Saturday 26 August 2017

Full Circle: Book Six of the Adventure Chronicles By Jeffrey Allen Davis

Full Circle: Book Six of the Adventure Chronicles

Maria “Star” Gonzales is dead. The autopsy rules it a heart attack but Jamie, Dave, and the others cannot bring themselves to believe that the vibrant, young woman could have died from such natural causes. They decide to attend the funeral and do a little snooping while in Jameston.

In the town of their founding, the team of martial artists find themselves in the middle of a war between their old enemies, the Renegades, and the Japanese organized crime family known as the Yakuza. To add to the chaos, a former assassin for the Waruiyatsu ninja clan now works as a bodyguard for Hiroshi, the head of the Japanese syndicate. Could they be behind the death of Adventure’s friend? Or could Ben Shalley, whose hand is in all of the crime in the state, have faked the autopsy report to manipulate Jamie and the others? More importantly, could this all lead to the explanation of another mysterious death that has already plagued our heroes?

Finally, Yoshi has been talking with the elders of the Funakoshi family about a big decision that could lead her to the fulfilment of the prophecy that was given to her by Elvara Winterbreeze the day that she came to know Jesus. But how will this decision affect her friends . . . and Jamie, in particular?

As the members of Adventure face the past that turned them into a fighting team, they find a surprising ally. Will they now come Full Circle?

The Guru's Review: 

I have never regretted reading this series. Each new volume brings with it an exciting anticipation of what is in store for the Adventure team. This new volume is not a disappointment. None of the others have been either.

Amongst other things, one of the things that I have really enjoyed about this series is seeing Davis's writing and novel construction improve with each novel. This includes the spiritual aspects as well. 

Before I continue, there are slight spoilers ahead. Tried to avoid them, but to describe these spiritual aspects it was necessary. 

Full circle starts off with more vice and corruption that is the trade mark of the Shalley empire. This sets in motion the events that lead to the background to the death of Maria (Star). Jamie and the Adventure team find themselves in a "...war between their old enemies, the Renegades, and the Japanese organized crime family known as the Yakuza. To add to the chaos, a former assassin for the Waruiyatsu ninja clan now works as a bodyguard for Hiroshi, the head of the Japanese syndicate." (to quote the book description) And to add further intrigue, a rival member of the Funakoshi clan from the events in A Family Squabble: An Adventure Chronicles Short Story (The Adventure Chronicles) arrives wanting reconciliation with Jamie and Yoshi. This is more than effective in setting the stage for the pace and suspense for the rest of the novel. It then becomes the quest for Jamie and the Adventure team to find the truth behind Maria's death. 

This novel resonates with all the elements that we are used to in this series. Against the backdrop mentioned above, Davis has consolidated and brought to fruition a lot of the plot lines from previous novels. This makes this novel very satisfying. And it from this angle that this novel is very aptly named. Most readers of this series will agree that the number one plot line here is the relationship between Jamie and Yoshi. Their relationship develops to the level that will please all fans of this series and these two characters. The only spoiler I add here is that it culminates in their kiss! Even Davis admits that he has waited 20 years to develop this! It occurs at such an emotional part of the novel and is very well placed. The events that build up to it, had me in tears. Why did I have to be on public transport when I reached this part of the novel? It is really hard to disguise your tears in public, especially when society does not expect or know how to handle it when a man cries! But that is another social issue for another discussion at another time. 

One aspect that impressed me in this story, was the spiritual aspects. I have commented in previous reviews that Davis has included more and more spiritual and biblical truths in his novels. This started from Book 3: Gateway To Thera. This novel is no exception. In this novel, his redemptive elements are quite powerful. Davis has developed the plot showing not just living out their lives according to the Bible but also having members of the Adventure team willing to sacrifice themselves for others instead of reinforcing the practice of fighting to the death. The fight between Yoshi and Maori is a case in point. Yoshi realises that continuing the fight is worthless and so stops. Not to spoil it for the reader, but Yoshi does something that would only be possible by being led by the Spirit resulting in God's redemptive power being expressed mightily. The same can be said for Hiroshi, who paid the ultimate price for his new found faith. Another spiritual element is the prayer by Shawna quoting a promise from the bible when Jamie is struck down. This is prayed with faith, activating the authority and spiritual power that this verse has.  

It is all these events and more that make Davis's fiction reflective of the spiritual reality that exists in the Bible and what God gives us and wants us to live out in this life. I have also said in previous reviews that I love novels by Pastors/ministers for the Pastor's perspective they incorporate in their novels. We see this not only in these redemptive/spiritual elements but specifically by the character of Buster Goodman. I have wondered while reading this series if Buster is based on Davis? He is, after all, a Minister. Sometimes an author bases one character on himself or on multiple characters. I found out later, from the author, that Buster is based on a guy on one of Jeffrey's friends! Not disappointed with this, Jeffrey's friend has obviously had a powerful impact on his life. Quite an honour to have a character based on him. 

Davis illustrates one very good spiritual aspect in the plot line and character of Ben Shalley. In the final confrontation between Jamie and Ben, this latter character expresses all the motives and reasons for his vendetta against Jamie. It illustrates how hardened one's heart can become towards God and His Gospel when one allows the power of bitterness, hatred and jealousy to overtake them. It definitely paves the way for evilness to take root in the affected person's heart and leads them further away from redemption. 

Just before this final confrontation before these two characters, I was getting concerned that Davis was not going to be able to wrap up everything relating to the murder of Star (Maria). I was not wanting to finish this and find out that it would be continued in the next novel. Sometimes when this happens, it becomes very frustrating to be left hanging on such a thread waiting for resolution in the next novel. But, true to Davis's form and style, everything was tied up at the end. And also not rushed or hurried.

The entire plot that leads up to this ending, paves the way for the remaining books in this series to be taken to the next level of mystery and intrigue. It seems to me that this novel is pivotal for the remainder of the series. I will be saddened by the end of this adventure that Davis has created with these nine books. I am just glad that I have 3 more to anticipate and enjoy. What next for me then? Well, while Davis is creating more worlds for me to inhabit, I could read all these over again! 

Highly Recommended. 

World Building 5/5

Characterisation 5/5

Story 5/5

Spiritual Level 4/5

Enemy Spiritual Level 4/5 

Overall Rating 4.6/5 Stars 


Spiritually, based on my review and on the following reference booklet,

A Spiritual System for Rating Books by David Bergsland, and that Full Circle contains elements of the criteria of what constitutes Christian Redemptive Fiction outlined in this booklet, I award Jeffrey Allen Davis with

The Reality Calling 
Redemptive Fiction Award

Congratulations, Jeffrey!

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