Original Books

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Expiration Date by Eric Wilson

Clay Ryker has just discovered something very disturbing about himself-he knows when people are going to die. Just by touching them, he knows the date of their eminent death. He has returned to Oregon from Wyoming in order to escape from his broken family life. He has moved back in with his parents and sees many things throughout his hometown that remind him of his childhood. But the death dates he knows are wearing on him and causing him to go crazy. Things become even more disturbing when a common date appears among people. He goes to the police, but they only cautiously believe him. Someone is playing a game with him, and they hold all the cards. Clay just needs to do everything he can to stop the approaching deaths.

Expiration Date

begins in the theme of Jonah in that Clay has to warn the town of coming disaster. He has the same personality as Jonah, and Scripture verses at the part changes indicate the author's intentions of this parallel. It's just a shame that Eric Wilson abandons this creative theme in the end. There are many strong points throughout the book that put this book on the Elite List, but a weak end makes it fall short of perfection.

For starters, the characters are good. Clay is a good, imperfect lead with a personality. He is very much alike Jonah in that he does not necessarily like people. The other characters are good as well, proving that Eric Wilson does not write cheap novels. I was skeptical about him at first, but clearly, he has most of his ducks in a row.

The book has a strong foundational idea. The gift of knowing people's death dates is innovative and used and presented properly. The gift genre is an unknown genre most people do not think about, but some of the best books come from this genre.

The book is long and drawn out, but it is necessary because Clay does not know what the numbers on his hand mean at first. Realistic events happen throughout the book to cause this book to be placed outside of the supernatural genre and give it a normal feel. The supernatural touch is slightly necessary and not overdone to the point of sensational. The showdown is kept to a minimum and not overdone. The biggest problem with this book is the fixing of one thing in particular. With the way Eric had the book written, an original end would have caused the book to go on longer. Eric did the best he could under the circumstances.

All in all, Expiration Date was an enjoyable read that I do not regret. I look forward to seeing what Eric will do next.

4 stars

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. I think you give an honest overview, good and bad. I appreciate that.

    As for the ending, I know there are things I could've done better, but I do think readers often miss some of the subtleties there. The book is dealing with fate versus freewill, and in the end, we find that even as Clay makes right decisions, it is ultimately God's sovereignty that plays the major role. We also see how freewill can mess up Satan's plans, whereas usually we focus on how man's freewill gets in the way of God's plans.

    My intention all along was to do five books, following the five senses, all tied together. Low sales caused the series to be discontinued before I could complete some of the loose threads of this book, but you might be interested to know that the story is carried on in greater detail in my Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy, particularly the second book, "Haunt of Jackals."