Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Sending

The Sending, Matt Koceich, Marcher Lord Press, Speculative Fiction, October 1, 2010, 360 pages.

Synopsis: Find the Garden of Eden or your family dies... Mark practices a little-known form of ESP called remote viewing. He's able to leave his body behind and travel to any time or place in the world. His bosses want Mark to find the real-world location of where the Garden of Eden used to be- or may still be. Mark is not a Christian and has little more than curiosity about finding the Garden, but his wife is a believer who is wanting him to let go of what she sees as an occult practice-so he can spend more time with her and their little boy. When Mark announces to his boss that he's going to be quitting, everything comes unglued. A madman kidnaps his wife and son and demands that he redouble his efforts to find the Garden of Life-or not even the Tree of Life will save his family. With enemies closing in both in the real world and the spirit realm, Mark has to discern truth from lies-and sort out what he believes- before it's too late.

My thoughts: The premise of this story is a strange one, but that’s what I get for reading speculative fiction. In this story, the speculation is: “What if the Garden of Eden still existed on Earth?” It’s a rather odd idea, and it seemed quite surreal throughout the book. Although, that could be my fault as the reader.

Remote viewing is performed numerous times by the protagonist, Mark Grant. This may seem odd; I find it a little strange personally. It was necessary, though, to enable him to find the Garden, but the parallels (or lack thereof) between the remote viewings of the Garden and the physical Garden confused me.

Now, for the writing. The book ultimately had an epic feel to it, from the imperfect father/wife to the “Dekker-esque” villain, The Serpent. This epic-ness really became apparent in the last 60 pages or so, in the final battle for Eden. That being said, Mr. Koceich made many slip-ups in his writing. First, there were many clumsy similes. They were effective and original, but far too wordy. Second, a few times a phrase or paragraph simply didn’t make any sense. This could have been a grammar, typo, or plain word omission problem. Some paragraphs seemed to have been put in far ahead of when they come into the story, and boggled me. Third, the switching between remote viewing and reality was often sudden and it took me too long to realize which I was reading about. This may be the cause of the seemingly-switched paragraphs mentioned above.

Characters took a large part in the story, and I respect that. Overall, one of the book’s main results is the redemption of a man, Mark Grant. It portrays him in various situations with his family, developing his and their characters really well. Like Ted Dekker, Matt Koceich develops his villains point-of-view very well. You get a feel for this person, seeing how similar you are; yet he still is distant, unfeeling, and unlike you in some way.

My rating: 3 stars

This ebook was provided free for review by Marcher Lord Press. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.

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Upcoming reviews:
  • From the Garden to the City by John Dyer
  • The Bone House by Stephen Lawhead
  • Ether Ore by various authors


  1. Thanks for the honest review Noah. The book sounds interesting. It's a little hard to swallow that Marcher Lord Press would come out with something that wasn't up to parr but one never knows.

  2. Yes, I know. The reason they published it is because it received the most votes in the competition they held.