This week I read Frank E. Peretti's novel This Present Darkness. It's Christian fiction. My parents got me the series back when I was in high school and I remember enjoying reading them at that age and thought it could be worth revisiting. Leah picked up the book series at Mardel's in Wichita Falls, TX during our Christmas vacation in preparation for our year in books. The story continues in Piercing the Darkness, but I'm going to wait to start that one up.
The storyline is about a small town in the middle of an intense spiritual battle. Peretti gives a glimpse at the unseen world that's happening all around us - one of angels and demons. I won't give much away, but it's part sci-fi, part mystery, part murder story. Most of the character development is interesting and gives a good cross section of small town happenings. You won't get any cussing and most situations aren't graphic for a young adult, or conservative older adult(which wouldn't be me since I read Fight Club last week). The progression was decent with very little slow down. The story did reach it's climax and conclusion relatively quick, but didn't feel too rushed.
Now, the one thing that I would complain or caution about is the doctrine that *might* come across from Peretti's book. In some ways, he's created a story that will reach more people, but isn't as Biblically accurate as he could be or needed to be. If you are a discerning Christian you'll be able to look past a few of these and understand where he's coming from. But, a newbie Christian or a non-Christian might see some of the demons/angels interaction and wonder about what's true and what's not. The biggest concern I could see is the naming of the demons as Rape, Anger, Jealousy, or Lies. It almost makes it appear that the demons are making the person sin. If one comes in believing that by the end of the book then why would we even need a Saviour? It's not our fault that we've been sinning, but the demons that have been possessing us! It's a slippery slope that young Christians AND long time Christians can fall into. So I caution that part of the book so that when I recommend this book you can be discerning about non-Biblical ideas. There are a couple small items as well, but that's the main gripe I have.
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in getting something a little different. Peretti gives a book that's engaging from a story standpoint, but also gives you enough leeway to let your imagination wander on what else is happening all around us. He also gives the gospel message in a fiction book. Give it a chance and see what you think. (nothing witty or humorous to really say about this one)