Monday, May 1, 2017

Invitation (Harbingers) - Christian Fiction Review

My April fiction book was Invitation: Cycle One of the Harbingers Series. This is essentially a serial novel written by four authors, each from a different character's point of view. The four authors are Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky.

The four main characters, Brenda (the street-wise tattoo artist), The Professor (the atheist ex-priest), Andi (The Professor's observant assistant), and Tank (the kind-hearted jock) are brought together under mysterious circumstances. Each comes with a specific gift and they need these gifts to form their reluctant team. Four stories, told from four different perspectives with one central theme: there are dark powers at work that are no longer possible to ignore.

I was a little nervous about this book being written by 4 different authors, but the fact that they each wrote from the perspective of a different character made it work. The different styles of writing made sense. I haven't read any books by any of these authors. I had heard of Frank Peretti because I knew he co-authored a book with one of my faves, Ted Dekker, but that's about all I knew. His story was probably my least favorite because it was told by my least favorite character and it leaned more towards horror and involved ghosts which I'm not a fan of. All of the stories dealt with spiritual warfare which I'm usually pretty leery of too. I didn't really like any of the characters until I read their story. They seemed just a little too flat when described from a different perspective. That may have been the point though, that there's more under the surface that you don't see until you get their point of view. By the end I really did like the characters, and I was invested in the story.

I haven't quite decided if I'd read the next cycle. They have, I think, 19 self-published stories out so far with the 20th coming on May 5th. Bethany House is gradually publishing them as 4 book cycles like this one which means the stand-alone books won't be available any longer. My biggest issue is I have a hard time connecting Christian fiction with supernatural suspense. Allegory is one thing, but ghosts, psychics, etc are a bit much for me. The writing was fantastic, but I'd have to not read it as Christian fiction. However, if that doesn't bother you, then this would be a fantastic read.

Thank you to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to review. All opinions, however, are my own.

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