Yes, I did just make up a series title for two books because I don’t feel like writing two reviews when one will suffice.
Frank Peretti is a name I’ve known for a while, once I started getting into Ted Dekker’s writing. People said they were similar, and while I can see it, in some ways, they deal with significantly different topics, based on reading Peretti’s most well-known books, This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. In this series, Peretti looks at spiritual warfare as a physical, but invisible way.
In This Present Darkness, a small town in America is targeted by demons looking to control and destroy as part of a larger scheme by a stronger demon. The only thing standing in their way are the Christians in the local church. To conquer the town, they must destroy the local pastor. But when the town newspaper starts to get a hint of unsavory things going on in town, the reporters start digging, and they’re not willing to give up. Unseen, but the force behind everything, are demons, manipulating humanity for evil, and fighting against the angels for dominance in the town.
In Piercing the Darkness, the fight continues in a different town, this time focusing on a young girl who was taught in school how to tap into forces from beyond our world. When a Christian teacher disciplines Amber, a lawsuit ensues, pushing for government limitations on freedom of religion. Caught in the middle is Sally Beth Roe. No one quite knows the key role she must play, but Sally is running for her life, trying to piece it all together before it’s too late. And with so many key players in the hands of the demons, “too late” could be just a moment away.
Peretti brings spiritual warfare to life by showing characters literally in the clutches of monsters, invisible but powerful–addiction, despair, insanity, witchcraft. These demons latch on to the characters and wreak havoc. Whether an accurate picture or not, Peretti’s stories give one plenty to think about, in terms of fighting against the darkness, fighting against things that seem too powerful, like anxiety, depression, or hatred.
These books cropped up at an interesting time for me, after a summer of growth dulled into a long season of disappointment, frustration, and what felt like failure. It certainly felt like spiritual warfare, an elusive something destroying the small gains I worked so hard for. It was an interesting take at an important time for me, as I trust is the point of the books, to make you think a little differently than you had before.
So whether you’re actually looking for something to think about, or you’re just looking for an interesting, short series, Frank Peretti is a good place to start.