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Sudden Mission (Spirit Missions Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I don't usually review young adult fiction, but I am willing to support new Christian authors and if I like the description, this genre is fine with me. I am glad I read Sudden Mission. This novel showcases Pace's creativity and for a debut novel, he has succeeded in crafting a fast-paced, action-filled novel that I can see why it appeals to the teen/young adult audience. Pace admits that he is geared towards writing for young adults and this novel shows that very well. I have not read many novels in this genre but for those I have, I have enjoyed, and I did enjoy this one.
Pace shows great creativity in this novel. He has blended zombies, crazed monks, aliens, a demon possessed coyote, white and black destructive fog and a messenger angel into an end-times (eschatological) scenario that while on the surface may appear as if it is a mismatch of characters and events but works well under the guise of satan manipulating time, space and events to bring the apocalypse forward and force the Hand of God. Looks like he learns the hard way that you cannot force God's hand!
Pace constructed this novel with many challenges that Paul, Amy and Joe encounter as they travel from their home in North Carolina to Choteau, Montana. Their faith is not only tested but strengthened as they learn to rely on God and not themselves. What I liked was portraying these teens as strong and mature in the Lord, despite their doubts and questioning their faith when facing the many challenges satan threw at them along their journey to fulfilling the mission that God ordained for Paul, Amy and Joe. I can see that this would be encouraging for teens and young adults as Pace has not sugar coated or made these three protagonists seem perfect or fake, but as ones that this age group would relate to and identify with. I see that this is one area where Pace shines in his desire to minister to teens/young adults with the Gospel. I was very impressed with the confrontation at the end of the novel where Paul engages in spiritual warfare with the demon possessed coyote. This was very well done and very true to biblical principles of spiritual warfare. This is what teens/young adult need to be living out and demonstrating in their lives as the days grow darker before the Coming of the Lord. They are our future and they need to be spiritual warriors of Christ. I applaud Pace for being so daring as to include this principle that should be so common in the Christian's walk and behaviour but sadly is not in today's world.
This is what I love about this type of Christian fiction. I call it Spirit-filled fiction. It honours God, it educates the reader (in this case specifically in spiritual warfare, trusting in God and not on yourself), it strengthens the reader's faith, it shows what a relationship with God should be like, it shows how to live the Bible through their life and allows God to be God and His Spirit to reign and have His way in the situation the protagonists are in, living victoriously in Christ's victory over sin and death. It definitely reminds me of Zechariah 4:6 that says,
"...not by might nor power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord"
Pace has succeeded very well here and it makes this novel shine. I pray that Pace continues this standard in future novels. So many young are searching for meaning and purpose in their lives, that us adults may not have had to the intensity they experience today, and to have an author portray teen characters show faith, character, maturity, being real with flaws and needs while taking a stand for what is right and for the Author of their faith and against evil and the Adversary (satan) , I believe can sow a seed in a teen/young adult reader who wants more out of life, who is searching for purpose or who wants more from the Christian life than what they are getting so far. Pace seems to have positioned himself in the gap here for this age group and may well be placed to fill this void.
My only gripe would be that the coyote promised many trials leading up to the final confrontation but this did not happen and the ending was a bit rushed. With everything leading up to this point, it would have been more satisfying and fulfilling to have had the ending a bit more fleshed out and not have the reader suddenly at the end of the book with nothing left. However, it is Pace's first attempt at novel writing so this can only improve as he masters his craft better in the future. This is one very good start to his being a published author.
I look forward to reading the next novel in this series. I am very glad to have come across Guy Pace when I saw his book being advertised on Twitter.
When a black fog descends on Washington, D.C. and their families mysteriously disappear, Paul, Joe, and Amy’s world is turned upside down. It gets even crazier when an enigmatic man shows up and tells Paul he’s the one responsible for making it right.
From start to finish, there is never a dull moment – trolls, zombies, demonic monks, aliens, and samurais. A carefully-planned cross-country trek from North Carolina to Montana takes several unexpected turns including a warp with fantasy elements, and along with the characters, you wonder if they’ll ever make it to their destination, and what they’ll face when they get there.
The protagonists – Paul, Amy, and Joe – are compelling, and they are joined by a diverse cast of characters throughout their journey. The coyote reminded me of D from The Field, probably because in essence, they are the same character. It was interesting to consider how the enemy uses the same tactics on everyone: deception, trying to get them to give up, attacking what is lacking in them,… I’m grateful to see more books exposing these tactics.
I was somewhat disappointed in the climactic moment, which, after everything leading up to it seemed, well, anticlimactic. I think I just wanted something bigger.
Overall, though, this is the kind of story I can see my nephews reading and loving, and I highly recommend it for teen and preteen boys.
Full Disclosure: Guy L. Pace and I are both published through Vox Dei. This review was not solicited, and contains my unadulterated opinion.
Sudden Mission is a story about a group of teenagers on a journey across the United States to complete a mission for God. I found myself reading the book in one hand while following along the journey on Google Maps in the other. It's a Christian story set in modern times and designed for young adults. I genuinely enjoyed this book, probably more so because it is much different from the sometimes dense non-fiction that I often read. As a result, it was easy reading and I finished the book in a few hours.
None of this detracts from the powerful message that Guy has interwoven into the story. The teenagers' friendship and relationship with God is pivotal to their mission. Most importantly, Sudden Mission is about their faith and how it guides their journey.
I'm looking forward to the next book: Nasty Leftovers!
This reads like a YA science fiction novel yet it has strong Christian themes throughout that ties the entire plot together nicely. An excellent debut novel for Mr. Guy Pace. Well done.
I highly recommend this read!!
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