My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Ashton is just a typical small town. But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful, hardworking pastor begin to investigate mysterious events, they suddenly find themselves caught up in a hideous New Age plot to enslave the townspeople, and eventually the entire human race. The physical world meets the spiritual realm as the battle rages between forces of good and evil.
3/5 stars for This Present Darkness, by Frank E. Peretti. That doesn’t sound too positive, but according to the Goodreads star system, 3 stars means I “liked it,” and I did! I have access to the sequel and would be interested in reading it.
A novel is not just the author’s words, but an entire reading experience complete with all the baggage the reader brings to the table. I read This Present Darkness during a very busy season of life. I have to wonder if that impacted my reading experience. I remember there was a good chunk of the book that I really got into. Some of the descriptions were fresh and impressive. But for a lot of the book, I read it in bits and pieces, feeling removed from the story as I prioritized other life commitments. Of course, this is nothing against either the author or the book.
The intrigue of a book is one factor I take into consideration as I rate and review. The other factor is the impact it had on my spiritual life – to spur on my love for Christ or to dampen it. This Present Darkness is unapologetically thick with spiritual themes. I like that. At the same time, I found its impact on my personal spiritual life to be rather neutral. Again, I’m rating my entire reading experience as a whole, not the novel itself. I commend author Frank E. Peretti for writing it, spiritual warfare and all. I’ve heard many a good thing about this book from other people and believe that the Lord has used it to touch the lives of others in a deeply personal way.
To summarize, I liked This Present Darkness, by Frank E. Peretti. I recommend it to anyone who likes high-stakes novels, conspiracy plots, and unseen creatures of the spiritual realm.
A Note on Content
- A man beats up a woman.
- A man shoots a woman dead with a gun.
- A woman attempts to seduce a married man into sexual sin. He resists.
- Rape is mentioned by name (but not described) in several situations where people are framed and falsely accused of it.
- A woman reflects that she was beaten, but not raped; again, rape is mentioned by name only.
- Eastern mysticism and occultic rituals are central to the plot. Their purpose in the book is to be exposed as evil and instruments of demons to deceive and overpower those who practise them.
- “what the devil’s going on here” with no reference to the actual devil.
- there are many vivid descriptions of demons according to the author’s interpretation.
- Have you read This Present Darkness? Did you read it for leisure reading only, or did you think through some of the more philosophical questions? In general, are you more of a thinker or a feeler?
- Do you know of any books that are similar to This Present Darkness – maybe another conspiracy theory book?