Friday, December 27, 2013

Frantic by Mike Dellosso

This novel falls into the genre of magical realism, or should I say spiritual realism?

The novel opens as Marny is working at a gas station. A car comes in for gas and Marny notices there is a listless young woman in the back seat. The car is gassed up and drives off. It is then Marny notices the crumpled piece of paper left behind. The girl must have thrown it out. HE'S GOING TO KILL ME, it read.

Marny determines to rescue her and the adventure begins. This novel has lots of action and suspense. It is different, however, in that spiritual forces create apparent reality from time to time. A traumatic event from the past may come into the present and to the affected character be as real as possible. We don't see spiritual being but we do see the spiritual nature of past events.

There is also faith. A young boy is special in that he has tremendous faith. He can (sort of) do supernatural acts, or at least see to it that something natural happens in an unnatural way. Another aspect of faith is bringing something into reality from the unseen. (Heb. 11:3) We see that happening in this novel as Marny is identified as a hero long before he is one. Was that a prophecy or was it faith moving him into his chosen role?

I really liked the novel. I liked the way the spiritual invaded everyday reality. Sure, there were some almost magical events (actually spiritual) that, I suppose, bordered on fantasy. But those events were not that much different from axeheads floating or fiery chariots flying through the air.

Mike Dellosso is the author of several novels and is an adjunct professor of writing at Lancaster Bible College. He earned his BA degree from Messiah College and his MBS from Master's International School of Divinity. He lives in Hanover, PA, with his wife and four daughters.

Realms (Charisma House Book Group), 296 pages.

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