Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This Present Darkness (1986) by Frank E. Peretti

The battle between Good and Evil takes on a spiritually terrifying mien in this novel by Frank E. Peretti.

The title comes from Ephesians 6:12 (RSV): "For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Spiritual warfare is brought to vivid life in this gripping tale of the small, quiet college town of Ashton and the demonic forces striving to take it over.

When an investigative reporter photographs the chief of police in a secret meeting during the town carnival, she is thrown in jail. The new owner of the local newspaper with family problems, a young preacher accidentally voted in to serve as pastor, and the beautiful, spunky reporter soon become embroiled in a diabolical conspiracy involving Ashton's most powerful and influential people, an enigmatic New Age professor, a mysterious New York power broker, and a desperate woman on the run.

In the spiritual realm, Principalities of the Air pit their demonic hordes against the Hosts of Heaven. Demon against angel for the souls of Ashton. The forces of Heaven are outnumbered by billions. The Faithful in Ashton must join with God's Host to battle the evil spirits and end the threat to their town - and ultimately to the entire human race.

While This Present Darkness is a Christian authored novel, it tells an awe-inspiring tale of demons vs. angels without becoming preachy. It may even make you think differently on the philosophies of spiritual warfare after reading.

The book depicts an unseen tableau of demons and angels battling for our souls in our world. Sudden urges, burdens of the heart, strange coincidences, and outright miracles are explained as being the divine work of God's Heavenly Host, or the evil machinations of Satan's demonic forces. The angels derive their strength and power from the prayers of God's people. The demons gain theirs from the fear, depravity, and corruption of we simple humans.

A tale of human corruption, fascination with the occult, demonic possession, the conquering of a small town, and the good folk who are battling the evil is woven seamlessly into the spiritual tale of guardian angels, salvation, and the power of prayer.

The story is engaging, full of thrills, chills, twists and turns. The characters are believable, spiritual and flesh-and-blood alike. It plays out almost like a fantastic movie as you read. You won't want to put it down.

You don't have to be a Christian to enjoy this book. And while the outcome of the story is never in doubt, the ride through the events leading up to the thrilling climax is wild and exciting. You won't look at religion the same again.

If certain aspects of the story were updated to contemporary themes, and given a Hollywood budget, this would make a sure-fire blockbuster movie. The main problem would be the typical watering down of the religious overtones and Christian themes by Hollywood. *sigh*

I give This Present Darkness full marks; 5 of 5 Raivynns!

Raivynn Rating


Russell Hawkins said...

Sounds like something I need to read. I've been wanting to trickle some novels into my reading.

Nice review!

Swinging Sammy said...

I have enjoyed another of his novels, "The Oath," but I haven't seen nor hear of this one...sounds good.