Jude Aaron Blackstone has a new name, a new face, and a new life. Now a pastor at Blue Sky Baptist Church in Montana, Jude can leave in the past his tumultuous years as a special agent who brought the wealthy and powerful to justice when they mixed devil worship with criminal activity. But the devil and his disciples have a way of popping up where they are least expected and suddenly Jude is caught up in a bizarre series of murders that leave no clues and which are difficult to explain or investigate.The targets are Christian ministers in the community, the body count is rising, and Jude is forced to return to his old skills and way of life in order to catch a killer from hell who has slated Jude as the next victim.
This is the first writing of this author and I must say I am impressed! I bought this due to it being in the genre of spiritual warfare, demonic oppression and deliverance and therefore falls into the other genres of Christian horror and edgy Christian speculative fiction.
Being a novella of only 71 pages, it has been a quick read, but what an action packed supernatural thriller! I was hooked from the first page! In some novellas, the main complaint is that too little is achieved or the short length hinders plot and/or character development leaving a thin plot and characters two dimensional. Not so in Pura's novel. He packs quite a lot in such a short "space" so to speak. The plot is full, the characters are relational and you feel you either like or despise them. I took to Jude from the start and to quote an American colloquialism, Jude, "he's the man, bro!".
What I love in a Christian fiction novel is where the author takes the time to educate while entertaining the reader. In this novella, I learnt how the ministers of the different denominations represented in this novella view the doctrine of demons and satanism. These views seem to be polarised; swinging from no belief to some to full belief. A very interesting debate about how much is the work of the devil and how much is due to our own decisions and fallen nature. No surprise that it was this disbelief or ignorance that contributed to the ministers downfall in becoming victims to the demon. To quote one of the ministers,
I needed help to cast the demon out. That was when I realized how few of my fellow clergyman believed in the devil and in his fallen angels. I complained about this lack of faith on one of my chat groups online......
.....suggested you teach the clergy a lesson.....It would be a win-win for both of you- you would see faithless minsters of the gospel punished and teach the others a lesson about the truthfulness of Scripture.
It was only due to Jude's faith and his righteous, surrendered and obedient relationship with God and putting into practice biblical spiritual warfare principles of prayer, bible reading and fasting that he thwarted the plot to have him killed next and for him to be victorious over the demon. Reminds me of the biblical verse where God says,
My people are destroyed for lack of lack of knowledge (Hosea,4: 6).
Just goes to show that by adhering to the truth of the Bible and God's modus operandi, Christian authors can add suspense and drama just as good as, or even better, than secular authors depicting horror despite this all happening in the small space of a novella!
Jude is quite the hero in this novel; Christian vampire/demon hunter in a specific organisation called Dies Irae (Google this and see what this organisation is based on!) in a previous life bringing devil worshippers to justice, now with a new name and identity to avoid being killed by those who seek to eliminate him. I would love to see novellas by Pura detailing his experiences in his previous real identity and aforementioned role, they would make great prequel novellas!!
This is the beginning of a very exciting and captivating series. I am very glad I have found another favourite author to follow.