In an effort to curb the downward fall of the world's economy, a task force has been created to look for more innovative ideas as part of President Lowman's Youth Initiative. Now in looking for greater incentives for potential transition volunteers to expand the Youth Initiative. Greater incentives meant increased pressure. Make it easier to say yes so it would be harder to say no. America needed more of the elderly and disabled to get with the program. They were, after all, debits. They cost more than they produced. They spent personal wealth on themselves rather than releasing it to the younger, healthier generation. That is why so many had come to label them, "selfish parasites" draining rather than fueling the economy by requiring time and attention from otherwise productive workers and entrepreneurs; those who contributed. Those who paid taxes.
In the second novel in Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruners series set in the future 2043, Childless picks up on the heels of it's predecessor Fatherless. We now see the evil that dwells behind the scenes promoting the latest politcal agenda that is facing this generation where there are more senior citizens than young people. The economy has been challenged with reducing health care for it's aging population while trying to increase the younger generation of productive workers. Transition is simply a generic term for sanctioned suicide of the elderly with the governments assistance to reduce the rising costs of health care for senior citizens and the disabled. Now it seems that Congressmen Kevin Tolbert has discovered "bright spots" places in the world when the economy is improving when families increase the number of children they have as well as reduce the number of transitions that happen.
But like all great political suspense thrillers, there is always a twist. Now it seems that in light of the upcoming verdict in the case against NEXT, Inc, the judge Victor Santiago is receiving death threats to consider how he will vote against the lawsuit from a transition's family member and how it would affect NEXT, Inc in the public's eye. Whenever a family member transitions, their inheritance is passed along to the family. Pending the verdict in this case, all cash disbursements are currently on hold until the case is settled. This isn't what Matthew Adams had planned on when he convinced his elderly mother suffering from dementia to transition so he could go to college instead of spending her dwindling bank account on her prescriptions and medical care. Now it seems that it might be on hold indefinitely if the verdict is unfavorable for NEXT, Inc.
But in this novel children aren't being born as families learn they are expecting. In fact, it's quite the opposite, fetuses are being sold at $2000 each to a embryotic's supply company to utilize for skin care and skin grafting procedures. It seems like nothing is off limits. Even your baby can be genetically screened before birth to help parents increase the likelihood of delivering a healthy baby and even the sex of the baby can be guaranteed. They offer this option as a way for families to reduce the lifelong medical expense due to disability and disease. Even now most health care physicians won't even accept insurance unless the parents have undergone the prescreening process.
I received Childless by Dr. James Dobson and Kurt Bruner compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions are strictly my own unless otherwise noted. This is a chilling look at what could very well be the future of the world if we continue on the trends we are now seeing happening all over the world, from physician assisted suicides to abortions. In fact Dr. James Dobson shares his thoughts in a note at the beginning of the novel where "places like Japan and Russia are already experiencing the economic turmoil caused by too few children trying to support a growing pool of aging citizens. In this novel they deal with what happens when sex is severed from the life-giving joys of maternity. Be forewarned, such questions require depicting ugly realities that come when we disregard the beauty and sanctity of the marriage bed." I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars. I can't wait for Godless, the third novel coming out in the fall of 2014.
I'm not sure about you, but imagining a society that has moved even farther away from God than has already occurred today is frightening to think about! Such a world is exactly what Dobson and Bruner are exploring in their fascinating trilogy. "Childless" picks up right where the first book in the series, "Fatherless", left off, and once again proves that Dobson and Bruner are able to produce action-packed and thought-provoking fiction. In some ways I found this to be a darker book than the first, especially as we explore even further the character of Matthew, a man who is the very embodiment of the humanist movement at work today, where people live free of the constraint provided by a healthy fear of God and all they care about is themselves. Such is the society depicted in this book, where marriage no longer has meaning and sex is just a cheap act of physical enjoyment, where human life is treated casually, and euthanasia embraced for the "old" and "disabled". Yet this darkness creates a great backdrop for showing faith in action and the beauty of the alternative reality, where God's people are at work spreading his presence.
"Childless" features the characters we came to love (or loathe) in the first book, while introducing some new characters as well. The authors do a good job at fleshing out the characters and giving them intriguing storylines that are woven together in a masterful manner. Despite the dark themes explored in the character's lives, I also enjoyed the way that faith and family is celebrated, for the glimmer of hope that also shines through as well.
I am very curious where the authors are going to take us in the third book in the series. I encourage people to pick up a copy of "Fatherless" if they haven't yet done so, then follow it up with the well-written "Childless" as well. Not only will you be enjoy the dramatic plot, but you will also be left inspired about being salt and light to a society desperately in need of seeing that God is real, truth is alive, and God's way leads to life.
I award this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Hachette Book Group Canada, for the purposes of this unbiased review.