Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Strange Man by Greg Mitchell, a review

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The Strange Man by Greg Mitchell
Published 2011 by Realms, 266 pages
Genre: Christian horror suitable for teens and adults

I didn’t realize how scary this book was going to be when I agreed to read it. (It’s officially labeled “suspense” not “horror.”) I’m no horror fan at all, so I had some trouble getting through this book. However, if you love books that scare you, and if you are a Christian, you may very well love it.

Dras Weldon lives in a town called Greensboro that is apparently somewhere in the United States. One character mentions the possibility of moving to Vermont, so we readers assume Greensboro is in the same universe. However, we soon find out that Greensboro’s world is a place where demons take bodily form and have ability and permission to tear people apart, especially people who ignore the Gospel.

Greensboro used to be protected by the faith of previous generations.  But that faith has withered and died. Now the town has for spiritual protection only a poorly attended church. Dras Weldon’s brother Jeff is pastor, as their father was before them. But Dras’s faith is weak. He finds himself unprepared to deal with the challenge and the choices that await him.

Dras is a 22-year-old who behaves like a spoiled teenager. He’s unemployed, drinking a lot, sponging off his parents. At least Dras does have some faith; he gets himself to church somehow but sleeps through the sermon. His best friend, Rosalyn, gets pretty impatient with him. She isn’t a Christian.

The Strange Man, a demonic shape-shifter, checks out the local nightclub and decides he wants Rosalyn. But he can’t have her because somehow her love for Dras shields her. So he goes after Dras.

How can Dras repel the physical strength and spiritual poison of this enemy? And how can he teach Rosalyn to protect herself? The story plays out in some surprising ways.

What do I think?

This book is solidly Christian in worldview. I like that about it. However, I found myself continually struggling with the fantasy aspects of this story, namely, that the demons in this story have physical powers and permission from God to tear people to shreds, even people who are asking God for help.

I also struggled with Dras’s character. He doesn’t seem very believable to me–a drunken sponger whose heart nevertheless remains open to the Lord.  The few actual 22-year-old drunken spongers I know of have been running away from God.

However, I thought the cover design was stupendous. And I think this book does a great job of scaring the willies out of you. If that’s what you want.

I’ll be interested to see whether others reporting on this book on the CSFF blog tour found it satisfying. Take a look!

Noah Arsenault
Red Bissell
Kathy Brasby
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
CSFF Blog Tour
Amber French
Tori Greene
Katie Hart
Bruce Hennigan
Timothy Hicks
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Inae Kyo
Emily LaVigne
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Gavin Patchett
Andrea Schultz
Kathleen Smith
Donna Swanson
Jessica Thomas
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Dona Watson
Phyllis Wheeler

Author’s web site – http://thecomingevil.blogspot.com/

Tales of The Dim Knight by Adam and Andrea Graham

Tales of the Dim Knight by Adam and Andrea Graham
Published 2011 by Splashdown Books, 340 pages
Genre: Christian fantasy

Mild-mannered janitor Dave Johnson finds a piece of body armor, puts it on, and discovers he has just picked up an invisible passenger–an alien symbiote (entity that lives with you in your skin) who gives him super powers.

Dave can now turn himself into Powerhouse, a superhero who darts around Seattle saving people. But he’s a bit of a dim bulb. This book is full of hilarious situations where Dave just doesn’t quite get it but the reader does, as Powerhouse pursues a canny set of bad guys and their boss, Marco.

Poor Dave doesn’t find an appropriate time to tell his wife about his hobby, so his marriage has difficulties, then reconciliation, then more difficulties, and so on. Dave tries the best to save the world, his marriage, and his children, while keeping in check the global power ambitions of his alien symbiote. But he finds that all his heroic deeds are not enough. And Marco the bad guy has things to learn too.

What do I think?

The characters in this book are endearingly cartoonish. Those who love superheroes and their exploits will like this book, especially those looking for a good laugh. And there are lessons for all of us about faith and trust in God.

Some helpful links:

http://www.dimknight.com

http://dimknight.com/samplechapter.html

Would Tales of the Dim Knight Be A Good Book for My Kids?