I’ve read several of Davis Bunn’s novels and am always fascinated at how well he makes his quick pacing, plot twists, and esoteric allusions work. His latest novel, Unlimited, which just came out as a movie, doesn’t disappoint. He deftly uses language to capture mood and define his characters, to whom he gives extraordinary status while retaining their humanity.
Simon Orwell is a brilliant man who’s made plenty of bad choices, including the betrayal of an old professor, Vasquez, who recently made a scientific breakthrough. The professor has developed a device that can create unlimited energy, but he needs Simon’s help. This back story is seamlessly entwined in the fast-action scenes.
In the opening scene, Simon is trying to re-cross the Mexican border, when everything goes haywire. He’s ambushed and nearly killed by members of a powerful drug cartel.
He takes refuge at a local orphanage, an optimal setting for Bunn’s characteristic empathy for the oppressed and exploited. There, Simon meets the lovely Sofia and Harold Finch, the orphanage proprietor and a real live person who inspired the story. Finch was the founder and CEO of a successful management-leadership consulting group, which he later sold for over a hundred million dollars.
A man of true faith, Dr. Finch traveled the world, teaching his concepts and helping underprivileged children learn that they have tremendous potential and purpose in God’s eyes. This inventor and educator devoted his resources to fund missionary projects and orphanages. In the story, he tells Simon, “The world is full of motivated people going nowhere.”
Later, Simon learns that his beloved professor has been killed. With Harold’s help, Simon sets out on a quest to uncover who killed the professor and why. Behind everything, we cannot escape the presence of the dead Vasquez. Though Simon is really interested in going back to the US, he cannot dismiss Harold’s challenge to write the three goals he wants to achieve in life, and to answer the question: “Have you ever thought that God might have brought you here for a reason?” In due time, he will discover secrets to both the world changing device and his own unlimited potential.
As a farm boy, I have to comment on the author’s reference to the same animal as both a “steer” and a “bull” in the same paragraph. Not possible. It’s one or the other. Another place, he speaks of temperatures that hit a hundred and forty degrees at noon. That exceeds anything officially recorded; moreover, the daily high temperature typically occurs two to four hours after mid-day, due to thermal lag.
On the other hand, Bunn gives glimpses into the arcane world of the scientist/physicist without forcing the reader to completely understand or be overwhelmed by the jargon. Some of his simple images are tremendous; e.g., “everything of value in Mexico was fenced”; Finch uses Red Rope licorice as “a favorite remedy for childhood trauma.”
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of Unlimited from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.
You can read Chapters 1-3 for Free at this link – http://on.fb.me/1c5IyCS.
- #FictionFriday | Unlimited by Davis Bunn (wordobsession.net)