Author Interview with Chuck Black

Every time Chuck Black comes out with a new novel, my brother and I don’t waste time purchasing it! Since all my blogging time this week has gone to working on the new site, I thought it would be fun to re-enjoy this interview from 2012.

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Book Review: Light of the Last

Light of the LastI spent the first half of this book desperately wanting to tell Drew (the main character) that he wasn’t insane, and the second half trying to read fast enough to keep up with the cascade of action. It was a wild ride!

I’m not sure how to classify Light of the Last. Superhero? Spiritual warfare? Political thriller? It’s all three!

Synopsis:
It’s been years since a lab accident resulted in Drew Carter’s visions of alien invaders–his term for the angels and demons he can now see. Now he’s draw the attendtion of the American government. Always a patriot at heart, Drew is excited to serve in the CIA despite the underhanded way he’s drafted into service. His problem is, he doesn’t know who he can trust. When a psyciatric exam tells him his visions are conjured by his subconscious, he doesn’t even trust himself. Drew is isolated from his family and the girl he loves, and he’s coming undone.

Meanwhile the force of angels tasked with protecting Drew is locked in the battle of the ages. Apollyon is loosing the forces of darkness in a desperate attempt to prevent the salvation of one man. Validus and his team must hold nothing back. The fate of the world is in the balance.

My Thoughts:
I love the lead characters in this series. Drew is a  quintessential hero–sincere, self-sacrificing, devoted, and just proud and broken enough to make you fully invested in reading to find a happy ending. Besides, what Christian Marvel fan wouldn’t get excited about a superhero story (complete with a Jarvis-like computer) with a spiritual warfare twist? However, I’m not going say more because you need to read it for yourself. Go back to book one, push through the first 50 pages (which I found boring), and enjoy the journey. 🙂

What Has My Attention

I enjoy seeing what other people are looking at and reading. With so much content produced on the internet every week, it’s nice to get curated lists of what people I trust have found valuable. So, I thought I might try to occasionally share my own list with you all! Let me know if you do or don’t like this new feature.

  • The Generosity Factor by Ken Blanchard. Don’t give to get. Get to give!
  • The Secret to Becoming an Expert Listener. This is a fabulous blog post on the art of listening well. As a talkative person, remembering to listen (and listen well) is something I can always use a reminder about!
  • The Family: Together in the Presence of GodNoel Piper (wife of John Piper) wrote this inspiring article on family togetherness during corporate worship. Hopefully I’m not the only single girl on here who enjoys reading parenting articles!
  • A Tribute to PrimroseIt’s no secret that I love adoption. This blog post about a baby’s first birthday with a family of her own made me cry.
  • How 5 Minutes Can Change Someone’s LifeEncouraging reminder about the power of little things.
  • Sermon NotesA graphic designer friend of mine and I have begun collaborating to make sermon graphics for my church.

What has your attention this week?

Book Review: Rise of the Fallen

Rise of the Fallen

Remember the face of evil, my brothers, and never forget the price the righteous will pay because if it.

Two years ago, my brother and I met Chuck Black at a homeschool conference. We were thrilled when he told us he was working on a new series. When the first book, Cloak of the Light, released, we pounced on it. It turned out to be a totally unique story delving into the world of spiritual warfare. My brother describes it as “Spiderman meets Frank Peretti.” It’s an apt description, and Rise of the Fallen is no less unique.

Instead of continuing the tale begun in Cloak of the Light in a chronological manner, Rise of the Fallen switches point-of-view-characters and jumps back in time. We now get to view Drew’s story (and the history of the world) from the perspective of the angel assigned to protect Drew.

While Chuck Black’s writing style/technique is not nearly as polished as some other writers, he’s a superb story teller who knows how to weave Truth into his narrative with rare power. I put the book down not just with the satisfied feeling of finishing a good book, but also with a renewed appreciation of certain Bible events and an inward challenge to improve my prayer life. I love it when fictional books leave me feeling challenged but not hit over the head with a sledgehammer by the author’s “message.”

That said, some readers may be annoyed by the construction of this book. Chapters alternate between past and present. The “past” chapters work their way through Bible history, and are relatively basic in their narration. It didn’t bother me because I found it fascinating to “see” the events through such a unique perspective, but I think some might find it boring.

This is a book I feel very safe recommending to all readers old enough to handle intense battles where deaths are not glossed over. Readers sensitive to such things should be forewarned that there are two brief but heartbreaking scenes depicting the slaughter of the children of Jerusalem following Jesus’ birth and the death of a mother and child in the Sobibor concentration camp.

Rise of the Fallen kept me up till 1am to finish the book, and I can’t wait to read book three!

Free Book Alert

On a different subject, homeschooled author Sarah Holman is offering her short story, Cinderella retelling free on Kindle today (and for the next few days). Waltz into the Waves is a sweet little quick read (28 pages) that weaves a tale about a girl whose beauty is marred and her betrothed who chooses to love her anyway.

 

Book Review: The Door in the Dragon’s Throat

Door in the Dragon's ThroatJoin Jay and Lyla, twins with an archaeologist father who brings them with him on all his adventures. In The Door in the Dragon’s Throat, book one of the Cooper Kid Adventures, the Coopers land in Napur, a country with an ancient legend. Natives give a cavern in the desert a wide berth. According to ancient legend, anyone who tries to open the door in “The Dragon’s Throat” will die. The Coopers are curious, and they know their God is stronger than anything in the cavern. What truth lies behind the legend?

I have a soft spot for middle grade books that remain interesting as I get older. The Cooper Kid Adventures hold a secure position in that soft spot. They no longer infuse me with the same heart palpitating suspense as they did when I first read them, but they still offer exciting adventures that doesn’t take to long to read. Because they are written for a younger audience, the spiritual warfare aspect in The Door in the Dragon’s Throat is not as central or intense as it is in Peretti’s adult books.

Book Review: This Present Darkness

This Present DarknessI forgot to mention this last week, but this month’s theme is spiritual warfare. Talk about an intense genre! Today’s review comes complements of my brother. I wanted to include This Present Darkness, but didn’t have time to read it. Thankfully he did, and he was willing to review it. Enjoy!

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A small town pastor attempts to hold a struggling church together while the town’s newspaper man tries to figure out mysterious happenings at the local college. Both men are unaware of the supernatural battle taking place in their families and neighborhoods. Tal, a mighty angel captain, struggles to get the Christians to provide the prayer cover he needs to do his work as he battles an ancient foe. Can the newspaper man and pastor hold the town together and can Tal defeat his demonic counterpart?

Peretti’s book is fascinating and exciting from the first pages. He makes the spiritual battle seem real, and it makes you think of just how little we really can see and understand of what is happening around us, and how effective prayer is. This is definitely a very intense book that is probably best for readers over age fourteen.

Book Review: Cloak of the Light

Cloak of the LightCloak of the Light is one of those “impossible to categorize” books. It’s not quite sci-fi, not fantasy, not allegory. My brother purchased this at a homeschool conference last weekend, devoured it in a day, and declared it one of the best books he ever read. He described it as Spider Man meets Frank Peretti.

Life has thrown Drew plenty of curveballs, starting when he lost his father at age twelve. He doesn’t believe in God. He doesn’t believe his best friend’s conviction about the potential of alien life either. Not until he sees an other-earthly invader with his own eyes. In an experiment goes wrong, Drew gets zapped with the equipment used to see into the other realm and soon discovers that he can now see into it without a machine. He finds himself observing a battle between dark and light invaders. Who are these mysterious beings that are invisible to all eyes but his own? What do they want? And what can one young man do against a force of evil that can affect the hearts of men?

I found the start of this book a little slow, but my brother said it drew him in from page one, so I’m guessing it’s a matter of personal preference and level of criticalness. If you’re like me, just view the first few chapters as an extended prologue and rest assured it will pick up soon. Chuck Black makes it clear in the afterword that this book is not intended to be an interpretation of actual spiritual warfare, but rather an imaginative, gripping story to help readers think about spiritual warfare as they might not have otherwise. I fully enjoyed the story and look forward to book two!