Original Books

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Rooms by James L Rubart

Micah Taylor's life is spinning out of control. He has just received word that his uncle Archie has died and left him a mansion in north Oregon. The life he is trying to build with his girlfriend\business partner has come to an ultimatum. His software company is teetering between complete success and complete failure. He decides to take a short vacation to the mansion his uncle willed to him to see whether he should keep it or sell it. When he arrives at the house, he finds that it has strange powers. The rooms of the house seem to be the rooms of his very soul. It forces him to face the emotional wounds his father inflicted on him most of his childhood and teenage years. As his time in the house wears on, things begin to make less and less sense and soon Micah finds himself praying to the God he rejected years before.

James Rubart has begun his career as an author with a huge mistake. He says he did not write Rooms for the readers-instead he wrote it for himself. He said that he wrote this book so that he could read the story because it was his story. That was his first and largest mistake in this writing endeavour. Through a shallow plot and shallow characters, James Rubart tries to appeal to the emotions of his readers and thus writes a tale of warped theology.

Micah is portrayed as a victim the entire book. Anytime a mistake of his is brought to light, a heavenly being, whether it be an angel or Jesus Himself, always tells Micah that his father's mistreatment of him as a child is to blame. They constantly give Micah the same excuse for his actions-his father drove him to sin. So, even though Micah makes mistakes, he is still portrayed as a victim. Other characters are no better. There are few other characters, thank God, yet none of them are exemplary characters. Not one character in the entire novel has any hint of personality, thus not allowing the reader to feel like these are even real people. If James wants to make it anywhere in his career, he needs to learn how to develop characters.

The theme of the book seems to be time warping and parallel universes, because Rubart uses these freely, usually without explanation. It is hard for the reader to understand which parts of the plot go where or if any parts of the plot are supposed to be real or not. The mansion Micah inherits is completely unnecessary because it adds nothing helpful to the plot. Micah spends most of his time elsewhere, doing things like sky diving and scuba diving. But then again, this may not be real or it may take place in an alternate universe. Who knows but James?

There are several potentially original ideas buried within the coal that is this book, but they are not used correctly or much at all. Rooms seems to flow from whatever passed through Rubart's mind at the time he was writing it, which is why he uses time warping so freely. Despite what people say about its deep lessons of healing, I learned nothing from it, save that when one sins, they should find someone who "made" them sin by hurting their feelings. After they forgive this person everything will then be alright.

If James is to succeed as an author, he needs to quit writing books for himself and start sharing something interesting with the world. However, if he has nothing interesting to say, he should forever hold his silence.

1.5 stars

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