Rise from the Blue is presented as a series of conversations/dialogue akin to a stage play. The central character and most vocal protagonist is John Nobola, an immigrant who is very unhappy with the state of America, particularly its politics and media bias. As one character (Ekiey) says, almost everything Nabola thinks and says comes down to politics. Sometimes challenging him but usually trumpeting his call is his best friend, Isaac Abenda. They're also joined by other characters like Asso, a colleague of Nobola, the aforementioned Ekiey, Marty, and Father Gilbert. Through these characters, the author attempts to show different perspectives to the arguments that brew between the Left and the Right.
You know what? We actually agree with a lot of the arguments that the author makes. Yes, the media is biased. Yes, there is a cult-like mentality brewing in our culture and society that's becoming increasingly dogmatic and dangerous. It has become its own socio-political religion in a sense, ruining peoples' lives and indoctrinating future generations. Yes, America seems to be deteriorating and caving in to the will of the mob. Yes, common sense isn't so common. Yes, we need lower taxes, less regulation, and a strong military that deters aggressors. Yes, America needs to remember that it's America and not Other-i-ca or Like-Everyone-Else-Ica. Yes, we need police—albeit police that don't murder and/or discriminate against people. Yes, we need rules. Yes, the race riots were horrendous. Yes, we need energy independence. Yes, we need to ensure that American businesses and workers continue to be the biggest and best in the world. Ok, maybe not the physical biggest (as in obese), but you get it...
The real issue with this book is the presentation of information. The presentation of information in this book is so heavy-handed, so preachy, so dogmatic, and so one-sided that it's difficult to enjoy or find interesting even if you agree or can at least understand the overall message. This book outright comes out and tells you what's wrong with America. Yes, there's dialogue, but is it really dialogue or someone just echoing/parroting the point that Nobola (the author's mouthpiece) is trying to make? It's more like a 91-page monologue or diatribe. It's pretty much like a novella-length rant. We invite you to read it for yourself to verify that or not.
From our perspective, this book is just way too one-sided and preachy. These aren't really characters, they're two-dimensional constructs the author uses to put forward a political message. But perhaps the thing that hurts this book the most is that, despite the fact that it's presented like a stage or morality play, there doesn't seem to be a plot.
We were going to playfully argue that this book is more preachy than the Bible. It kinda is. Yes, the Bible constantly reminds the reader that God is great, good, and powerful, but it also has three-dimensional characters with character flaws and relatable moments of weakness. Moses got frustrated with his followers and struck the rock. Abraham and Sarah conspired to get Haggar pregnant with Abraham's child. Thomas doubted Jesus. Peter denied Jesus three times. David committed adultery. Saul/Paul persecuted people. They all changed or had some sort of wrinkle occur with their characters. What real journey or character arc do the characters in Rise from the Blue actually undertake beside just nodding their heads and ultimately agreeing that blue is bad and red is good?
Again, we are not arguing against the points that the author is trying to make, but rather we're arguing for the way that these points are made. It just does not seem real or natural. None of these characters seem to talk like real people. None of the conclusions seem contended or earned.
It would have been much better had the author just made this a non-fiction book and said their piece about the way they felt about American politics and society. At least then it would have felt natural and real.
This book does have a point of view worth hearing/reading about and is mostly absent of spelling and grammatical errors.
You can still check this book out on Amazon if you are curious.