For Us Humans by Steve Rzasa
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Picked up For Us Humans for review via NetGalley mainly because I wanted to read more of Rzasa's work.
It took me a little while to get into this one, probably because of the first person POV (still tends to be a hit-or-miss for me personally) and also because I'm not quite a Trekkie. Which goes to say this book is perfect for sci-fi lovers who can remember multiple episodes of Star Trek (and maybe other science fiction movies/series I don't watch enough of?) to get all the inside jokes I missed.
Still, For Us Humans is an exciting read: high-stakes intergalactic art theft with a side of espionage. For Caz Fortel--whose major talent is lying--to work with Ghiqasu Hounder Prime Nil--who smells lies amongst other things--to find the art thieves, he has to put aside both his prejudice against aliens and unwanted memories of the past. Nil doesn't make it easy either; the alien specifically requested to work alongside a Christian because of his personal quest for Qas and the One Who Died for All--which is exactly one of the things in Caz's past that he refuses to face.
Rzasa deftly serves you a side of theology alongside this cop procedural-thriller-space opera (because why not), but it's tastefully done and doesn't overwhelm the story OR push Christianity down your throat. Instead, it poses the question: what would happen to the Christian religion if aliens were real? Does it destroy faith altogether (because aliens weren't mentioned in the Bible) or is this something that can be worked around and accepted? Some concepts knocking around in there are faintly reminiscent of CS Lewis's Space Trilogy, but in a slightly less heavy-handed manner (if I recall right; it's been a while since I've read the Space Trilogy).
Despite being a "Christian" book (in some form or other), it isn't exactly "clean"--Caz has all but given up on faith ever since the aliens appeared and he's getting over his one-true-love by having multiple one-night stands. Nothing graphic is described, but the implications are there--including the impression that Caz swears a lot, even if it's not exactly written in the book. So if you're looking for a nice, clean, holy Christian read, this probably isn't for you. But if you're looking for more grit and reality and down-in-the-trenches stuff in your Christian fiction, this one's definitely for you.
Note: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was given the book with no expectation of a positive review and the review is my own.
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