Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

Sam is a preacher's kid, a sixteen year old who doesn't fit into the “in” crowd at school. When he has the opportunity to be a part of a bad guy gang, the temptation is too great and he agrees. Then his troubles begin.
Sam befriends Jennifer, a girl who has visions of terrible things that she believes are going to happen soon. Sam is the only person who thinks there might be something to her “demon” visions. As he figures out what Jennifer's visions might represent, he begins to wonder if can fight the battle he knows is before him. While Sam is in his father's office, he sees a statue with the inscription, Recte age nil time. He is especially drawn to the statue and Googles the Latin: “Do right; fear nothing.” It is this saying he repeats to himself as he battles the evil that would destroy and kill.

This is an exciting novel. It is well written with continuous action. It really portrays how quickly evil can come into a situation. It also shows how we are often oblivious to that evil as it grows in influence. Sam often fights the inaction of adults as he battles those under demonic influence.
The novel is obviously aimed at teens. A teen is the hero and it is teens to whom the demons turn to destroy and kill. It is written from the viewpoint of Sam so I think teens would really like the book.
There is lots demonic influence that is described, although nothing I found offensive. Because of the demonic aspect, I would think the book may not be appropriate for all teens, especially young ones. The plot include the possibility of a mass murder at a high school and that might be a difficult topic for some young teen readers.
Also, schizophrenia is introduced as Jennifer is diagnosed with it. I would suggest that parents be available to discuss that topic with their teen readers as I am sure there will be some questions in that area.
The Christianity of Sam and others is well represented. While Sam believes Jennifer is having visions from God his father (a preacher) tries to convince him there is a rational explanation for what is happening. I am glad Sam persevered in his belief that there really was something spiritual and truthful about Jennifer's visions.
I think there will be a reading guide (there was not one in the egalley I read) which would make this a good choice for Christian teen reading groups. There is much to discuss.

Andrew Klavan is the recipient of two Edgar Awards and the author of such bestsellers as True Crime and Don't Say a Word. His books have sold over 1.5 million copies.


ThomasNelson Publishers, 336 pages.

I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
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