Review: ROOMS by James L. Rubart

TITLE: Rooms
AUTHOR: James L. Rubart
AUTHOR WEBSITE: www.JamesLRubart.com
GENRE: Adult, Christian, Mystery, Fantasy
PUBLISHED:  January 1, 2010 – B&H Books
MY SOURCE: Local Library
MY RATING: 2


SYNOPSIS:

(Courtesy of Goodreads-No Spoilers!)

On a rainy spring day in Seattle, young software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic, twenty-five-year-old letter from a great uncle he never knew. It claims a home awaits him on the Oregon coast that will turn his world inside out. Suspecting a prank, Micah arrives at Cannon Beach to discover a stunning brand new nine-thousand square foot house. And after meeting Sarah Sabin at a nearby ice cream shop, he has two reasons to visit the beach every weekend.

When bizarre things start happening in the rooms of the home, Micah suspects they have some connection to his enigmatic new friend, Rick, the town mechanic. But Rick will only say the house is spiritual. This unnerves Micah because his faith slipped away like the tide years ago, and he wants to keep it that way. But as he slowly discovers, the home isn’t just spiritual, it’s a physical manifestation of his soul, which God uses to heal Micah’s darkest wounds and lead him into an astonishing new destiny.


REVIEW:

**SPOILER ALERT**


The main character, Micah, is pushed into a journey of spiritual discovery. This book had a great premise: A house that represents his soul. I liked the idea of the house and dealing with the hidden parts of the soul. My mother uses this sort of thing (she calls it the House of Soul) in her wholeness counseling sessions. (Link to her blog: bearcreekblog.com) I went right out and bought it from Books-A-Million with high hopes but sadly they were dashed.

The major theme of the story is giving up worldly things for things of the spirit: Choosing God over money. I was happy with this concept until the guy is losing things as he advances his relationship with God in a sci-fi way, not in a "turning from it" sort of way. It made the whole story ridiculous. None of this book seemed like Micah had a choice at all. To me, God gives us a choice to seek him or not. God gives us the choice to lay aside the things of this world.

If a good Christian guy has a fab idea and sells it to the world, does that mean he has a bad relationship with God? This is a trite generalization. It makes this character seem contrived for the sake of making this lesson plain to people. Micah gets to know God and therefore loses things in his life. They are mysteriously changing (for the worse.) He doesn’t intentionally decide to leave certain things behind. They are TAKEN from him. It feels more like a punishment for knowing God than the changing of a man’s heart. I’m sad that it appears that way. It really could have been a good demonstration of how to come to wholeness in our own lives.

God gives us a choice to lay the things of this world aside. It would have made for a more practical story to see Micah do it intentionally. So, BIG Strike One!

Strike Two: Holy preach-fest! It's hard to read a novel that has almost as much bible verse quotes as it does pros. People don't go around talking like that. I don't think even God's angels would quote scripture like the one in this book does. (Do you quote your friends from what they've written, or by what you talk about with them?)

Strike Three: There is no such thing as self-deliverance. Maybe I’ll pretend it was fiction based on fiction, OR I’ll say that I work in deliverance ministry and there’s no way a demon will leave just because you get worked up into a religious frenzy and tell it to leave. Ain’t happ’nin’! No one has ever, or will ever see the middle of their own back with their own eyes. Only where "two or more are gathered" and the full name/authority of Jesus will this ever occur. (Link: PropheticDeliverance by Tim Mather )

RATING:


I’d rate this book at a 2: Fair: Not quite worth the time. (I won’t say it was “Totally not worth it” because I liked the mysterious house and the IDEA of it all!)


HYPE-BUSTER: They say this book is like THE SHACK by William Young. Let me sum up with one word: NOPE! The Shack has truth in it without being preachy. So it can be done… Christian Fiction without preachy-ness—what a novel idea!