Saturday 14 December 2019

Rising Darkness - Roger Thomas - Watchful Sky Series Book 2

Rising Darkness
Watchful Sky Series Book 2
Roger Thomas

ISBN 9781733080903

I absolutely loved the first story in this series. And recommended that first volume to several teens I know. This follow up book, I would recommend to a smaller audience. Roger states in the introduction:

“This is not a story for children. This is a story about the struggle between good and evil in the midst of the decaying remains of what was once Western Civilization. It grapples with the types of evils that arise in such moral environments, which requires describing them. These descriptions are done plainly, with no choreographing, special camera angles, or other embellishments that are used by the entertainment industry to make evil appear glamorous and alluring. Those who have never encountered unretouched descriptions of evil may find them shocking, dismaying, and even revolting – as well they should, for that is what depravity looks like. This story deals plainly with kidnappings, rapes, beatings, murders, and other brutalities.”

And I would agree. Now with that warning in my mind I did approach this volume with more trepidation and caution than the first book. But the events were not as graphic as I expected from the warning. But it is a much more mature book and geared for a more mature audience. I would also add that there is dark magic, occultism, and human sacrifice. Not see directly but clearly implied. But Roger does an incredible job of plainly describing the darkness without glorifying or glamorizing it. And if you have read the first volume this is an excellent follow up.

The story is set in what could be the not too distant future. And based on news reports from around the world it is likely some of this stuff is already happening. Or there are groups on both the sides of light and darkness preparing and working mostly behind the scenes but not always. This volume begins some time after Under the Watchful Sky, and Derek Stevens and Janice Boyd have begun new lives in hiding. As Luke and Teresa, they use their medical skills and training to help those who helped them, and who now shelter them. During the course of this story we see a family ripped apart by Child Services for malicious reasons. We see Child services overworked and manipulated from outside. We encounter child slave labour. And we also get insight into a human trafficking ring. All elements that could be ripped from the weekly headlines. But in this story, there is a group, and even some outside the group who are working to fight the darkness. 

At the ends of the introduction Roger states:

“This story and others in the series also present plainly the Unseen Real. This is not in the interest of making them Fantastic Stories (as we moderns like our tales categorized), but because the Unseen is as real as the tangible reality present to the senses. The Seen and Unseen Real stand closer than we moderns like to admit, even in the face of St. Paul’s warning that our enemies are not flesh and blood. Because of this, and because “where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more,” I believe that we will see both evil and good, hitherto unseen, manifested more and more plainly in the times that are upon us. These stories reflect that belief, and those who read them should be prepared for that.”

It is Christian, Catholic Fiction on the edge. It presents the reality many would want to ignore. Thomas does an incredible job in this book, and the series thus far. This is a book that will open your eyes, and likely spurn on your prayer life. Nice since read books by Frank E. Petetti 30 years ago when I was much younger has a fictional story sparked so much prayer. The difference is by the time I read The Oath by Peretti I felt like I was reading a Christianized Stephen King, that is not the case with the books I have read thus far by Thomas. They are on the very edge, but they are excellent Christian fiction.

Another incredible read by an author I am growing to respect and trust even more with every book I read from his skilled pen.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Roger Thomas:
The Accidental Marriage
From Afar
The Last Ugly Person: And Other Stories

The Ghosts of Midgard Manor And Other Stories
The Crown Jewels of Undlar

Watchful Sky Series:
Under the Watchful Sky
Rising Darkness
The Wounded Land
The Tattered Web

Author profile and interview with Roger Thomas.

No comments: