This debut novel by author Geoffrey Wood was absolutely one of the best books I ve read in a good while Entertaining, funny, witty, with great characters and a compelling story Did I say funny Well, I don t often laugh aloud while reading in a room by myself, but this book had me do just that and quite a lot But don t let the humor mislead you This is also a very serious novel that tackles some very serious Christian issues in very interesting ways Without saying too much, the play on the book s title is marvelously done and I ll say noNo, this book delivers the best of both seriously good laughs and thought provoking scenes that really challenge and inspire. It had so much potential A modern superhero who s addicted to espresso and is full of personality And then the story just fell flat on its face I guess that s what I get for buying books from the dollar store. I didn t really enjoy this book I am not a zany comedy type of girl It reminded me a lot of Bruce Almighty I can see how some people would get a kick out of it though I will say the moral of the story was overall good I was glad that the author concluded that God is still good in the midst of a crazy world, and that we simply trust Him Amen and amen He then seems to convey that helping others is the way to cope with the madness of earth This is where I disagree and think many people who question faith and God will remain unsatisfied with this conclusion Helping people as much as possible is a must But that doesn t shed light on why there is suffering I appreciate the author s attempt, but I think it falls short. I don t always avoid Christian fiction But if I m expecting to read about a man who suddenly gets a superpower and considers becoming a superhero, I am NOT HAPPY when I instead encounter a chicken soup for the soul book about a man struggling with life s problems who, after guidance by a friendly priest, accepts God into his life to be the best person he can be There s nothing close to a superhero concept in the book at all, save the gag inducing aphorism that anyone can find their inner superhero through Christ Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for finding decent secondary characters and a compelling plot. Has He Gone Crazy Had Too Many Espressos Or Is He Really A Brand New Super Hero What If One Day Suddenly, Inexplicably You Discover You Have A Superpower And What If It S Not A Very Good Superpower, Either, Like Flying Or Super Strength, And You Have No Idea What You Are Supposed To Do Leaper Follows The Confessions Of Reluctant Hero James, A Recently Divorced, Life Long Barista Who Finds Himself In Just Such A Predicament And Asking Those Very Questions Is His Newfound Leaping Power A Miracle From God The Result Of A Lifetime Of Over Caffeination Or A Final Break From Sanity Should James Do Good With His Ability But If Doing Good Proves Trickier Than Expected, Where Do You Go For A Superpower Manual And What Is Good Anyway In This Witty, Unconventional Novel, Debut Novelist Geoffrey Wood Serves Up Equal Doses Of Sharp Humor And Disquieting Poignancy, Exploring The Meaning Of Redemption, Beauty, And Faith Beyond All Reason This is good so far, even if it features essentially Hiro s subplot on Heroes. This one has been on my TBR list for awhile, and there s a good reason for that I received it through the Goodreads giveaway program, but had no idea of the religious content from the description they posted I don t do well with books that have a religious message, ever since my bad experience with the sermon disguised as a novel that was Shadowmancer Luckily for me, the religious message in Leaper is of the warm and fuzzy rather than cold and intolerant type, although it does still slow down the action a bit James is an ordinary barista, troubled by his recent divorce, who is having acupuncture done when suddenly bam he finds himself in his ex wife s garage It turns out that James has a superpower of sorts the ability to visualize himself someplace and be there in an instant Of course, there s a bit of a learning curve to using these powers, which is where the funny comes in And there are a lot of really fun parts in this book there is a scene in a grocery store, for instance, that completely cracked me up those carts can be the dickens to deal with , as well as an ill fated first date And then there s the message, which seems to be a combination of the importance of using one s abilities for good, and letting go and letting God, and which is brought out as James tries to learn, not just how his powers work but how he should be using them.There are definitely a lot of good qualities in Leaper, beginning with James himself It is really easy to relate to him, because we ve all been disappointed in love, stuck in a dead end job, or questioned our place in the universe at some point James has found himself with extraordinary powers, though he starts out using them for his own gain well, sort of it sof a getting out of a bad situation thing , he comes to decide he should really be putting them to a better use, since the powers come from God And I like the idea of putting our abilities to the best use, whether you believe they come from God or no, and I especially liked the fact that in a book with a religious message, that message wasn t about sin or promoting an us vs them morality However, just because the message didn t offend me doesn t mean I wasn t annoyed by its heavy handed application at times There were some scenes that seemed to advance the messagethan the plot for instance, nearly every conversation James had with Father Chavez, his priest and at least one character whose function I couldn t determine at all And I won t spoil you by saying how James got his powers, just say that I thought it was really, really dumb, and the ambiguous ending didn t thrill me much, either.So in sum I d say I was pleasantly surprised by all the humor in this book and by James s unique voice, but occasionally annoyed by the heavy handed delivery of its message Luckily, it was a quick read as well There s a scene in a bookstore which could be read as critical of Buddhism, but could also be read as critical of the self help industry and its appropriation of Eastern religions and philosophy, and in any case, the implied criticism is of effectiveness rather than moral worth The other interaction James has with someone clearly not his own faith there may be others whose religion isn t mentioned is with his very strange neighbor Nelson, a self proclaimed Protestant Which is odd in itself most Protestants I know would call themselves by denomination Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian instead And I totally don t know how we re supposed to read the interactions between Nelson and James they re just too strange. First, if I could give half stars, I would have rated this book 2.5 stars.A liitle better than okay but not quite up to liking it.The main reason was I had not fully realized what the book was about When I read the book summary, I thought the book was going to be a funny trying to learn how to be a superhero book.I was thinking it might be like that old TV show, the Greatest American Hero which I really enjoyed when it first came on but can t watch it now those special effects were so bad.But that isn t what the book is about.It isof a man learning trust and faith in God.When I read the back of the book with a littleattention, it does say this but you have to look for it.So I guess that is my fault, but it didn t help that since I was wanting the funny superhero book.Looking at the story, I never really warmed up to the main character.He was neurotic and paranoid He often complained that he should have thought before he talked.I felt he should have thought before he did most of the things he did.Like duct taping his door before leaping so he couldn t get back into it.He never trusted anyone.He also could not accept his wife had left him.He kept annoying her even though she kept saying to leave her alone.Even when he knew what he needed to do to fix a problem, he just wouldn t do it.Ther was also the bizarre neighbor.Is it now a law that there is a strange neighbor in every apartment building It is true that he made some good points, but mostly he was just confusing.Several times the characters seemed to refuse to hold to any logical conversation.One example, a character is asked if she remembers ever going out with him.Her response is that she would love to go with him.How is that remembering Finally there were a few printer gremlins in the book but nothing major. Not often does a book make me laugh out loud Rarely does one make me laugh out loud often And evenremotely, does the book make me laugh out loud so much that I end up reading the entire book to my husband Leaper is an unexpected gold nugget, not only in the world of literature, but evenso in Christian Fiction Though, that hardly seems to be a proper category to place such a treasure No disregard to Christian Fiction, though I believe the true gems are quite few in that genre and this coming from a former Christian retailer Subtleties of phrases and expressions are what delight me as a reader, and Geoffrey Wood built that delight to a whole new level Finally An author I get , and who gets me It was such a pleasure to simply sit back, read, laugh and enjoy where this adventure was going I felt that I found a new kindred spirit, and I couldn t wait for the next journey his second book is The God Cookie also a sheer delight Having been a retailer, it was disheartening to see that I couldn t turnpeople onto Mr Wood s work I don t know if it was my customer base, but I know making this book known to the masses has been difficult If you have a great oddball sense of humor, I cannot recommend Leaper enough Geoffrey Wood is a fantastically gifted author Please get to know him through Leaper. This book should have been named Teleporter because the main character doesn t leapwell he leaps through time but that s besides the point He teleports and that s that God supposedly gave James this gift to only do good deeds with And wellJames hardly does any good deeds with it How can he only do good deeds with his teleporting ability, when he uses his gift to appease his ex wife or to accidentally rob a grocery store That made absolutely no sense.Further, Monicaoh geez, I hate that this character has my name Anyway, Monica was too nice and perfect and irritating with all her blushing and goody goody attitude I thought she was there as a clich , to change James for the better or be the damsel in distress, but that didn t even happen The conversations James has with peopleit s like the dialogue goes in one ear and out the other James isn t a superhero The teleporting ability makes his life go eveninto a hole and makes him evenunlucky Nothing goes right for the lad Yet the pacing of the book was quick and rapid When I really started reading it, I got through it in two days Leaper was also entertaining I d label it as excellent pacing and quick entertainment, but nothing .
Geoffrey Wood is a writer of fiction, plays and the occasional sonnet.
- 320 pages
- Leaper: The Misadventures of a Not-Necessarily-Super Hero
- Geoffrey Wood
- 24 September 2019 Geoffrey Wood