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I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading new author's novels or author's who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.   
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Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Strange Man (The Coming Evil, Book 1) by Greg Mitchell.

A Review from May 2013.

 
The Strange Man: The Coming Evil, Book One  

Dras Weldon lives in a world of horror movies and comic books. Twenty-two and unemployed, he is content to hide in the shadow of adolescence with a faith that he professes but rarely puts into action. But when a demonic stranger arrives and begins threatening his friends,
Dras is drawn into a battle that forces him to choose which side he is on. In a race against the clock, he must not only fight these evil forces but also somehow convince his best friend, Rosalyn, to join him--before she is lost forever.

Engaging and darkly humorous, The Strange Man is the first act of a trilogy that depicts a world where monsters are real and simple men and women must overcome their doubts and fears in order to stand against the unspeakable creatures of the night.

Review: 

I must confess that when I first read the book description, I did think this was a young adult novel and I nearly did not buy it. How wrong I would have been if I had not. Now I am so very glad I did. This first book sat on my electronic bookshelf for a year or so. The reason being that I hate reading a book in a series as they are released as I forget parts of the previous novel by the time the next instalment is released and hate having to reread the previous one again to catch up. So I wait until they are all released, then I have the benefit of reading them one after the other with no break in between. This greatly enhances the enjoyment of reading the story. It also gives me a greater appreciation of the author. This is so evident with this trilogy.

This novel is dark, oppressive but when is ever evil not so? 

Mitchell creates this world of evil taking over the town and people of Greensboro very well. His world of demons, gremlins, that of The Strange Man is developed well. You feel the evil, the deceptiveness, the hatred of mankind and of God. This is the essence of this Strange Man. I found myself hating him and loathing the next account of him. When a character creates in you these feelings, the author has set out to achieve what he wanted. He has transported you in the world of the novel and this is very evident in The Strange Man Trilogy.

Mitchell's characters, both the antagonists and protagonists are developed well. You find yourself relating to them, disagreeing with them, agreeing with them, warning them to leave the Strange Man alone, as I did with the case when Rosalyn was finding her attracted to the handsome image of the Strange Man in human form, despite sensing that he is not what he seems and there is something evil and sinister about him.

The pace Mitchell creates enhances the dark elements of this story. It never lets up and consequently you cannot put it down. I nearly missed my train station and went over my lunch break reading this trilogy. That is one side effect of a successful writer, that you forget where you are, and any sense of time.

The spiritual warfare elements are good here. I rejoiced when Dras discovers the power of the Word to defeat the demonic attack and that they revile and are in pain when this happens. A great spiritual lesson to be learnt here for the Christian reader, that power and authority are at our use once we have been born again, and goes with being renewed in Jesus. His victory over sin and death and the demonic becomes our victory too.

It was good to see Jeff was portrayed as very human with his faith faltering when his brother Dras is beaten and framed for the murders of the policeman and his teenage friend. So much of this happens to us when we are placed in a major life threatening situation, our faith takes a tumble before we pick ourselves up and reconnect to God and surrender ourselves and our situation to Him. Portraying Jeff's wife Isabella as the one strong in faith to encourage Jeff balances out this situation and again portrays how it is in real life, one of us takes a faith tumble and there is someone close to help us back up spiritually.

This is a highly recommended novel. I am very impressed with Mitchell's writing and creativity. Another author I have to follow. He is up there with my other favourites.

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