Sunday, April 5, 2015

Chasing Sunsets by Karen Kingsbury

This is the second in the Angels Walking series, stories about angels assigned to walk on earth. This book can be appreciated without having read the first one in the series as sufficient back story is given in this one. (You can read my review of the first book here.)

The story of Marcus and Tyler continues in this novel. Two angels, Jag and Aspyn, are given the assignment to watch over Marcus, an LA Dodger pitcher, and Mary Catherine, roommate of Tyler's girlfriend. Something great will come from a romance between the two, if the angels can pull it off. Mary Catherine has a serious issue that convinces her loving Marcus is not a possibility. The enemy of God sends his demons to thwart the good work Marcus is doing for youth in a dangerous and gang dominated part of the city. The two angels have a great deal of work ahead of them.

This novel is a thought provoking one. This is a second chance for Jag. He had been on an assignment ten years ago where he lost a young man to the enemy. We read about his emotions, the rage he has against the gang leaders. I guess I hadn't really thought about angels having a personality that might include the capacity for such strong emotions. One of the hardest things about being an angel, Jag thinks, is having more knowledge and power than humans, but not nearly the knowledge and power of the Father.

The angels also speak of their experience on earth, that the earth is so full of pain. This is a very complex assignment for them as there are so many people and events that need to be coordinated for the result to be what God desires. In the course of the novel we are introduced to the horrors of the gangs in Los Angeles. The kids are so young when they get sucked into the gang lifestyle. We also get a peek at prison life. It is not a pretty picture.

There are other issues in the book that would make for lively discussion. Why doesn't God prevent senseless harm to innocent people and kids? What is the role of prayer? How and why does God answer prayer? If you were in the beginnings of a potential romance and knew a secret that would devastate the other person, would you keep silent? There is a great discussion guide included, covering these and many more thought provoking issues in the book.

At the end of the book, Kingsbury shares her own story of what she is convinced is an angel encounter. Reading that made the novel all the more exciting.

I'll be ready for the third book in the series as we are left hanging at the end of this one.

Food for thought: “You have only one chance to write the story of your life. Make it a bestseller.”

You can read the first three chapters of the book here.

Karen Kingsbury is a New York Times bestselling novelist with more than 25 million books in print. She also has a syndicated radio program. She and her husband live in Nashville. They have five sons, three of whom were adopted from Haiti, and a married daughter. You can read more of how she went from writing sports stories for a newspaper to being a bestselling novelist here.

Howard Books, 336 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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