Which should I read first? Fidelis or Spero?
If you are encountering the Birth Pangs series for the first time you may be wondering if you needed to start at the beginning, with Fidelis, in order to understand Spero.
Actually, the way that I’ve written the books they can each be read independently. You can read either or both and in any order. This will be true for the remaining of the series, too.
The series is not linear.
In other words, Spero doesn’t start where Fidelis leads off. For a number of reasons, I am writing the series with each book (except book 7) reflecting the perspective of a different character in the series. The time frames covered by all of the books is roughly the same and where the characters of the different books interact, the same scene is present in each book, seen from that character’s unique perspective. Where the characters depart from each other, the story branches off. You might say that each book overlaps the others.
This approach allows me to lay ever deeper layers of meaning to the events in the books. One character will think nothing of an event in one book but in another book, another character will perceive the event as a turning point or startling development.
In short, you’ll be able to read any of the first six books in any order that you please. Each is stand alone, but none are the whole story.
The seventh book will start, chronologically, where the first six books end, and proceed to tie up all the loose ends, weaving the six story lines into a single rope.
There are a number of reasons for why I took this approach. One of them is that I perceive that our entire lives are like this. Each of us is a character in a book. There are some 10 billion books in the ‘series,’ with many of our ‘stories’ overlapping the stories of others. Taken together, our individual stories constitute one grand story. This grand story contains elements that are astonishing, but in my view, missed if you take the stories of our lives one at a time. At the same time, one cannot overlook our individual lives, for pieces of them are what make the grand story, the Mosaic, we’ll call it, what it is.
My seven book series is a very faint shadow of what I perceive is reality. It begs the question: if the Birth Pangs series are a mosaic of my authorship, who is the Author of the series of our lives? Is there really no Author? Really? I don’t think so. If you think that way, one of my aims is to persuade you otherwise.