Flashpoint: A Review

Review of Flashpoint by Frank Creed
Review by Rachel Starr Thomson

The year is 2036. The place, Chicago—under control of a worldwide government called the One State. A father drives his children through the rain and drops them off under a bridge before fleeing the “Peacekeepers” on his trail.

Little do Dave and Jen know that they are about to lose everything they’ve ever known—and gain more than they ever suspected.

Flashpoint is Frank Creed’s first novel, a cyberpunk story with a Christian twist. The heroes are “Fundamentalists,” Christians pegged as terrorists by the One State. Don’t confuse this with Left Behind, though—the future may be apocalyptic, but Creed’s vision of it has more in common with Marvel Comics than it does with Tim LaHaye.

Creed’s style is fast paced and action-packed. Dave, aka Calamity Kid, goes from zero to superhero in about twenty seconds through a technical upgrade called “reformation,” a la Matrix. A caveat here: while reformation gives Dave and Jen superpowers, it also shortcuts their spiritual growth. Suddenly they can see angels and demons, hear the voice of God, and do something called “walking in the Spirit” that seems more like a superpower surge than a truly spiritual experience. Flashpoint makes liberal use of scripture verses—the entire text of the Bible is included in the “mindware” our heroes upload—but the messages can be confusing. In one scene, Calamity Kid obeys the Spirit’s injunction to “resist not an evil person” so that he can come out of his faked stupor minutes later and take out his captors using tranquilizer guns and electric shock.

Creed’s greatest asset in Flashpoint is the gritty, polluted, slangy, techno-drenched world of the future. The book opens with a timeline beginning in the 1980’s that makes this future look not only plausible, but probable. Everything in the underground is real, from the slums to the showers. Frank Creed writes like a man who loves words. He’s invented future slang that’s fun and immerses us in his world, but at times his way of putting things is awkward enough to pull readers out of the action and leave them momentarily puzzled: “I nipped my tongue’s tip,” Calamity says, “to mug a wicked grin.”

This is a fun read with adrenaline-pumped moments and lots of attitude, refreshingly creative and artistic. Believers looking for encouragement in their own walk with God may leave this book wishing they could go through a reformation of their own, but Flashpoint can’t help there. Though it touches on some heavy themes, this is still light reading.







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