9 December 2013

Review: Rooms by James Rubart

Lives up to the reviews

Micah Taylor’s strange Uncle Archie has built him a house. But not just any house. It's a multi-million dollar mansion on Cannon Beach, on the Oregon coast. It’s literally the house of his dreams. It's also a house that tells a story—the story of Micah's life— and possibly hides a secret as well. How else could the uncle he's never met know everything about him? The catch is that the house is in the one place Micah vowed never to return, but he does.

Once in Cannon Beach, it doesn’t take long before strange things start happening. Micah’s car has an extra 16000miles on the clock. He met someone at a party, but the man doesn't remember meeting Micah. Then things get stranger when rooms start appearing in his house …

I was impressed by Rooms. It is longer than most novels I read, yet the intriguing plot and good pace meant it was easy to read and didn’t drag. There was great scene setting, and Rubart has the ability to convey a lot of information with a commendable economy of words:

“Archie was his great uncle whom he knew less than a paragraph about”

Rooms has been compared to novels such as The Shack. I haven’t read The Shack, so I can’t comment on that, but Rooms reminded me of Illusion by Frank Peretti, with shades of Sliding Doors or The Butterfly Effect in the way that seemingly small decisions can have a big impact on our lives. In terms of theme, Rooms is challenging us to choose God over the things of this world in a similar way to If I Gained the World (by Linda Nicholls), and it achieves this well.

I suspect that many of us are hiding wounds in the same way as Micah is, and these hidden wounds and secrets are affecting the choices and decisions we make on a daily basis. Most of us won't have the external push to solve those problems as Micah does in Rooms, nor, perhaps, the courage to say "have at it" to God the way Micah does, but it’s something to think about. Recommended.

Thanks to Zondervan and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. Find out more about James Rubart at his website.

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