Two of my all-time favorite novels are “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing the Darkness” by Frank Peretti. I’ve read them both a few times and I recently started reading the first book to my kids. So, when I saw that Frank is a co-author of “Invitation”, I was eager to read it. I was given a copy of the book by Nuts About Books in exchange for a review on my blog.
A Brief Summary
“Invitation” is the first novel in a series called “Harbingers” and it is written by 4 popular Christian authors, Bill Meyers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky. The books ties together suspense and the supernatural, bringing in the darkness of the occult.
Each author writes from the perspective of one of the four main characters, each of who possess a special ‘gift’. For example, Tank, a football player has the ability to heal. And Brenda, a tattoo artist, sees images of the future and she creates tattoos out of these ‘visions’.
I really wanted to enjoy the book. I really did. But I didn’t find that it pulled me in like the other Frank Peretti novels I’ve read. Perhaps that is an unfair expectation, I don’t know.
I believe the biggest reason it was difficult for me to enjoy the novel is that it was challenging for me to follow the story when the point of view changed. I would start to get to know a character, Brenda the tattoo artist in the first section, for example. And then part way through, the point of view would change to a different character, the professor, and I’d feel lost. It was too much of a change too quickly.
Having the four different perspectives in a novel series sounds like an intriguing idea, brilliant, even. But perhaps it would have been an easier transition between them if the characters had already known each other from the beginning.
What I Liked
I did like the fact that the characters were all quite different and that they were brought together for good. It shows that God can use anyone to do His work, whether they realize they are doing His work or not.
I also really liked how the characters were brought together unexpectedly. For example, after their initial meeting, they went their own way for a while, trying to forget the crazy events that had transpired. Then they saw each other on the same flight to the same destination. This wasn’t a coincidence, although they tried to explain it away with that excuse.
Tank, the young football player, was the only character who had any idea about God – he would talk about God and pray to Him, although he did not have a strong faith. This shows that we only need the faith the size of a mustard seed in order for God to move in our lives.
The book is intriguing and the idea to have four different authors writing the series is something that would draw a reader to choose this book, I know it drew me – along with the fact that Frank Peretti was one of those authors.
I recommend this book to readers who are interested in the supernatural with a Christian worldview. I think for me, I will get the second book in the series to give it a fair chance. Besides, my curiosity is piqued – what will happen next? How will these 4 unlikely characters work together to come to a solution? Will they come to faith in Jesus Christ through their ‘adventures’?
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