Title: The Methuselah Project
Author: Rick Barry
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Published: September 2015
Genre: Speculative, Romantic Suspense, Christian Fiction
About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)
Nazi scientists started many experiments. One never ended.
Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed–until the day he’s shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy.
When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success–but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn’t aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn’t Captain America–just a lousy existence only made passable by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger’s sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there’s no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It’s 2015–and the world has become an unrecognizable place.
Katherine Mueller–crack shot, genius, and real Southern Belle–offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he’s trying to flee?
Thrown right into pulse-pounding action from the first page, readers will find themselves transported back in time to a believable, full-colored past, and then catapulted into the present once more. The historical back-and-forth adds a constantly moving element of suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats.
This is a fascinating story, unusual enough to defy categorization. Part romantic suspense, part speculative fiction, part contemporary, part historical. Perhaps the best way to describe it is simply to say that it’s a real page-turner. From the first moments in the cockpit of a World War II fighter plane, I was hooked and ready to be swept along for the ride. And what a ride it is. At turns humorous, shocking, thought-provoking, tender, and thrilling, this story of a WWII era prisoner finally escaping to modern day America without having aged a day, is one I’m happy to recommend.
The premise is intriguing and thought-provoking. How would you handle being locked up in a jail cell for decades without aging, even as the world passes you by? Historical details are vivid and well-placed, from descriptions of dogfighting to period lingo. Characters leap off the page, particularly Roger with his wry sense of humor and WWII-era outlook on life clashing with modern-day realities. Thematically, the book looks at the power of prayer and the way someone’s convictions can get them through difficult parts of their own life as well as positively impacting others.
There’s a great discussion guide for this book available on the publisher’s Web site. I participated in the ACFW Book Club discussion of this book, and found the discussion based on these questions quite thought-provoking and enjoyable. I would recommend it for book clubs as well as anyone who’s up for an adventure a little outside of the ordinary.
Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site