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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Season of Mysteries...Review

About the book:
Some may think the ability to recall entire conversations verbatim is a remarkable gift. But to fifty-year-old Dr. Richard Powell, it is a disruptive burden. He is being haunted by words. The words take him back to 1976, to the unforgettable summer when he and his friends of Boy Scout Troup 44 first witness an epic conflict between good and evil.

Faith was relatively new to Zack, Donnie, Skeeter, and the other boys who had played together on the 1971 champion Little League team. That baseball season was forever imprinted on their souls, due in large part to the life-changing actions of a boy named Rafer. But this summer, they would discover the real depth of their souls and the dangerous influences battling for control of their lives.

A follow-up to Whitener's acclaimed debut novel, A Season of Mysteries takes readers back to a time between the innocence of childhood and the uncertainty of teenage years; where girls, studies, and life's bigger issues become a reality. With the same gripping prose that made Whitener an award-winning screenplay writer, A Season of Mysteries explores the seen and unseen spiritual powers at work and the Ultimate Power who controls it all.

I loved Rusty Whitener's debut novel, A Season of Miracles.  I loved it.  It was heartwarming and inspiring. When I learned he'd written a sequel, I was excited to read it.

The book takes place about 40 years after the first one.  And nearly all of my favorite characters from Miracles return as well as some new ones. Now a professor, a chance encounter with another scholar causes Richard Powell to flash back to 1976 and remember the summer he and his friends discovered that evil really does exist in the world.

The author has taken a scriptural premise for the book: that demons, or fallen angels live among us and their only desire is to destroy you. Whether that interpretation is accurate or not has long been a topic for religious discussion and argument. In A Season of Mysteries however, Richard and his friends discover this spiritual warfare in a very real way.  As teenage boys, they are impressionable in many ways, good and bad.  Their interests are sports and girls and for some, new found faith in Christ. New friends test that belief and the boys come away stronger.

I can't pinpoint what it is about this novel that was so unsettling to me.  It just wasn't one I particularly enjoyed although the writing is fantastic.  Rusty Whitener has a way with words that is lyrical and almost magical.  The characters were memorable and likeable.  They still play baseball.  It's a great coming of age novel.  But, it's one that just didn't sit well with me.

Thanks to Kregel Publications for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Rusty Whitener here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 6/13

* *
2/5 Stars

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