Tuesday 17 December 2019

The Wounded Land - Roger Thomas - Watchful Sky Series Book 3

The Wounded Land
Watchful Sky Series Book 3
Roger Thomas

ISBN 9781733080910

This book and this series are ones that will really stay with me. In part because Thomas writes about stuff that many are not willing to write about. Second, he does an amazing job of it. And third as someone who returned to the Catholic church for aver exposure to the occult from my mother, I see these books bringing to light what is hidden. I loved the first story in this series, and though a march darker and harder read appreciated the second book. And recommended that first volume to several teens I know. This volume and book two I would recommend to a smaller audience. Again, in the introduction Roger state:

“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.”

There are murders in this book. And there is a major confrontation with darkness. And it refers to events in volume 2. But I found this one less dark and less intense. Again this time, 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 still a much more mature book and geared for a more mature audience. 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.

As I stated in a previous review: “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.” It has now been two and a half years since the events in Under the Watchful Sky, and Derek Stevens and Janice Boyd have fully embraced their 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. But both are on very different paths. The group has received warning that scrutiny in the area is intensifying. That a new agency is work and not communicating to local authorities. The group decides it is time to execute their evacuation plans. But it is not going as quickly or as well as they would hope. And within short time they are all in grave danger. This storyline is overlapped with visions that Theresa is having and impressions the mother superior is having. Last summer they won a battle but the darkness that was released that night was not vanquished. The local sheriff, a priest, and Theresa all know that something must defeat the darkness, or it will find a way to escape and to spread. Luke feels tossed about and is concerned he is being left behind. And The darkness seems to be impacting the whole region and even strangers being drawn towards it from afar. 

This was a hard book to put down. The tension builds continuously throughout the story. And overlaid with the story is a discover of an old diary from a Jesuit who first witnessed to natives in this area. As that book is transcribed, we see parallels to the darkness being fought now. And a native scholar, translators, historians, and the man who found it end up discussion the unseen world, and the European’s need to name and classify things. Giving us glimpses and previews of things to come.

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.”

This story is Christian, Catholic Fiction on the edge. It presents the reality many would want to ignore. Even many who call themselves Catholic or other Christians. Thomas does an excellent job in this book, and in the series. This is a book that will open your eyes, and likely spurn on your prayer life. Not 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, and they present spiritual warfare, but they are excellent Christian fiction. if you are a fan of Peretti or ted Dekker I am certain you will love these books.

Another excellent read by an author I respect and trust more so 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.

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