Wednesday, March 23, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour: The Resurrection by Mike Duran

Well, at the risk of this becoming a habit, may I now present you with… a review of this month’s featured title, The Resurrection by Mike Duran. OK, I haven’t actually read the whole thing, but close enough to give a decent review, and I can absolutely guarantee not to spoil the ending for you.

Plus, there are plenty of very in-depth reviews elsewhere on the tour, so feel free to indulge in those too, but for now, here are my thoughts…

First page, and there’s a ghost called Mr Cellophane. Call me shallow, but I liked that. I think he should come back with a bigger role in the spin-off, like Slimer in The Real Ghostbusters. But I digress; there are more important things about this book to be discussed. Like: spiritual warfare – indeed, the existence (or otherwise) and nature of spiritual interference in our daily lives; miraculous healings – indeed, resurrections – and their effects on those involved, those involved who didn’t wish to be involved, and those not involved who wanted to be; and broken people, broken pastors and the inevitably dysfunctional churches they end up forming.

I liked the dysfunctional nature of the characters. Nothing is more tedious in a story than a Christian character who is either too perfect to be realistic, or a deliberate corruption intended to show up all that is bad about ‘religion’. These guys… well, I guess the pastor who’s lost his faith is a little bit of a stock character, but he’s got a decent back story to him, he’s plausible enough for the story. Ruby Case, the unwilling miracle worker, and her jealous prayer partner Vinyette are perhaps more rounded characters, each with her own flaws but, as the praying heart of a failing church, plenty to make you root for them and they march, utterly unprepared, onto the spiritual battlefield that their home town of Stonetree has become.

The resurrection of the title, and the other miraculous healings that Ruby finds herself called upon to perform, give an interesting idea of how such a miracle might be seen in this cynical world of ours, but in the wider story they kind of fade behind what I saw as the real story – the spiritual war being raged in a pretty ordinary town. My town has closed down churches and hippy shops… the place is relatable, and in this place the battle is fought not by angels, but by a limping housewife and a doubting vicar. It doesn’t get much more real than that, and I think sometimes we need to be reminded that, although the existence of spirits in the Mr Cellophane sense may be debatable, there is a spiritual realm to our world, and for my money this story does a pretty decent job of that.

In fact I’d say this book does a decent job all round. A good story, well written, plenty of twisty bits to get your mind round, and lots of thought-provoking subjects covered. Definitely a good one, even if it didn’t have any spaceships in it.

So all that remains is to remind that author Mike Duran blogs here, and the blog tour continues this way:

Noah Arsenault Brandon Barr Red Bissell Book Reviews By Molly Keanan Brand Kathy Brasby Grace Bridges Beckie Burnham Melissa Carswell Jeff Chapman Christian Fiction Book Reviews Carol Bruce Collett Valerie Comer Karri Compton Wanda Costinak Amy Cruson CSFF Blog Tour Janey DeMeo Cynthia Dyer Tori Greene Nikole Hahn Katie Hart Joleen Howell Bruce Hennigan Becky Jesse Cris Jesse Jason Joyner Carol Keen Emily LaVigne Shannon McNear Matt Mikalatos Rebecca LuElla Miller Mirtika Joan Nienhuis Nissa John W. Otte Gavin Patchett Sarah Sawyer Andrea Schultz Tammy Shelnut Kathleen Smith Donna Swanson Jessica Thomas Fred Warren Dona Watson Phyllis Wheeler Nicole White Dave Wilson

1 comment:

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Steve, I could definitely get used to reading your reviews. Very nice.