The Chest of Visions:Secrets of Caperston by Tim Ferguson is a Christian fiction novel designed to be used to guide youths especially in youth groups.
The book begins with a contrast between the biblical concept of the origin of the universe and that of the theory of cosmetology — the scientific study of the origin of the universe. An exchange of series of letters follows between Tim, who resides on Earth and Mattpaul who resides on a fictional world, Caperston. These letters are initiated by a post Tim made on his website about the Bible, Jesus and Christianity. It emerges that the residents of Caperston are neither religious nor do they have any concept of God. Mattpaul narrates about events at Caperston and Tim tries to assist him with this religion thing. After a few letters, Tim posts their conversation on the homepage of his website where Alex, who resides on Earth too, finds them and continues to converse with Mattpaul. Mattpaul proves to be very knowledgeable and open-minded and in most occasions, he even assists Alex with his faith. The author also explains the technology behind the invention of compol, a communication device used by the residents of Caperston.He further provides a study guide for youth groups to help them go through this work. It doesn’t end there, the author introduces us to a new the second novel in the series titled New Pathways ‘Cross Broken Highways including The Fire.
This novel compares events which take place at a fictional world, Caperston to those that take place on Earth.The people of Caperston are introduced to Christianity, and their reaction to it is just identical to those of the residents of the Earth when the same was introduced to them. Alex, a fictional character who resides on Earth, struggles with the whole concept of religion and is assisted by Mattpaul, a youth whose world has never known religion except for some few days after the coming of Chihaysu, a prophet, to Caperston. Several themes are discussed in this book.These include the dominant theme of religion which is evident throughout the book especially introduction of Christianity. A theme of technology also appears at the beginning of the book when the author explains the theory of cosmetology and towards the end when he explains the technology behind the invention of compols. Several other themes are discussed which are all very interesting.The illustrations about the invention of compols, though complex are very interesting and thought provoking. Anyone who enjoys chemistry or geography will surely find them amazing.
I found illustrations of this book about unity and equality amazing.The author explained through multiple short stories found within the letters the importance of unity and equality which are all useful to the humanity. The numerous biblical references added some commendable weight to these illustrations. Though the character development wasn’t satisfying, excellent plot development made up for that hence this inadequacy wasn’t really felt.I can proudly say that the book was very well edited since I found only two errors.
Although the book was interesting, a few things didn’t impress me. One such thing is lack of originality.Most of the stories told within this book are just modified versions of biblical stories such as the calming of the storm and healing of a sick girl. The narration about the origin of the universe and the technology behind the invention of compols were also unrelated to the story. I felt they were unnecessary.
These few uninteresting topics doesn’t make the book bad, though. This is a great book that aims at the equipment of youths with very vital human values. For that reason, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to any Christian youth groups. Anyone will find this book useful though, except for those who do not belong to Christianity.