Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christian horror

Becky Miller has a fascinating discussion about Christian horror here as she's reviewing John Olson's book, Shade. Check it out.

Worthy?


Melchi, the homeless giant in John Olson's thriller, Shade, is a man with no calling other than fighting the Mulo - the mysterious evil ones. Hints of his destiny as the child of prophecy dot the action and Melchi is determined to remain pure to his calling.

After he rescues Hailey, a graduate student being lured by the Mulo, he struggles with something unexpected: he likes her. These thoughts he finds impure. In fact, the story is peppered with his self-condemnation. He is sure at every turn that he has made himself too impure to fight the evil.

He doesn't notice what we notice, that he continues to fight effectively. He is gracious and giving, thoughtful and devoted. He doesn't notice these traits, either, but if he did, I'm sure he would not have recognized them as helpful.

Melchi worships a being that seems to be God. And yet, he doesn't understand God's grace and forgiveness. In fact, we learn that he does think he is following God but doesn't consider himself worthy to even read God's Word.

I found it interesting that Melchi remains true to his early training. He willingly offers his own life to battle evil and yet he doesn't have a complete understanding of God's grace.

How will he defeat evil if he can't even battle his own impure thoughts? Melchi nearly succumbs but you'll have to read the book to get the full picture.

Olson has done a clever job of revealing an issue common in Christian circles today: that of ministering only in our worthiness. Can we truly serve God if we are tempted? If we give in to sinful desires on occasion? Can we even worship if we are not worthy?

Shade is a good book. On one level, it's a great action-filled story. But there's another level of meaning to consider as well.

Check out Shade here and here.

Also see what others are saying about Shade:
Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Joleen Howell
Jason Isbell
Jason Joyner
Kait
Magma
Margaret
Rachel Marks
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
Nissa
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Mirtika or Mir's Here
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Christian thriller


In the movie, A Beautiful Mind, we were drawn into the world of the brilliant mathematician John Nash, seeing the world through his eyes. We are drawn to his incredible ability to crack codes for the Pentagon and panic when he must flee from Russian gunfire - an unexpected turn in his patriotic duty.

So it's jolting when we learn that Nash has been seeing delusions. His roommate doesn't really exist and there is no code to crack. He's a schizophrenic, unable to tell reality from hallucination.

That same kind of tension opens John Olson's book, Shade. We meet Hailey who is hospitalized after escaping something that doctors are sure was a hallucination. The confusion that Hailey feels - is she delusional or is she recalling reality - blends into the writing style of the book. We feel that same confusion.

We meet Melchi, the giant man who rescued her, and believe he is real. But he struggles with forces and beings that we can't identify. Is he delusional as well? Does he even exist or is he a hallucination? Hailey struggles - and so do we.

Don't read this book if you're trying to put yourself to sleep at night. You'll be fighting off sleep at 2 am to finish the next chapter. It's a good read with lots of adventure and an intriguing look at hallucinations vs. reality.

Check out Olson's book here or here.

Tomorrow we'll discuss the faith journey that guides Melchi and lures Hailey.

Check out what others have to say about the book:

Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Joleen Howell
Jason Isbell
Jason Joyner
Kait
Magma
Margaret
Rachel Marks
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
Nissa
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Mirtika or Mir's Here
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shade by John Olson


I'd like to introduce you to John Olson's thriller, Shade, as we jump on board the Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy November blog tour.

Olson has crafted a fascinating mix of fantasy, faith, mystery and even a dash of romance to produce a book that's hard to put down. It's full of surprises and insights as we follow a mysterious giant devoted to fighting an elusive evil force.

Shade can be found at Amazon by clicking here. You can also visit Olson's website here.

Tomorrow we'll discuss the twists and turns of Shade, including its wild ride through the world of delusions and reality.

Here are others blogging about Shade:
Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Kathy Brasby
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Todd Michael Greene
Katie Hart
Joleen Howell
Jason Isbell
Jason Joyner
Kait
Magma
Margaret
Rachel Marks
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
Nissa
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Mirtika or Mir's Here
Chawna Schroeder
James Somers
Robert Treskillard
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Jason Waguespac
Laura Williams
Timothy Wise