Thursday, June 20, 2013
Prophetess: book review
Winter Maessen is a Gothic Christian, she's different, anyone can tell from her dark style of wardrobe, her heavy sarcasm, etc. What no one, least of all her, expects is she would be chosen by God to be a prophetess. In the first book, Winter, she finds out her calling and eventually has a confrontation with a self-proclaimed Satanic terrorist.
Now, things get heavier.
Story: it's the new year at fictional Tishbe University and Winter is excited to see her old friends from the previous year and make new friends. Though, after the events of Winter, nothing- at all- will be the same. And yet, there's barely any time to breath when Winter gets a whole new kind of vision, a total whiplash compared to the kinds she got last time. And that's not all, the terrorist she dealt with, Xaphan (according to the book trailer on youtube, it's "Zah-fon"), has a new plan to seriously weaken the Christian stronghold and spiritual strength at the university. And these new visions Winter's getting are newly problematic, highly enigmatic, and flat-out disturbing for the most part. And none of them are predictable (no pun intended) on their meaning, except for one, and even then, it's a total blow-out on how it comes to be. Plenty of misdirection, red herrings, heavy twists, turns, and shocking revelations on people you thought you knew from the first book.
On the enemy: Instead of being a traditional one-dimensional enemy like normally presented in standard Christian fiction, Xaphan proves himself formidable, unpredictable, and extremely dangerous and creepy. Even though he has less page time this time around, he's still creepy, chilling, especially in his roles in Winter's visions. And, this time, Xaphan's not easily satisfied, you wouldn't believe the measures he uses to make sure he gets what he wants. But he's no longer the only terrorist around- there's a new Satanist with a mysterious role, Skotos. Though Xaphan revealed the fallen angelic origin of his nickname, the fact there's no revelation on the origin of Skotos' nickname makes him even more intriguing, twisted, and disturbing. Especially the person that helps him (possibly IS him?). And the one extreme act of violence they do? It would seriously offend many people today considering how random it is, but I'm glad there are authors who will include it at the risk of getting backlash from people who have suffered from this type of violence. Did you actually think I would reveal what it is? Go read it!
Atmosphere: Since Winter was set in Winter's Freshman year at Tishbe, it had an occasionally warm, funny spot to relieve the creepy tension. This time, less humor, a bit more mature (to accommodate the terrifying visions), and more. Not only that, but the atmosphere's quite twisty when it comes to Winter's flashback chapters, further revealing dark secrets of her past and shocking secrets about her own family. Things that actually dropped my jaw!
Overall: Winter was an incredibly well-done, well-crafted, even well-prosed book, showing that Keven could write as good as the likes of Stephen King, Frank Peretti, and even Ted Dekker. This time, for Prophetess, he shows he won't let the "sequel bog" happen, and does it quite well. Providing new mysteries, more light shown, and stunning information on past foreshadowing that isn't your normal, standard fare, he proves he's worth the merit, regardless of if you're a Christian or not (one minor character, annoyed at how people were treating her, said that she was agnostic and Winter said something profound about that view that I had never considered, a whole new angle of seeing that borderline belief).