Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Realms (February 1, 2011) 320 pages
When Ruby Case, an unassuming crippled woman, inexplicably raises a boy from the dead, she creates uproar in the quiet coastal town of Stonetree. Some brand her a witch, others a miracle worker. Yet Reverend Ian Clark couldn't care less. Dogged by demons and immersed in self-pity, Clark is being unwittingly drawn into a secret religious order--one that threatens his very life. But he's about to get a wake-up call.
Together, Ruby and Reverend Clark are thrust into a search for answers... and a collision with unspeakable darkness. For behind the quaint tourist shops and artist colonies lies a history of deceit. And a presence more malignant than anything they can imagine. Yet a battle is brewing, the resurrection is the first volley, and the unlikely duo are the only ones who can save them. But can they overcome their own brokenness in time to stop the evil, or will they be its next victim?
It wasn't until I was 1/3 of the way through this book that I really got into it. Then I ended up staying up until 12:30 in the morning to finish it. For this exhausted pregnant momma, that's a great compliment!! :) I'm not going to blame the slow going on the book, though, because I started trying to read this book at the doctor's office, and I've learned not to do that. I can't properly focus on the story and it's not fair to the book.
During the first third I was almost disappointed that I wasn't finding it creepy. Which is sad, because I debated long and hard whether or not to review this one because of the creepy factor. Those kind of books, though I rarely read them, are usually the most memorable for me. I got over that, though, because it definitely got way more creepy for me, but not TOO creepy. :) There's so much in this book that COULD happen. I won't give anything away, but make sure you read the whole book before you make a judgement on that statement.
I'm not sure where this book is set. I may have read over it and missed it. I know it's set in Stonetree, but other than that, I'm not sure. Does anybody know? I think most of the things in this story are more realistic in other, poorer countries, but not as much in the U.S.
Since I'm very much recommending this book for those of you who don't mind the creepy factor, I think it's important that I mention I DON'T believe in modern day miracles. I very much believe they happened in Biblical times, but I don't think they exist today. I know we throw that word around...."the miracle of childbirth"....."it's a miracle you survived that wreck." My first son is even called a miracle baby many times. Well, those aren't miracles, to me. Yes, I definitely think God had a hand in them, though!! I don't believe someone can be raised from the dead, or can be touched and healed. And that doesn't take away from my incredible faith in God! I'm not wanting a debate in stating that! It's just my opinion. :) I just don't want someone to read this book and think I'm promoting something I'm not.
To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what the spiritual message of the book is supposed to be concerning the miracle aspect. Is it saying I should believe it was God if someone was raised from the dead, or is it suppose to be symbolic for our faith in God? I'm not sure, but I think you can take what you want out of the story. I may have gotten something out of it different from what the author intended, but I still got a great lesson in faith from the pages.
From my understanding, this is a debut novel from Mike Duran. I'm very impressed!!!! I can only imagine how much better his future works will be if this was a first.
**In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest opinion.
About the author:
Mike Duran was a finalist in Faith in Fiction's inaugural short story contest and was chosen as one of ten authors to be published in Infuze Magazine’s 2005 print anthology. He is author of the short story “En Route to Inferno,” which appeared in Coach’s Midnight Diner: Back from the Dead edition, and received the Editor’s Choice award for his creative nonfiction essay titled “The Ark,” published in the Summer 2.3 Issue of Relief Journal. In between blogs, he also writes a monthly column for Novel Journey and has served as editor on the Midnight Diner’s editorial team. Duran is an ordained minister and lives with his wife of 29 years and four grown children in Southern California.
Click HERE for link to book.
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Book Reviews By Molly
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
Carol Bruce Collett
CSFF Blog Tour
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
I'm looking forward to seeing what others have to say!
*******As a side note, I won't be around for next month's tour. Lord willing, I'll be busy with a newborn at that point. (Less than a month to go!!!!!!) :)