Get ready for another huge-whopping dose of the hooky-spooky from Christian author, James Byron Huggins!
There's a spell-wielding, mischief-summoning, death-delivering rat in paradise that has to be stopped -- the problem is how.
When the wizard woke up on the scene and began stirring up a malevolent melee, he got a nasty surprise. It's never a good thing to be deemed a threat by a G.I. Joe-turned-family-man, and a squad of kickboxing and punching, assault-weapon-wielding, lethal Jesuits.
The scene was grim, and growing darker, but when the small troop of Jesuits arrived to lend G.I. Joe and the locals a hand, the stakes rose to a deadly elevation and the wizard knew he had trouble in River City.
Huggins just knows how to bring it!
I've loved both of the Christian-Speculative Fiction books I've read by this guy, and I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite.
Huggins can write heroes that generate enough infatuation for his readers to nearly drown in oohs and ahhs over. He gives them dazzling qualities but threads them with enough vulnerabilities to keep them challenged. The challenges they face are ferocious in both the both the physical and the supernatural that he stitches together flawlessly.
Just 'cause we can't see it doesn't mean it's not there ...
From Ancient Egypt to New England
In this straight-from-tomb chiller, a family has moved from the hustle-bustle city-life of a large California metropolis to an old Victorian home, with a very dark past, in rural New England.
There are two young children, Mom and Dad. Dad has recently retired from years of bad-guy stopping and apprehending, and he and his wife are determined to provide a new and exciting atmosphere for their family that includes nature hikes, building bird houses and organic vegetable gardening as opposed to traffic lights, road rage and high rises, but they didn't count on an ancient evil and a secret being detained on their property.
Secrets -- to some they might be discovered and considered a treasure. Others should be left buried.
For the Thorn family, it might be the later, and maybe not. Either way, thankfully, they have an advantage when it comes to dealing with ancient, evil dark things that go bump in the night, and kill in broad daylight.
The Ultimate Soldier
Before he brought his family to New England, Captain Michael Thorn had already developed an impressive work history and more than earned his retirement while still young. Before retirement he'd been Captain Michael Thorn of the 82nd Airborne and later an L.A. cop. Per the story Mr. Thorn was a even a good cop. I know those are becoming an endangered species, but a few good cops do still exist and Huggins has written a believable one into this story.
Those aspects along with a light dusting of his military exploits dress him out to know his business in engaging an enemy with deadly force. (Deadly force referring to him and his enemies.)
The icing on the cake is that he's not an automaton that maims, tortures and kills and then actually believes the "I was just following orders" bit is a viable and acceptable excuse for abhorrent behavior. Nope, this soldier doesn't need a superior rank doing his thinking for him. He's actually capable of independent reasoning and he answers to his own conscience. He employs both of those as well as talent, skill and knowledge to take out a threat to himself, his family and fellow peace-preferring citizens.
Another impressive thing about him is, for all his knowledge, skill and talent, he's not even remotely arrogant about any of it. Confident, but not arrogant.
There are several other characters worth cheering for that make amazing additions to this story. They can match Captain Thorn in their knowledge of weaponry, combat skills and valor, but they've got him beat six-ways-from-Sunday when it comes to prayer. However, they're great teachers when it comes to prayer in general as well as praying under duress and on the fly ... They're priests. In fact, they're specially trained, extraordinary priests.
Bad guys who want to live to fight another day should look elsewhere for an adversary because these guys pack a punch, a kick, a few grenades and an AR-15!
As remarkable as this gathering of fantastic warriors is, while you tag along on their unwanted adventure, you'll be wishing you they had more people in their party. The threat Huggins pits them against is just sooo huge! At times during the story, even the best of the best seems to fall terribly short of being enough to meet the need in defeating the enemy.
"Old as Methuselah" is old, but this enemy is even older and he's just as wicked as his years are long. This isn't his first rodeo when it comes to wrecking the land and lives of mortals. He's been doing it for millennia, and he loves his trade. The more damage and danger he inflicts, the happier he is.
Though he longs to crush, maim and destroy the masses en masse, in this modern-day rural setting, he's willing to stick around and settle for wiping out a family, or two, and annihilate the small group of ninja-priests who have been sent to protect the locals and dispatch the enemy.
Because this enemy won't stop after taking out a few New England households, and will then move on to threaten to rest of humanity, everyone in the priests are committed to accomplishing their mission, or die in the trying.
Once more Mr. Huggins has camaraderie ringing loud, and in this story he builds it up quickly. There's no bogging down with histories of how everyone got to be where they are and why. He's adept with including the necessary information without overcooking so much it becomes tedious. It just takes off soaring and he catches you up as you fly along.
I can loosely describe his work as akin to R.L. Stine with a bigger bite. And, this is yet another awesome example of that sort of work, delivering a goosebump-raising, nail-biter adventure in Quaint Town turned Creepyville.
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