Last week, the CFBA toured THE WATCHERS ( Bethany House, 3/07) by Mark Andrew Olsen, but my copy decided to show up too late to join the party. So this week I’m doubling up, if my computer doesn’t eat my review again.
The CFBA had the following on this title:
MARK ANDREW OLSEN whose novel The Assignment was a Christy Award finalist, also collaborated on bestsellers Hadassah (now the major motion picture: One Night With the King), The Hadassah Covenant, and Rescued. The son of missionaries to France, Mark is a graduate of Baylor University. He and his wife, Connie, live in Colorado Springs with their three children.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Just below the surface among the family of God lives another family tree–one traced in spirit, invisible and ageless, known as the Watchers. For two thousand years they’ve seen beyond the veil separating this world from the next, passing on their gift through a lineage mostly overlooked. Throughout history they’ve scouted the borders of the supernatural frontier, but now their survival hangs by a thread. And their fate lies in the hands of a young woman, her would-be killer, and a mystery they must solve….
Now if you’ve been following my reviews, sit down, because you’re probably not going to hear me say this again this century (or year at least). If this book is one thing, it’s a globetrotting spectacular. Yes, you read right. If it’s two things, it’s top shelf stuff.
I can hear you waiting for the hatchet to fall.
Seriously, this was a well crafted, thought provoking masterpiece, and I enjoyed it immensely. So naturally I was disappointed by a few instances of informational dialogue and improper tagging and other such nuisances, as that seemed beneath the writer, based on the talent shown overall.
Thematically, I loved the spiritual genealogy concept. I haven’t seen it broached in fiction before, at least not as it was here. Personally, I’m a bit of a spiritual orphan. I don’t have one person, that I can remember, that I can point to and say, “this is my spiritual mother/father, they begot me in the faith as Paul begot the Corinthians.” But I’m probably not the only person set adrift like this in our culture. In fact, I fear it’s an epidemic, which in a way makes this book most timely.
With this and the supernatural gifting(s) displayed, he’s definitely pushing the envelope, though and bound to make people uncomfortable. But some people need to be uncomfortable, or shaken out of their boxes rather. With a propensity for this myself, I respect pushing the envelopeâ€”if it’s done for the Kingdom’s glory. In my judgment, Olsen makes the grade.
Not to say this book is for everyone. The bad guys are definitely what I would classify as occult, and we spend sufficient enough with them, that added with giftings that some occult practices are crude imitations of, anyone with a history with or weakness for the occult probably will want to skip this one. If you have issues with blood and gore, I’d also move on. He keeps most of the really nasty stuff off stage, but well, let’s say this book gave a whole new meaning to the Paul’s statement that some of the things that the darkness do are too shameful even to speak of, as just the killer tormenting his victim by informing him ahead of time exactly what horrors they are about to inflict on them is enough to give you nightmares.
The heroine’s father also really wrongs her mother, and you’ll learn about the divorce and remarriage pretty early, but I won’t spoil the whole story. So if you actually have biblical views on divorce and remarriage, yes the man is biblically an adulterer, but he’s also not a Christian and by the time you get to the end, I don’t think any reasonable person will accuse him of doing right by Abby’s mother.
Watch your step if you dare to enter in, he’ll try to trick you. I must admit, it felt awfully good when I correctly anticipated most of the twists.
Partying on at:
Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Perri Nelson’s Website, Adam’s Blog, basil’s blog, The Bullwinkle Blog, Conservative Cat, Jo’s Cafe, Pursuing Holiness, Conservative Thoughts, third world county, stikNstein… has no mercy, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Pirate’s Cove, Overtaken by Events, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.