Imagine if you will, a heavily tattooed rock star with long hair and a metal ring in his nose. Intoxicated on drugs and alcohol, he leads the frenzied crowd, refutes the existence of God, and indoctrinates the multitudes in the belief that there is no heaven or hell, but simply the Other Side.
You've pictured Everett Lester, lead singer of DeathStroke.
Would you spend your life praying for this man? Would you regularly take the time to send him gifts and write to him about God's love and Christ's redeeming grace?
Karen Bayliss does. Karen realizes the danger Everett places himself and thousands of his devoted fans in. But Karen isn't the only one trying to influence Everett's life.
Endora Crystal is also battling over his soul. As Everett's personal psychic, Endora leads him deeper into the occult and tells him everything he longs to hear. His fans love him; he is their leader, their savior. It is his destiny to lead them to the Other Side. The spiritual battle over Everett's soul comes to a climax when Endora is found dead and Everett is charged with first-degree murder.
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Written memoir style, Creston Mapes's debut novel pulls readers into a two-fold story. DARK STAR leads us through the present day courtroom battle, worthy of any John Grisham novel, while taking us back to recount Everett's life leading up to his trial.
Although DARK STAR was a riveting read from start to finish, there were a couple of minor stumbling blocks for me.
Everett's dialogue didn’t seem realistic of a drug addicted rocker. It seemed too polished. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t expect Ozzy Osbourne language in a CBA novel, but a certain amount of grittiness is expected to make Everett a believable character.
A plot twist toward the end also struck me as a little unrealistic. Throughout the novel, Karen claims she is only interested in Everett’s salvation. She has no starry-eyed, romantic illusions. It came as a bit of a surprise then, when Everett and Karen meet for the first time and romantic fireworks ignite. At this point I felt I had been misled.
Long after I closed the back cover, DARK STAR continued to invade my thoughts. Its characters remained in my mind, forcing me to reflect on the power of intercessory prayer and the spiritual battle continually fought over each of our souls. Included at the back of the book is a set of discussion questions that deepen your understanding of the book's themes of sin and redemption, and God's unconditional love.
It's not often you come across such a powerful book by a first time novelist. Creston Mapes is a rare find, an author to keep your eye on.
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