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Piercing the Darkness - Click to view!Sequel to the most popular and recognizable Christian fiction book of all time, Piercing the Darkness delves deeper in revealing the deception of New Age philosophy and the influence of the demonic in the real world. Bacon's Corner is Peretti's out-of-the-way hamlet discussed at length, complete with its own police chief, the rough Sergeant Harold Mulligan, and local pastor, Tom Harris, who Mulligan drags in on charges of child abuse; the drama of Pastor Harris legally battling the government for custody of his two young kids plays out in many touching and trying scenes throughout the novel. However, the real antagonist of Piercing the Darkness is Sally Roe, an abused young adult tormented by spirits of Fear, Death and Insanity and out to find the answers behind a grade school curriculm propogated by the Omega Center, an institution devoted to the proliferation of the demonic through a "finding yourself" elementary curriculm. Roe's search for the truth and meaning of her life lead her back, back to her college days ready to "restructure" the education system with Omega's teaching, back to her manipulating and demonically empowered lover Owen Bennett--back to drowning her newborn in a bath when in a altered trance state. Retracing the steps of her life, she comes to grips with herself by writing Pastor Tom Harris, a pointed plot device that expresses the intents, emotions and ignorantly positive motives of a New Age philosophy student. While Sally's journey is guided every step of the way by Tal, Guilo, Triskal, and all the angels of the original Ashton epic, the hosts of darkness attack her morale and peace - until she hears the message of the Cross. Jesus' sacrifice, told directly by Bernice Kruger (who shows up along with Hank and Marshall midway through the novel), frees Sally from the influence of hell, finally still and resting in God's grace. Piercing ends with an increased explosion of tension and gripping conflict as spiritual and physical chaos erupts at the International Consciouness Society's national center and the prestigious Bentmore University. Weaving Biblically sound perspective on vital issues from occult involvement to proper discipline and overcoming depression, Piercing the Darkness does indeed remove the mystery of spiritual warfare and gives new fire to the power of Christ's sacrifice for us all at the Cross.

This Present Darkness - Click to view!Aside from C.S. Lewis or John Bunyan, Christian fiction was unheard of in 1986, and this backwoods author pitching a "spiritual thriller" was getting on the nerves of Christian publishers nationwide. Thank God Frank Peretti persevered. This Present Darkness remains a breakthrough not only in small-town drama (a genre which only Peretti has mastered), but also in the unique action and dialogue played out in the spiritual realm. The players? Marshall Hogan, hard-nosed editor, only getting accustomed to the normalcy of Ashton and its only paper, The Clarion, after years as a big-city journalist...Bernice Krueger, the intelligent and impulsive just-out-of-college girl who signed on as The Clarion's reporter to learn the cause of her sister's mysterious death at local Whitmore College not but one year ago...Hank Busche, the new pastor commited to integrity and prayer, unsure but unafraid of spiritual warfare...and Alf Brummel, local police chief possessed by Lucius (demonic prince of Ashton)--both of them out to prove their dominance and power to all. Heading up the Lord's army of spiritual hosts are Tal, the military-minded right hand strategist of Michael himself, and Guilo, the hulking warrior always itching to fight any being of darkness. Their strength lies solely in "prayer cover"--the fervent, righteous petitions to Heaven made by the Christians of Ashton, and surrounding cities' churches feel led to intercede. Though the characters don't have as much depth as Peretti's later work, each person seems drawn with uniqueness, and the dialogue directs the novel throughout, as Marshall discovers his daughter's involvement in New Age religion, the almost complete Whitmore faculty turnover, and Brummel's involvement with Professor Juleen Langstrat. Rafar, the prince of Babylon assigned on the Ashton assault, and his demonic hosts seem sure of their victory, and Tal, ever looking for advantage, plays on this weakness by slowly building more prayer support, along with warring angels concealed until the dramatic climax. With demonic confrontations with an aggressive seductress and a young druggie, Pastor Busche slowly awakens to the battle for the heart and soul of Ashton, finally ending up in jail when the aforementioned female accuses him of rape. Marshall is finally learning the levity of Chief Brummel and Professor Langstrat's misdeeds, and caught breaking and entering Brummel's office in the dead of night. Thus the news editor and disliked pastor finally meet up in prison, Hank introducing Marshall to Christ, and all the pieces the drama in both realms finally put together for them both. Possessed by demonic lord the Strongman, Alexander Kaseph's arrival in Ashton to buy Whitmore College finds Brummel, Langstrat and Marshall's daughter present for the demonic incantation that starts off the meeting. It erupts into heavenly war and physical confusion as Tal heralds heavenly warriors to defeat the hosts of darkness, Marshall and Hank arrive on the scene with out-of-town officers armed with proof of fraudulent illegality, and the small remnant of praying believers intercede all the while on the steps of the College. Ringing true in its spiritual insight, this landmark fiction book defeats This Present Darkness in Peretti's dynamic style.
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