Mr Zanzeros has quite an interesting biography both being a Mennonite by birth and a computer scientist who writes physical simulation algorithms. Alas, he is not much of a novelist, this is his first and you can tell and warrants quite a bit more editing, yet. This is the case of a first novel that is not ready for prime time. Its more of a philosophical and theological treatise thinly disguised as a novel.

There are long drawn-out wordy speeches from some of the main characters that really do nothing for the pace of the work. There are elements in the book that seem thrown in to make it read more like a novel. Most of the characters are wafer thin and merely ideas horses. This book reads far more like a movie script that a proper novel. The fact that like a work of non-fiction, the book contains footnotes, does not help the flow of the novel one bit. The poor printing job helps to distract as well.

I am sure this is deliberate but you cannot help react to his philosophical assertions some of which lack basis. For instance, to aid his religious thesis, for there is one, he wheels out the ole’ assertion that Hitler was anti-Christian and Pagan. Ignoring Hitler’s obsession with Jews (why exactly would Pagans want to slaughter Jews?) and his quest to find major relics of Christianity.

Then there is the case in the book where religious zealots meddle with an experiment in their evangelical lust. It seems to be just a means to an end does not fit in logically with the entire ethos of the experiment. But, I digress, alas much like the author of this novel.

The premise of the novel of the novel is an interesting one focusing on religion and evolution. But there is an underlying feeling that the author is trying to prove a point and will do so at any cost even if it detracts from the novel. There is a side-tale of Chinese Christians which adds nothing, as is the almost after-thought of Islamic terrorists bent on stopping the project.

The book is unrealistic, hardly readable and at best an ok first effort. I hope that Mr Zanzeros tries again, but next time he attempts to make it a good tale for the reader and less of an outlet for his ramblings. A decent editor would not go awry either.

I would be interested in reading Mr Zanzeros underlying these in this book in non-fiction form. There are some interesting ideas and concepts therein but a novel it does not make.

Darwins Dove is available through Amazon. 

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