probably would have laughed at the sheer stupidity in this book and the very obviousness of it. My thoughts and opinions were literally attacked in there. (Just grateful that she didn't include my faith in it.) and I disagreed a lot with it. There were literally angels and demons competing for the souls in this books, and anyone who is remotely liberal is seen as evil. (Homosexuality doesn't stem from the brain but stems from being abused by adults is one message I got. I don't believe that message.) 


This girl named Claire Rivers got accepted into Harvard. She comes from a very Christian family and isn't prepared to deal with Harvard. This book was really reminiscent of my friend. Claire always prays to God about the slightest decision she has to make. (I don't pray to be honest because I feel that my prayer sounds very insincere, and I believe that God helps me select what is appropriate for me through mine desires and the emotions that go to it. Hard to explain but its not as it sounds by the way.) and everyone seems to work to help her meet her desires. She also attends Christian groups and goes to church and whatnot. She also gets attacked frequently because of her opinions.  Claire also has a friend who is being lead away from God by a Prince of Demons. There are also a kindly professor and a TA along with other friends who help Claire out. From beginning I was able to predict various threads and how they would end up. Minus subject matter there are things I wasn't happy with in the book. 


First of all is that dozens of times I wasn't able to follow the conversation and the way it was going in classes. Second is that sometimes random events have no place or bearing to the story. (There is an instance of a pornography but the character never resurfaces again, or another character who dies midway but again what was the point?) Even though the novel is slim, I could barely keep track of who's who and their functions. Since I'm not a business major I also did not understand business side of the book, when one of the characters was explaining business as to how the company works. Claire and other characters weren't palatable to me and I didn't like them. I kind of liked an antagonist in the novel, although I wish that he would have been painted in a more positive light. 


The good characters are good and the bad characters are bad, there are maybe two in-betweens in the book. The plot is pretty basic "good vs evil" one. You know which side wins and all that. Boring. 


What are some themes of The Veritas Conflict? Okay, very simple, but extreme conservative Christians rule! Those who have different ideas from conservative Christians are being controlled by devils. There is also an advocation that the reason that there are mild Christians is due to devil's influence rather than enlightenment. (Again, if I didn't know my friend as well as I have, I really would have laughed out loud at the statement.)  To be honest, all this time I was living in Texas, I was constantly confronted by Christians who desired to convert me. Going to a 4 year university and learning Jewish history and the persecutions my ancestors have endured while under the radical Christian rule throughout different eras made me feel grateful that I was born when I was born. This is something that the author fails to understand. The secular atmosphere is not the devil's doing like she advocates, but instead, it's a sign that many Christians re thought of their actions and the pain they have brought throughout centuries to Jews so most have changed and are willing to respect us. What, would she have rather lived in the times of persecutions? From the novel I assume yes. 


The plot is basically linear and straightforward although it does veer into pointless tangents as I mentioned above. To an extent the plot is handled well with introduction to the main characters by third chapter and reference to the prologue by the end of the chapter. The ending wasn't handled well and kind of leaves more to be desired, kind of a proper conclusion to several plot lines that are left high and dry otherwise. 


The author also wrote other books such as Y2K: The MIllinium Bug-a balanced Christian response and words with We Care America Coalition. She also studied at Harvard. 


This is the summary taken straight from the back of the book: "A heavenly battle is raging for the heart and mind of a young co-ed, a college, and a nation. In this work of fiction, Harvard University is centuries old battleground in the struggle between good and evil, and one student has no idea she's about to be thrust onto the front lines.


"Claire Rivers arrives at Harvard an enthusiastic freshman but is ill prepared for the challenges she encounters to her Christian faith. Students and professors who proclaim 'tolerance' and revel in alternative lifestyles greet her beliefs with disdain-even hostility. But Claire soon faces an even greater challenge...


"Working with a godly professor, and protected by unseen members of the heavenly host, she uncovers disturbing information of a shocking plot against veritas-God's truth-at the university and beyond. CLaire must decide whehter she will risk all by helping to expose and transfrom the darkness-or give in to it." 


I am giving this novel zero stars not because its a Christian book but because of the plot and characters problems within it. 


Originally published 8/18/10
0 out 5 stars

(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

3 comments:

  1. Nice to see a person who already read this book. I'll work on this book as my English class. I was just looking for summaries to get it. I pretty understood why you gave 0 star on this book. AS a conservative Christian, I am gonna enjoy this one. Your summary was nice to read though.:)

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  2. While I do agree with the fact that it is an average and unoriginal plot, I must say that it is not all you made it out to be. Your review is very biased in the sense of it bashing anyone other than "Conservative Christians." It did not bash Christians at all. In fact, the true plot of the book was to show how Harvard has strayed away from its beliefs and become more liberal. It was to show how Harvard has attempted to make it a point to tolerate all religions while completely going against Christianity. The book deserves 3 stars and no less.

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  3. I got to chapter nine and couldn't even understand what the hell was happening in the story...

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