Into the Book

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Have you ever imagined what spiritual warfare really looks like? The book, This Present Darkness, by Frank Peretti, gives a very eye-opening view of this matter, as well as prayer. Although I am not sure that I agree with all of these views, I thought that this was a very captivating plot and a very good read. So good that I couldn’t put it down!

Bernice Krueger, who originally came to Ashton to find out the truth about her sister’s death, was a young reporter for the Ashton Clarion, the town’s newspaper. When she takes a picture of a strange gathering at a local carnival, her eyes begin to be opened to something bigger that is going on in that small town. Her boss, Marshall Hogan, the editor of the Ashton Clarion, has moved from his big-city job at the New York Times to Ashton. He was hoping to make more time for his family, specifically his daughter, Sandy, who was taking classes at Ashton Community College. He didn’t expect that so much could still manage to break his family apart in a small town, and how much mystery and conflict could occur there.

Henry Busche, the local pastor of a small church, has been attacked at every turn at his new pastorate. He is man of God who does not want to compromise the truth, but there are obviously those who don’t want this truth to be taught. He is a great example of having faith in God, and standing up for what is right. Somehow, many of the dependable people of the town have been replaced, have left town, or mysteriously disappeared. Why this has happened, no one really knows, and that is what Bernice, Marshall, and Henry intend to find out, though they find out in many different ways.

Meanwhile, there are many strange things going on in this small town, especially concerning the ordeals of Juleen Langstrat, a professor at Ashton Community College. Her ideas and philosophies are quite obscure, not to mention her strange companions! As Bernice and Marshall begin to investigate the strange happenings in Ashton, they realize that Juleen is connected to many other people who all seem to have the same New Age philosophies. But it turns out that there is an even higher power behind Juleen’s activities, as well as those of Alexander Kaseph, the president of a very important corporation.

One issue that I had with this book was Peretti’s view on prayer. Although I do believe that prayer is very important, this book often makes it seem like the angels of God and God’s plan would not be able to succeed without our prayers. God’s plan will be completed and He will have the ultimate victory. This book also seems to make Satan’s power and God’s power equal at times, though the name of Jesus still does drive away demons.

My main issue with this book is the theological accuracy. When reading this book, I would definitely suggest comparing it with the Bible. I do not plan to use this book as a theological basis, only the Bible can be the basis. But I do think that this is an interesting view of what could be going on around us every day, and the reality of the spiritual warfare happening in this world. I would not recommend this for younger teens and children, because of the elements of this book that may be frightening or disturbing. All in all, I found it a highly good read and it has an amazing plot and it is filled with great theories about spiritual warfare.

Published on 17 September, 2010. Last updated on

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  1. Jennifer

    Isn’t this Frank Peretti’s first book? I think so, but I might be wrong on that.

    I actually have this sitting on my shelf. I borrowed it from my grandmother, who got it at a garage sale. Anyway, thanks for your review. It gives me a peek into the story without revealing anything major.

  2. L Shalott

    I read this book when it first came out. Enthralling it definitely was a page turner for me as a proud bibliomanic I of course own the original copy that I read. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys mysteries and suspense.

  3. Stephanie Hodgson

    Frank Peretti actually said that he knew that nothing like what he puts in his books actually happens, he doesn’t really think this sort of spiritual warfare goes on, he just creates it to make up a good story. 🙂 I love his books, especially this one. I also could never put it down, he is an amazing writer.

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Into the Book was born out of a crazy idea of a blog that'd provide book reviews for teens. There aren't very many book review websites out there exposing awesome, high-quality Christian literature, and there are even fewer that target teenagers. Since 2009, we've been providing high-quality book reviews to the world through our blog. Into the Book has grown around reviews since then, but it remains our oldest project.

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