Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Review: To Wrestle With Darkness by A.D. Jones

Title: To Wrestle With Darkness
Author: A.D. Jones
Publisher: Rising Sun Group Publishing
Release Date: 07/01/2009

Before I get started, I just want to let people know what type of book this is. It’s a sci-fi fantasy, but it’s a CHRISTIAN sci-fi fantasy. That might sound sort of busy to people & it is to an extent, but before you start turning your minds off & start to look at other books, let me tell you that you really need to give this book a chance. It’s too good to ignore.

To Wrestle With Darkness follows two different people at very different times as well as the people around them. The first person is Michael, a young atheist who wants nothing more than to attend college & attract the attention of a girl he’s been crushing on for years. When he discovers that he’s one of many super powered people, Michael is at a loss of what to do or believe. The second person is Jonah, a man born in a future where being Christian is an offense punishable by death, a sentence that is enforced by the genetically engineered humans known as the Blues. Always in hiding, Jonah has to figure out how he is going to not only protect himself & his beloved wife from detection, but to also find a way to help his fellow men (Christian & non-Christian alike) escape from the persecution of the Blues. While the time periods for the two men differ, their fates are far more entwined than anyone could ever guess & it will take much faith for the groups in either time periods to survive the horrors that they will come across.

I’ll admit that while the book’s premise greatly intrigued me, I was a bit curious as to what type of book this would be. After all, there aren’t many books that fall into this genre. While this book was a little slow to get rolling & isn’t what I’d call a leisure read (a book you can read without thinking), it is very much a book that I’d recommend to fans of Christian literature & non-fans (you know you’re out there) alike.

Where do I start with this book? First off, I absolutely love that Jones managed to make a book that is religious but not preachy. There are far too many books out there where they go light on the plot in order to awkwardly interject their religious message into the book, which makes many of the books seem preachy & the religious content just seem way too out of place. That doesn’t happen with this book- religion is an important part of the book & Jones tries very hard to make it flow as naturally as possible. The pacing of the book was very good & readers will be frantically flipping through the book in order to resolve the cliffhanger of the previous chapter for those specific characters.

The only thing that sort of gave me pause was that there was so much of everything crammed into this book. The amount of content & characters in the book are so many that the story would have been better served by being formatted into at least 2-3 books. There’s just so much going on that many readers will just long for a little more detail & background to some of the characters & time periods. (Especially the past of the Aunties & Uncle Paul as well as other things I won’t mention because they’re plot spoilery.) It's just that unfortunately I felt like the fast pace & tons of story came at the cost of some background information.

While readers looking for a brainless read won’t find that in this book, this is very much a wonderful book & I recommend it to people who aren’t afraid of having to think while they read. I can only hope that the author does further stories based around some of the people & situations in this book- there’s a lot of potential storylines to explore.

(Reader copy provided by author)

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