Invitation – Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, Alton Gansky

In a world swirling with hidden dark forces and inexplicable phenomena, four people who couldn’t be more different are linked together by their supernatural abilities. And with an author lineup like this, I was salivating from the moment I requested the all-new Invitation to review.invitation book cover

The cinematic writing, distinct character voices, eerie surprises, and haunting settings hooked me on this first book of the Harbingers series. Each author wrote a separate novella as one of the four key characters. Far from being formulaic, each novella brought fresh perspective and new episodic plotlines to bear. I especially loved Hunt’s “The Sentinels,” the third novella, for the deeper look into the patterns and characters’ abilities.

From a top-secret government institute mining more than unwitting students’ psychic abilities to a house with a life of its own, to hordes of eyeless dead animals appearing and a reticent girl with a message who acts as though she’s not of this world, these plotlines reinvent tropes to have new spiritual significance and fascination.  These episodes were clearly written to be imagined; the intentional details and dialogue let you progress rapidly through many events as you try to assess what’s really going on.

Anyone who knows me can attest to my scaredy-cat attitude towards paranormal and speculative fiction. However, despite the occasional shudders and taking a break to walk outside (yes, ok, I read it in the daytime), the power of God and prayer within the book dominated the dark forces. I will say that I wished all four of the heroes would show the prayerful approach; that domain seemed to be limited to one character, Cowboy. Perhaps in the future books we’ll see more of each character’s spiritual journey. Certainly this book doesn’t fall into the trap of many Christian fiction books of sermonizing. Instead, nuggets of faith and Biblical wisdom are meted out sparingly by Cowboy when needed most.

I can highly recommend these books to any lover of Christian speculative fiction. You’ll find in it all the aspects you love, from real danger, mystery, and evidence of spiritual powers. For children under 13, I’d recommend you read with an adult and if you get frightened, remind yourself of God’s promises in His Word to never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6 and 31:8, 1 Chronicles 28:30, Psalms 37:28, Isaiah 41:17, and more.)

I am thankful for books like these that remind us of the spiritual warfare around us, alarming when seen and unseen. This book does a remarkable job of making these encounters nearly visible and showing the real level of danger they bring.

I am even more thankful for the message of God’s power which has already defeated these forces, and I hope future books in the Harbingers series will make that more evident. I’m thankful for the mercy and constant spiritual protection we have in the Lord; as the logical professor remarked in Invitation, “There, but for the grace of God…”

 

I received this book for free from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program and am not obligated to post a positive review, only an honest one.