The Final Summit by Andy Andrews

The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity by Andy Andrews is the story of a group of very diverse people from throughout history who are brought together in what we infer to be a sort of heavenly conference room to discuss what humanity must do to bring itself back from the brink of destruction. The person who is put in charge of the discussion is David Ponder, businessman and “Traveler” (which is what we are lead to believe all of the people in the arena were before they died – time travelers who gathered knowledge from other great minds throughout history). Ponder is translated to this gathering by the archangel Gabriel, who flies him quickly to heaven on his massive archangel wings. There, Ponder is given a question (“What must humanity do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?”), a time limit, helpers, and five chances to get the right answer.
This was a tough one for me. I’ve read a few Andy Andrews books in the past and have liked them, so I was excited to read this one. Unfortunately, I don’t feel that it lived up to the high expectations I held for it. Maybe it was me – after all, it is a sequel and I have not read the first book, The Traveler’s Gift. Maybe that would have helped?
Now, don’t get me wrong here – I’m not saying that The Final Summit was absolutely awful, by any means. It was very interesting in parts – lots of historical figures were included, as well as fascinating tidbits about them that I’d never heard. Andrews shared stories about Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Joan of Arc, and others, bringing them to life with his narrative and detail. But, I reluctantly say that the great history lessons were just not enough to make this a top-notch book for me.
It’s an interesting concept and the characters hold some wonderful conversations about the various answers they choose. But my problem with this book lies in the fact that all of the answers this group comes up with have nothing to do with God. The first time I read the question, my instinct was that the book would end with the council figuring out that “Trust God” should be the answer, since it’s the only way we can ever be truly successful. And, I personally don’t even think the question allows for the hand of God to work in the situation – it’s all about what humanity has to do for itself. Lack of belief in the Word of God and dependence on our own power is what has put humanity in our current position, and, unfortunately, I feel this book did nothing to help “restore [us] to the pathway.”
I received a free copy of this book from the Booksneeze Blogger Review program. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.

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