Haunting and Redeeming
Ruby Case is an ordinary mom living a quiet life ... until her prayer and simple touch raise a boy from the dead.
Ian Clark is a disgruntled pastor, haunted by demons past and present--demons both figurative and literal. He no longer knows what he believes in. It certainly isn't the God who deserted him years ago. And Ian can't wait to remove himself from the church.
When Ruby's touch brings the boy back to life, both Ruby and Ian are thrust into a search for meaning behind this "resurrection" and uncover a spiritual darkness that's been gripping their town for years.
I've recently discovered Mike Duran's blog, deCompose, and found it to be extremely challenging and thought-provoking. I may not always agree with him, but he continuously encourages me to think beyond my typical box and that's definitely a good thing.
The Resurrection does the same by confronting our spiritual complacency and our acceptance of the status quo. It's not comfortable. And that's good.
As I was reading, questions kept invading my thoughts:
- How many of us have secrets, demons, lurking in the corners of our homes that we try to ignore or are too tired or afraid to expel?
- Miracles happen around us daily. An acorn grows into an oak tree. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Life is created when a man and a woman join together. All wondrous miracles, but ones that science can explain away. But how would we react to a Lazarus type of miracle? What would we think if our best friend's touch brought the dead back to life? Would we look to God for the answers? Or would we react with fear?
- And what about spiritual warfare? Do hordes of demons swarm around us, vying for our soul, or is that purely myth?
I don't typically read speculative fiction because it's often so far out I can't relate to the characters or the story. Duran eliminates that problem by creating very real characters. He introduces them in plausible situations, and then throws in the fantastic. By doing that, he makes this story believable and relatable.
He keeps the action moving so the book is impossible to put down, and he keeps the reader guessing. I had no clue how the story was going to play out.
While this novel is targeted toward adults, I know teens would love it. It's one part This Present Darkness (Frank Peretti), another part The Visitation (also Peretti), another The Nightmare (Robin Parrish), yet the story is fresh and it's told with a unique voice. My teens love Peretti's The Veritas Project two-book series and have read those books numerous times. Now, they're trying Peretti's other works. Parrish's The Nightmare is one of their favorite reads and they've recommended it to their friends. And look at teens' most popular series' today: Harry Potter and Twilight. Kids are hungry to learn more about the spiritual realm. As a parent, I can't think of a better book to give them than The Resurrection.
With this debut novel, Mike Duran has proved his literary prowess and I look forward to reading more from him in the future.
Learn more about Mike Duran at http://mikeduran.com/.