This story, to me, is about how people respond to the supernatural. I've long been a fan of supernatural suspense. We often forget in this material world that there are invisible things happening all around us that affect us more than we could imagine. God wants us to step up and live for Him when we can't see or understand—”Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29b NIV)
Reverend Ian Clark has let his faith fall by the wayside for longer than he cares to admit, sees an apparition in his corner (which he repeatedly ignores), and has formed an association with a less than savory professor who we know from the beginning is bad news.
Enter Clark's “prayer team” that includes Ruby Case. She's a normal woman, a wife and mom, who cares about her family, friends, and church. Nothing could prepare her for what happens when she attends the funeral of a local boy. He sits up in his casket right after she touches him. Needless to say, it causes an uproar in the town and people take sides as to the cause and meaning of the event.
Things become more and more serious as Ruby and Clark find out what's really going on in Canyon Springs Church and Stonetree. Curses and demons become more than stuff of legend and imagination. And people will die.
I've been reading blog posts and book reviews from Mike Duran for years. I'm not sure where I first heard of him—maybe it was from The Lost Genre Guild, who are huge proponents of speculative fiction. His thoughts are fresh and interesting, and I could tell he's a good writer just from his non-fiction.
That said, I'm not sure I can rant and rave about The Resurrection and say it'll be the next big hit. But it's not bad, either. It's quite good. I enjoyed it from a reader's perspective. While I didn't sympathize as much as I would have liked to with Reverend Clark, I thoroughly enjoyed Ruby's character, though. All the characters were three-dimensional and had their own strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. I admired Ruby's guts, and I'm glad Clark finally found some gumption as well.
From a reviewer's perspective, I kept thinking this was Peretti-esque. That's not necessarily a negative thing, I guess. I can't think of anything else to really compare it to. I kind of knew where it was going, in general, and I did expect many of the plot points. But the story was handled well and Duran did do something with one of the characters that I didn't see coming. I do kind of wish it had more witty moments. I'm probably spoiled, and I don't even know why this occurred to me, but it wasn't funny. Maybe it wasn't meant to be. Hey, that's okay, too. It did read as more heavy and eerie and contemplative.
All in all I think this is a great inaugural opus and I expect even better things in the future as Duran grows as a writer.
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