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on 9 January 2018
I read this book many months after reading 'This Present Darkness', and whilst I had previously thought that was incredible, this is leagues ahead. Although a little slow to start, owing to the many characters and important details, once this got going it was a struggle to put down. I absolutely love the character of Sally, as she is so well thought out and relatable that it is difficult not to be invested in her story. To that end, her character is, in my opinion, an integral part of why this book works so well.

Other notable highlights include the seamless integration of spiritual warfare and Christian apologetics without sounding 'preachy', and the depth of the storyline, which often left me speechless.

I would have liked to get more of a glimpse into Sally's world before it all began, especially with regard to her previous male relationships, but I suppose that would be another book (which I'd love, although it's very unlikely) as this is quite a long book.

All in all, this is one of the absolute best work of fiction I have ever read, not to talk of Christian fiction. This gives 'Redeeming Love' and 'As Sure as the Dawn' a run for their money. I really was sad when it ended. Thank God for the talent he has placed in Frank Peretti.
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on 24 November 2012
Was a bit sceptical about this book before I started. However, during the course of reading it my children and I were looking at some clips on youtube from Cbeebies. While we were waiting for the very innocent Iggle Piggle to come on there was an advert which we couldn't skip for 21 seconds for the film "Twilight" which looked very dark and oppressive, although I believe is accepted as a normal part of youth culture at the moment. In addition I was reminded about our local shopping centre which may be closing down due to most businesses being affected by the recession. However, the one shop that is doing well is the fortune teller!
Anyway, back to the book. I really enjoyed it, full of drama and adventure.
The story is based around a Christian School in America where a teacher has been accused of child abuse. The real battle however is for religious freedom as the State attempt to gain control of religious activities.
I loved the part in the book where he explains redemption using the bath tub. Very moving but effective. The book challenges the idea that we can create our own god summed up nicely in the lyrics playing on the radio today "I'm free to do what I want any old time". I also enjoyed the comparison that when people allow themselves or demons to control their lives, their lives spiral out of control but when they invite Jesus to take control He helps people see more clearly and brings order out of chaos and hope out of despair etc.
Would have liked to have seen more emphasis on the Bible. Although the Bible says that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and powers, it also gives Jesus as an example of overcoming temptation by using the "sword over the Spirit, which is the word of God"
I liked that the angels were not too "humanlike" and a great picture was painted of them being in awe of Gods redmeption and the power of reconciliation.
Overall really enjoyed the book. Wish I had read it before my social work training!
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on 16 July 2017
n a similar vein to "This Present Darkness" this book is filled with angelic battles mirrored against the day to day problems of a small town. It centres around the whole good vs evil thread, and the hidden hand of of evil in every day life and the power it yields over those who fall victim to it. "This Present Darkness" also touches quite heavily on the notion and reality of non Christian new age spiritual teachings/enlightenment and the perils it can conjure in both adults and children alike, leaving a sense of feeling deceived, empty and disappointment.

The notion of demon possession features strongly in this story, and whether (within a religious school)performing an exorcism on a child should be classed as excessive, or over the top outrageous religious behaviour!

Yet another sinister group of people seem to have another small town under its grip, and it does not bode well for anyone who tries to cross them.

Sally Roe is on the run from these people, she was one of them, they want her life because she knows too much.

I won't spoil the ending, but the game of cat and mouse comes to an interesting end.
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on 5 March 2000
A inspiration for any person who is looking for the truth. Its gripping all the way through.To be honest, I was touched, motivated and assured of His love.
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on 22 October 2009
Piretti's much-hyped This Present Darkness has earned its reputation as one of the key fiction classics of the 20th century. Strong and unforgettable characters are found in a carefully constructed plot, underpinning sound theology in this bestseller.

Written to explore the impact of spiritual warfare, This Present Darkness is supported by a strong and thrilling plot which could be enjoyed even without the Christian elements. As such, the background battles between angel and demon further enhances an already well-paced and gripping plot.

The characters are mostly rounded and believable. The main protagonist Marshall Hogan is funny and brash, yet vulnerable and sensitive. The angels are also well written, with their confusion and frustration well represented alongside their strength and determination. The demonic leaders Rafar and Lucius are well thought out, displaying the interrelationships fed on pride, jealousy and suspicion one would expect. The smaller demons are more disappointing - 2D and almost comical. Some, such as Complacency, almost warrant sympathy and undermine their menace.

The theology is broadly in line with mainstream Christianity, and Piretti avoids making any major theological statements. The casting out of demons is rather simplistic - the subjects being ready and willing, the process taking minutes and no aftercare is apparently needed. However, the power of prayer and truism that we know so little of the spiritual realm is well portrayed.

My biggest criticism of the book is the existence of constant schoolboy typing errors. As the cover of my copy proudly boasts more than a million copies have been sold, one would expect basic mistakes to have been corrected. Constantly, the writer does not take a new line when a different character speaks, which makes the dialogue difficult to follow. Elsewhere, quotation marks close which were never opened, and you find yourself backtracking, and the wrong word is used in another place. These annoying and distracting mistakes are the reason this book will go no higher than four stars.

This Present Darkness is an entriguing mystery with an inspiring spiritual undertone. Tal's playing of the battle trumpet begins an epic finale which slips seamlessly between the natural and spiritual realm. Readers of this book will be encouraged to continue praying and contributing in the battle that is always ongoing, never sleeping, against this present darkness.
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on 16 August 2012
This is the sequel to This Present Darkness which I've read previously. Both books are amazing and I would thoroughly recommend them. They are 'Christian Fiction', a term that immediately puts me off and scares me away from reading them, but once I had overcome that initial barrier the books themselves were completely engrossing. I literally couldn't put either down. I think it's fair to say that the sequel is very similar to the first book but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The plot may be similar but the so is the fact that I was completely gripped and couldn't stop reading either of them. I would be glad when my train to/from work was delayed simply because it was an opportunity to drink in a few more pages. This particular book centres around two main characters (and a few other more minor ones), firstly, a woman called Sally Roe who has lots of issues including depression and suicidal tendencies, she is searching for answers, whilst someone is searching for her so they can kill her. The second protagonist is a man called Tom who is the headteacher of a Christian school and is accused of abusing a child at the school. As a result his own kids are taken from him (their mother has died previously) and he is fighting to prove his innocence and get them back. The book follows the lives of these two people and the very different spiritual battles that each is facing and eventually the two seemingly unrelated lives are found to be incredibly intertwined and the fate of one will affect the fate of the other. This book (although it is fiction) really emphasises the importance of prayer and unity. I would recommend it completely.
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on 7 September 1999
I was fortunate to obtain "This Present Darkness" and "Peircing the Darkness" as one hardback edition in Canada. The author has the ability to make the almost impossible thoughts and fears seem possible.
Spiritual warfare battled out here on earth and we are the pawns. Good versus evil.
It has given me a new insight to the possibilities already so real in the bible and has greatly strengthened my beliefs and aims. If we all beleived that Satan's hand was behind the events in this world many would turn from them in fear.
Reading both books back to back gripped me so much I didn't want to put it down. A must for anyone interested in this subject, and a clear message to how Satan works in our lives.
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on 23 January 2010
As a practicing Christian (Roman Catholic) I rate this book and its sequal as an exercise in penny-catching codswallop. Surely the author wrote with his tongue firmly in his cheek? What I do find disturbing is that some other reviewers appear to take this meritricious, even heretical, faux-mystical mishmash seriously. You will not appraoch closer to God by reading rubbish like this. If you must have entertainment with your theology, try the books of C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams.
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on 24 May 1999
This book has changed my prayer life like no other book I have read in the last five years. A wonderful portrayal of the forces of heaven battling with the forces of darkness whilst the human beings struggle to understand the significance of apparently ordinary everyday happenings. A dramatic presentation of classic human dilemmas and finally good vanquishes evil in a tense nail biting finale. I was unable to put it down and read late into the night. As EM Forster said 'all good novels tell a story' and this story is riveting. I have read it twice since and will read it again within a year, I am sure. Highly recommended
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on 13 July 1999
Even though it's fiction, this book is based on the bible. Therefore, even if we don't know the battle between angels and demons is happening the way Peretti describes it, it could be. Battle in heaven DOES go on anyway, and this book is a good reminder for us to never forget to get on our knees and pray. The whole story is exciting and captivating, even though it starts a bit slow. I hope Peretti keeps writting more novels like this. One of the best books I've ever read.
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