Book Review: The Final Summit

Posted by: Kristy Sturdivant

When I was offered the opportunity to read “The Final Summit” by Andy Andrews I was a little skeptical. After reading the synopsis I was convinced that this was going to be a book that focuses on religion and to be perfectly honest, that genre just isn’t my cup of tea. It has nothing to do with personal or political beliefs; I just don’t like books that tend toward religion about as much as I don’t like books that focus on WWII. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find how much I enjoyed “The Final Summit” and that it isn’t about religion at all, but is really pretty much about the principles I was either taught growing up or picked up along the way.

Final summit

“The Final Summit” is actually a sequel to the book “The Traveler’s Gift” and reunites the readers with David Ponder, who took a journey and met some “travelers” in the first book (which I have not read but definitely will). In the first book, David was exposed to Seven Decisions that ended up changing his life and now, 28 years later, he is 74 years old and about to embark on another adventure. He is summoned by the archangel Gabriel to a summit which will decide the fate of humanity. Gathered at this summit are many figures throughout history that have left some sort of legacy and lesson for the world. It is up to David to answer this question, “What does humanity need to do, individually and collectively, to restore itself to the pathway toward successful civilization?”

Mr. Andrews navigates the reader through this journey (which is really quite dire) with a humor and seriousness that was a combination of nerve-wrecking and relaxing. When the archangel Gabriel posed the question with the ultimatum that the wrong answer would be the end of humanity, I was a little anxious. However, with carefully placed historical characters, wit and charm the author led us through this perilous task with results that were pleasing. The entire time I was expecting the answer to be some reference to religion (such as, “Humanity must have faith”) but it was actually very practical and something that even a staunch atheist would probably agree with. I wish I could just reveal it to you, but that would be so wrong.

One of the highlights of this book was “meeting” the traveler’s, which of course was impossible for the author to actually do, but it was very obvious that extensive research went into this book, as well as the previous one, and it really showed. Humanizing historical figures surely cannot be an easy task, but Andrews made all of the characters seem like old friends that he regularly chatted with over coffee.  History is not really my favorite subject, but the introduction to these historical figures in this particular setting has piqued my curiosity and I will definitely be visiting the biography section of the library more often.

Sadly, “The Final Summit” will probably never reach the fame of “Harry Potter” or “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, but the message and content here is important and, I believe, written in a way that can be enjoyed by anyone. I do hope that if you see it on a bookshelf you will pick it up and take a look, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


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