October 9, 2018
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story was entertaining and unpredictable, so it was hard to put down. Being a native Houstonian, I enjoyed the references to Houston, too.
December 12, 2018
What I really loved about this book is how the author exhibits leniency for all the characters. He really took his time to evolve the characters and their relationships. He was quite a storyteller. His research into the subject was fascinating and really took his time to get things right in this book, even down to the pacing and the progression of the story. There is a delightful, impeccable flow to the narrative. His writing style is exceptional, with many twists and turns that lead you one way, while surprising you, with yet another turn.
Once again, this is a very interesting book. It is one of those books that once you start reading, you do not want to put it down until you are finished. I thoroughly enjoyed it, the story was entertaining and unpredictable. Overall, there is a lot of compassion and humanity in this book. It is thoughtfully and cleverly written – very highly recommended.
Deborah A Richardson
August 1, 2018
Reverend Dr. John Ayang is a masterful writer, who has been unheard of, until now. His writing style is exceptional, with many twists and turns that lead you one way, while surprising you, with yet another change, like Alfred Hitchcock. This book should definitely be made into a movie. I recommend this book: Mirror Apocalypse, without hesitation or reservation. Apocalypse has a double meaning, not just cataclysmic; it also means revelation. This type of double meaning is prevalent throughout the book. I rate this book outstanding. Truly a must read!!!
Joseph R. Richardson, Ph.D.
August 6, 2017
One of my favorite writers is Morris West, who wrote THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN, THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE, THE CLOWNS OF GOD, HARLEQUIN, THE SALAMANDER, and a host of other books with spiritual and religious themes and settings. He died a few years ago, I believe, but, in John Ayang, we may have a writer who can rise to the challenge and give the world what I miss in Morris West.
THE MIRROR APOCALYPSE, by Rev. Dr. John Ayang, S.O.L.T., confronts the Catholic church's opposition to IVF (in vitro fertilization). The author, who holds a doctorate in bioethics from Loyola University of Chicago, decided to address this controversial life issue in fiction to try to bring more attention to the IVF issue.
The main character, Fr. Cletus Nicholas McCarthy, gets in trouble when he withholds communion from a couple at Mass because they had a child through IVF. The couple then sues the Houstonian priest and the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and attention is focused on IVF on an international scale. Even the cardinal and the pope become involved in the controversy. You can only imagine the brouhaha that is stirred up when the news comes out, in a courtroom, that Fr. McCarthy was himself conceived by IVF. As one would suspect, this humorous dilemma gives rise to an identity crisis and quite a bit of humor.
This novel focuses more on the story than on theology. That is appropriate since this is a work of fiction. It does, however, make you think about the underlying IVF issue and the church's opposition to it. The author shows himself to be quite a storyteller. He displays compassion for all of the characters, and the characterization is first-rate on every level. The author took his time to develop the characters and their relationships, the intriguing and layered plot, the clever and realistic dialogue, and [my favorite] the very narrative itself. The author really took care to get things right in this book, even down to the pacing, the action (including that AWESOME accident!), and the transitions. There is a wonderful, seamless flow to the narrative.
One of my favorite characters in the book is Fr. Charles Polanski, the hard drinking close friend of Fr. McCarthy. He becomes hurt and angry over a major life decision that Fr. McCarthy makes due to his identity crisis and the depiction of that is priceless. The author did such a great job at developing the major and even some minor characters. I love the scenes involving high school students Crystal Sanders, Edo-Mma Eshiet and their friends. Crystal's mother, Barbara Sanders, is also a fully fleshed-out character. Fr. McCarthy himself is also well drawn and a flawed human who makes his friend Polanski call him a coward. One of Fr. McCarthy's flaws is that, in the midst of his identity crisis, he seems to not value the gift of his priesthood. You definitely see that priests are human, with feelings and passions like anyone else.
Overall, there is a lot of compassion and humanity in this book. It is thoughtfully and artfully written. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!