First of all, I’m not considering this a “real” review, and I didn’t receive my copy of the book for review, but as part of a blog giveaway. Which was VERY fun!! I rarely win these things, but found this random interview with Mike Duran, a guy whose blog I’ve been following for a long time, and decided to enter. We had to answer the question, “If you met a ghost, would you run or would you try to talk to it?”
I have to say, I would change my answer just a bit after reading Mike’s book.
Not having read many of the other reviews, I’m not aware of what theological questions might be raised in others’ posts. (What can I say, I’m a busy homeschooling mom with two older kids in college and six still at home … did you know that high schoolers take more energy than preschoolers?? I’d often heard this, but never believed it … thus my long silence on this blog and elsewhere). I can anticipate one, however, which Mike addresses in his afterword, regarding the nature of “Mr. Cellophane.” What I found absolutely fascinating is the part this “character” played in the story, and Mike’s conjectures on how this might fit with Scripture. (How even Jesus didn’t spend time refuting that ghosts exist …) In fact, when the question was raised in a recent Bible study, “Are ghosts real?” I drew upon this bit of information, and emphasized that we do not know. God simply hasn’t explained everything to us.
I loved the way Mike portrayed spiritual warfare. Loved the scene in the New Age store. At the top of the mountain. In the bowels of the creepy professor’s lair. So understood Ian’s struggle with the ministry … and Ruby’s dilemma with her husband, who is still firmly a believer but just can’t quite hang with the direction their church seemed to be going.
Things I didn’t love so much—the way the book seemed a little fragmented until about halfway through, when it really took off for me. As another tour member commented, the way Ian kept asking the wrong people whether this could be a genuine miracle (although the conversation with Beeko was very cool).
This book reminded me less of This Present Darkness than an illustration of Warfare Prayer in novel form. Like both of them, however, I am motivated to open my eyes again to the world around me, guard a little more against complacency, to realize there’s so much more going on than I know or even guess.
Thanks, Mike, for a free copy of your very nifty story! I will definitely buy the next one, and not just because I’m a fan of your blog, or because you flattered me so hugely when we met long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. (I’m rather in awe of the diversity of talent in my fellow journey-ers!)
Visit other members of this Most Excellent Tour:
Book Reviews By Molly
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
Carol Bruce Collett
CSFF Blog Tour
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte