Inspired by the author’s own religious conversion, uplifting themes characterize Mark’s narrative, along with a steady stream of Christian aphorisms. “Regrets are the past crippling the present” and “Joy…is the serious business of heaven,” learns the castaway, bringing him serenity even as he despairs of ever seeing his home or family again. Upbeat self-talk and Angel’s playful companionship maintain a light tone throughout. This positivity, along with nods to Navajo and metaphysical beliefs, enliven otherwise serious lessons about God’s plans. Amid Mark’s fantastic luck, readers cheer as he recognizes past wrongs, grieves, and strives to become a better man.
When his treasure-seeking daughter enters the story, the plot turns refreshingly adventurous with a Da Vinci Code-esque zeal for puzzles and portents. Religious clues from a pious pirate’s diary, like Jesus’ age at death and the Cross of the Calvary’s location, lead the family on a scavenger hunt around the idyllic island. Depictions of frolicking dolphins, waterfalls, and rainbows add a tropical vacation spirit that grows in delight as Mark’s God-enhanced future unfolds. Reynolds delivers classic Christian inspiration anchored in the Prosperity Gospel and seasoned with romance and quick history lessons.
Takeaway: This inspirational Christian adventure boasts a castaway, a treasure hunt, and ancient mysteries.
Great for fans of: Lisa T. Bergren’s Begotten, Jeanette Windle’s Firestorm.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A