Tag Archives: angels

Review: Devil’s Pathway by Vicki Lucas

“Vampires are overrated and hugely overdone, there just isn’t anything new about them anymore. And there’s definitely nothing at all Christian about them.”

And Vicki Lucas said: “Challenge accepted.” And then came through with flying colors, as I’ve come to expect from her work (check out my review of Toxic!). She spends the next 110,000 words of Devil’s Pathway dismantling every objection brought up, in the process weaving a story so in-depth you forget those objections were even there in the first place.

Nic has always known he was a little different from the rest. He sees things, things that he knows no human should ever have to see. And he feels it inside of him, as well. But when he moves from the big city to rural Idaho, life become much more escalated. Nic finds himself the focal point of an ancient war, and both sides are urging him to join their cause. All he’s ever wanted was peace, but they are all running out of time.

Faith has never meant much to Nic – if anything, it’s always let him down. But the spiritual realm is about to open up on his doorstep. And this time, it’s not just his family that’s in danger. It’s the whole town.

Faith is challenged in a way unlike anything else in this book of spiritual warfare and growing up. Nic has spent his life running, but there’s not much room left. Soon, he will be forced to make a choice – or the choice will be made for him.

The reader has no problem feeling bad for Nic as they learn more of his experiences. Sympathy comes easy as we learn more of what he’s had to endure. Yet, this is no time to hide in pity as the action heats up. The reader almost feels sorry for Nic – “can’t he just get a break?” Ah, but if he were to get a break, there’d be no story.

And then there’s that little issue with his blood – what’s that about, anyway? Ms. Lucas does an excellent job of revealing information piecemeal, just enough to keep the reader on their toes. The continued mystery keeps the reader turning pages, just as much as the action does!

This book is an intense read, with plenty of soul-searching and lessons on redemption, God’s love, and much more. It doesn’t really answer that age-old question of why bad things happen, but I love what it did instead – showed how God is still there even in the midst of all the bad, even when we can’t see Him. Sometimes, we don’t need to know why – we just need to know that God is there.

That ending, though! If I wasn’t reading on my tablet (and if I didn’t treasure books so much), I probably would have thrown it. The author gives just enough answers to keep the reader going, but the ending leaves you hanging, gasping for more. It’s the first of a series, and I’m already anxious to see what happens next.

The book is marketed for YA (young adult readers), but the story is intense enough even for adults to enjoy. I would also note that it may be too intense for some younger readers (such as preteens), but for middle-older teens, it’s a great read, and very thought-provoking!

Review: The Third Heaven

098948050X.main.jpgWhen the world was young, it was without sin. Then pride came, and it brought with it a war that ripped the very threads of Creation. A third of the angels were in rebellion, headed by none other than Lucifer himself. The fall of Lucifer – how it began, up until the point that he was thrown out of heaven, exiled for his crimes against the Lord.

The Bible describes very little about the actual battle and subsequent fall. A few isolated passages mention a war in heaven, and how Lucifer drew a third of the angels over to his side. At the end of the battle, Lucifer was cast down to the earth. We don’t know much about any of this. Now, we get a glimpse at this battle, as it might have occured.

The author spins imagination with reality to create a stunning epic tale of heaven’s war. It is well-researched, drawing on not only the Bible, but also on other areas for inspiration. Ancient mythologies make an appearance – you’ll recognize the names of some of the ancient pantheons; Ares, the Greek god of war, is one such character.

But as much as this book has its inspiration in research, even more of it is pure imagination. At times, epic stories like this one can be hard to follow as the reader struggles to comprehend unfamiliar settings. But the author shows great talent in painting vivid pictures of even the most unfamiliar scenes – his description of Hell is acute and detailed.

The characters are distinct and realistic, each with their own separate personalities. Michael is almost childish in his loyalty and admiration of the Lord God – but rather than unrealistic and foolish, it’s instead presented as the hard loyalty of one who has never thought to question the one he serves. Lucifer is kind, but serious, and his character’s growth in the book, from kind, loyal servant to bitter, angry rebel is a clear, if heartbreaking, path to follow. The reader almost wants to cry, or to scream, or do something – anything – to stop the coming destruction. The old saying refers to watching a train wreck and not able to do anything to stop it, and that’s exactly what’s going on here. The reader already knows the end, it’s layed out in the Bible – there is a war in heaven, and Lucifer is cast out, along with a third of the angels. But the vivid detail portrayed here bring it to life just as much as any IMAX cinema. You’ll be riveted from beginning to end, and by the time it’s over, you may not have any hair or fingernails left.

As if the story line isn’t epic enough, the writing style takes a different take, as well. The book is written in a sort of lyrical style, which makes it fun to read. And with the story line that the book presents, the writing style fits it very well.

Of course, a story such as this is delicately handled. The author writes intimately about God and things of heaven, which of course are hid from people here on this earth. There may be some things here that readers disagree with. But it’s important to note that the author does not claim fact in this book – in fact, it’s very much a work of fiction. His book begins with a disclaimer, stating that he is in no way dogmatic about the events in this book. He imagines the events as they might have happened, but it’s very possible – likely, even – that they happened differently, at least in part. This is not a book to read dogmatically – but as a work of pure fiction, it surpasses any other that touches on the subject.

The Third Heaven by Donovan Neal is now available on Amazon in paperback, e-book, or audiobook. It’s worth the read! Book 2 will be out shortly.

I did do the editing for this book, but that does not affect the nature of my review. I do not review every book I read or edit, only those that I find to be worthwhile.