By Matthew Bitz
Recently, I have read two novels by up-and-coming Christian author, Frank Peretti. The titles are, This Present Darkness, and The Oath. I must say that I found both of these books to be cleverly written. They are both well thought out and well told, characters and plot lines flesh out nicely, and the storylines never seemed to lag.
This Present Darkness is a story concerning the spiritual battle for a small, sleepy town called Ashton. At first, it seems to be just another small town, but as time progresses, it becomes evident that something incredibly sinister and evil is underfoot. As events unfold, the editor of the paper and a young minister gradually uncover what is happening and who is really behind it all. I dont want to say anymore than that because I feel that I might ruin the story for you, and that would be a real shame.
The Oath is a suspenseful adventure set in a dying mining town full of closemouthed folk who absolutely refuse to talk about whatever it is in the woods that keeps eating people whole. Sound interesting? Believe me, it is. In fact, I couldnt seem to put it down and ended up reading it for several straight hours.
One of the most refreshing qualities of Perettis books is that he manages to tell a realistic, contemporary story without the massive amounts of cursing that are found in so many of todays books. He manages to tell an interesting story that holds your attention, and tell it without making it R-rated.
Both these novels are fun to read and I have no problem recommending them to anyone, but I would be careful about letting younger kids read them as some parts and characters are scary, even though that is as their author intended.
While they dont make it on my list of classics with, Romeo and Juliet or The Stand, they are definitely good reading material even from a non-religious viewpoint.
If you have already read one of these two and are looking for more of Peretti, he has written other novels and series of books for younger kids. Titles to look for are, The Visitation and Piercing the Darkness.
All things considered, both of these books are well written and I think that they have proven something that has been a long time coming: Good books can be written without all the bad stuff.