In his novel A Form of Godliness, Shane Johnson transports the reader to a world long since impacted by the attacks of 9/11 in New York City. The United States has become a nation where human life has no value, terrorist attacks are common, and truth does not exist. The characters, which are both Christian and non-Christian, struggle to make sense out of a country that has abandoned God and morality for worldly perfection.
Immediately, the reader is engaged in a gripping, suspenseful story that keeps him turning the pages. Johnson does a brilliant job of juggling his large cast of believable characters, and he skillfully handles the emotions and severity of the situations found in the novel. He also creates a shocking prologue involving a terrorist attack on a crowded sports stadium, which grabs the reader’s attention and refuses to let go.
The three main characters are Matthew Bridger, president of the United States, Bryson Lawe, a Secret Service agent, and Karen Foley, a Christian activist. Bridger tries to maintain world peace over the heated issue of supporting Israel. In order to stop a massive terrorist strike, Bridger decides to withdraw America’s support from Israel. Lawe is torn between his busy career and his relationship with Foley, who openly hints at marriage. She decides to follow her faith and becomes an activist against the lawful killing of babies, but Lawe, her boyfriend, disapproves. He thinks her job will come between them, and he doesn’t understand her Christian faith.
Being a strong president, Bridger undergoes extreme pressure and faces many tough decisions, some of which he makes for the wrong reasons. Lawe is dedicated both to his job and his girlfriend, but he’s afraid of marital commitment and is skeptical about Christianity. Meanwhile, Foley is passionate about her faith and wants to make a difference in the world. Sometimes she becomes too wrapped up in her mission and doesn’t realize how dangerous her profession can be.
I enjoyed this book immensely. It is frightening and intriguing to read because the events in the book can easily become reality. It makes the reader examine the American culture and current world events. It is entertaining and holds a significant amount of importance and urgency, and I eagerly await the next installment of this on-going series. I highly recommend this book for high school students, college students, and adults. Because of the intensity, seriousness, and violence found in the book, I do not think it is appropriate for younger audiences. -- Kyle Waalen, Christian Book Previews.com
Welcome to America: where every school child is completely healthy; where an all-embracing church speaks only of unconditional love and acceptance; where diseases once thought beyond reach have been conquered; and where those who have lost loved ones receive soothing messages of hope.
Yet beneath the surface of this seeming utopia lies a horrifying darkness.
In a world long since reshaped in the wake of 9/11, Matthew Bridger, president of the United States, Bryson Lawe, a Secret Service agent, and Karen Foley, a Christian activist must face the atrocity the American dream has become. Life has lost its value, deception is epidemic, and in a nation of more than three million square miles, there is no room for God.
As a Russian oil embargo jeopardizes American petroleum reserves, a massive terrorist strike forces the United States to withdraw its support of Israel. Finally given their long-awaited opening, enemies of the Jewish state attack, igniting a war that threatens to sweep the globe. Amid the escalating chaos, Bridger, Lawe and Foley race to uncover the truths that will secure their survival–and that of America itself.