- Authors: Andrews & Wilson
- Publisher: Tyndale House
- On-Sale Date: Sept. 7th
- Synopsis: Newly-retired Navy SEAL Jed Johnson finds himself engaged in an urgent new operation: tracking down twelve year-old Sarah Beth and her kidnappers.
The book is a supernatural thriller and the Lord really used it to speak to me! I have been experiencing spiritual warfare, recently, and the book shed light on the realities of my own circumstances. It’s not a flesh and blood battle!
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”Eph. 6:12
What I Liked
- The writing was excellent! I was especially impressed with the chapters written from Sarah Beth’s perspective. I felt that the authors did a particularly good job of capturing Sarah Beth’s youthful innocence, without losing sight of her unique gifting and intelligence. She is an insightful, extremely believable, character. I’m also rather amused that these were my favorite (in terms of writing) sections, considering that both authors are male.
- Along this line, this is my first time reading a book by these authors. However, if they haven’t done so yet, I hope they write a children’s book— partially because I was so impressed with Sarah Beth’s (third-person limited) narration, and partially because this book was a bit intense for me (but really good!).
- In terms of content and writing, the book reminded me of Ted Dekker’s writing. I say that as a compliment, because Dekker is one of my very favorite novelists.
- The pacing was also delicious! While I had a little bit of trouble “getting into” the prologue (a snapshot of a battle scene in Afghanistan), I was hooked from chapter one! The authors have a knack for switching between perspectives just when things are getting interesting. It drives me crazy and keeps me reading!
- Similarly, the mystery elements were engaging and intriguing. I really like how Andrews and Wilson kept me guessing.
- I very much appreciated the supernatural emphasis, which was so timely for me.
As I’ve mentioned above, the book strongly sheds light on the reality of spiritual battles, which we see described in Eph. 6. Like This Present Darkness, a popular Christian novel by Frank Peretti, I believe this book has a lot of potential to raise awareness among Christians. In general, I am “aware” of spiritual warfare, but the Lord really used it for me to shed light on spiritual warfare that I’ve recently experienced. For this reason, the book felt practically useful, in addition to being a well-crafted work of fiction.
With that said, I think I would have liked to see a bit more direct interaction with the Heavenly Father. There was a lot of emphasis on the physical battle, alongside the spiritual. While the physical battle was integral to the plotline, I think I wanted more of a conscious recognition that God was the One battling.
This is in no way to say that the book “leaves God out” of it. There are numerous references to His role in the battle between good and evil. I am just a little bit wary of emphasis on the impressiveness of spiritual warfare/ gifts over the Holy Spirit Himself. I’m NOT saying this book does that. Instead, I’m saying that, for a reader who struggle with the temptation to focus on the supernatural for its own sake , I’d advise caution.
One thing I really liked is that, in a few instances that used the Lord’s Name, the authors specifically allude to prayer, not just exclamation. (For those who are concerned, there were a few “swear“ words. I’m more concerned about the Lord’s name.)
There’s a flashback to rape.
There’s quite a bit of violence / intense scenes. With that said, I felt that the content was appropriately suited to the subject-matter, not gratuitous. It makes sense to me that, in a book about the battle between good and evil, there’s going to be violence. It wouldn’t really make sense to omit evil. In this sense, I feel that the content was appropriate to the subject matter, but certainly not mild. I wouldn’t say that this was a “scary” book, though 🙂
Fast-paced, gripping and well-written, this is definitely a book for adults—or at least older teens. I would particularly recommend it as an illustration of the reality of spiritual warfare.