Book Review: Uncharted

When I went to the Christian bookstore to look for one of the books on my Spring Reading Challenge, it wasn’t in yet, but I caught sight of Uncharted by Angela Hunt. It wasn’t on my list for this spring, but it was on an ongoing list I keep of books recommended by others that I want to try out. I had seen this book recommended by many bloggers, so I bought it.

The basic premise is that there are six college friends whose lives have drifted apart. When one dies, the rest decide, for various reasons, to take up a mission he had planned to do, traveling to a remote island to build a Christian school. An unexpected storm capsizes the boat and the five find themselves on an uninhabited island. Conditions are fairly miserable, particularly the lack of fresh water. It’s not long until they begin to learn that this is no ordinary island…

Survivors on a mysterious island who have to face not only their past deeds, but also their heart motives — that all sounds close to the premise of the television show Lost. A blurb on the back of the book speaks of a biblical parable that this book parallels, but somehow I missed that. I am kind of glad, in a way, because it lent more mystery to the island. When the parallel does come up, though, it is very clear, as is the message of what the island is about. It’s very sobering and thought-provoking.

I liked the author’s emphasis that the regular church-goer and doer of good deeds yet without Christ is just as guilty as a murderer before God’s eyes. It’s only through Christ’s righteousness and God’s grace that we’re saved — all our righteousness is a filthy rag in comparison.

What I didn’t like was the ending. I suppose it lent weight to the theme that these people were stuck forever with the choices they had made in this life, and there is coming a day when that will be true. Yet a part of me wanted them to wake up and discover it was all a dream, yet have some of them learn from and profit by it.

Another thing that bothered me about this book were phrases such as the first line about someone’s seeking sex appeal and a line later where one character notes “the rhythmic tilt” of a woman’s bikini as she walked away. Perhaps this struck me with a little more force because I had just finished another Christian book that I decided not to review at all here because it had a very high degree of sensuality throughout plus was only “Christian” in the last several pages, and I had been stewing over that for a while before beginning this book. I know the characters here were not Christians, and non-Christians (and even Christians) would have such thoughts and make such observations. But it does bother me when Christian authors introduce sexuality into a story unnecessarily or in a way that brings up mental images that we should not want in our minds.

I think this is the first Angela Hunt book I have read. I did feel a lot more “in tune” with her in the question and answer section in the back of the book. Overall I do think the book is a worthy read despite the couple of disappointments.

This review is linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books,where bloggers can link to book reviews on their sites. If you like checking out others’ thoughts on interesting books, you will find much to ponder there.

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Uncharted

  1. Thanks for the link. I find it fascinating how many books remind me of LOST these days. I think that’s because the writers of LOST are picking up on universal themes and plot lines and so I see them elsewhere.

  2. Hi Barbara,

    I like this review; this sounds like an engaging book. But I also wanted to comment on a previous post of yours that’s apparently too old to allow comments anymore: the post where you list some of your favorite missionary biographies. It’s taken me this long in life to realize the goldmine biographies can be, and that post is a great resource!

  3. Oh, I am sorry about that — I just went and found that post and turned comments back on. I had read a couple of times that one way to reduce spam is to turn off comments on older posts, but there are some that still get read that I would like to leave comments on for. I am glad you found some good resources there. Missionary biographies have greatly ministered to me over the years.

  4. Pingback: Saturday Review of Books: April 19, 2008 at Semicolon

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