Author: Ian Acheson
Publisher: Lion Hudson
Those who have read Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness will enjoy Ian Acheson’s Angelguard, which follows the interaction of human events with the unseen supernatural world. A powerful European businessman, influenced by demonic forces with a sinister plan to create global chaos and destruction, secretly engineers attacks in major cities on three continents as the story opens. Professor Jack Haines, who lost his wife and children in one of the attacks, is led to other survivors who have also lost loved ones in other parts of the world. Protected by angelic guardians, Jack and those tied to him through a divine plan to thwart evil begin to discover pieces of a puzzle that leads them to uncover the plot and save the world’s top leaders.
In addition to the human characters and events, Acheson integrates a related story or what is happening in the supernatural world. Warfare between guardian angels and demonic sentinels frequently occur as ancient foes confront one another to advance their agendas—chaos and destruction vs. order and protection.
The characters, settings, and plot are well-thought and described well to move the story along as the intrigue plays out. The spiritual characters, both good and evil, are portrayed as having emotional investment into their roles, which makes them believable; however, these characters may be portrayed more human than they should be from a theological perspective. For example, both angels and demons are portrayed as beings that can bleed and be injured or killed, which does not have a clear basis in biblical literature. Of course, apocalyptic scripture indicates that the forces of evil will be eventually thrown into a lake of fire, but it is for eternal punishment rather than a death. Also, there is speculation in the story that prayers of God’s people actually energize the angels. “[Arlia’s] majestic form appeared to take on a greater radiance as the prayers of jack, Marcie, Rebecca, and many unknown to Loren sought God’s intervention in her life. It was like an invisible relay baton. The Holy Spirit received the requests from the prayerful; He passed them on to the Son, who then gave them to the Father, who ten passed them to Arlia, who used them to touch Loren’s heart” (pp. 192-93). Although scripture does not have as much detailed information about angels and how they operate as many would like to see, this passage does show a possible process of how God has chosen to operate in the answer to such prayers.
Overall, I enjoyed this story, and I think that Ian Acheson did a fine job at creating a scenario that may show how the unseen world of angels and demons intersects and influences the world of humankind. It has been years since I have read Peretti’s This Present Darkness, and I am glad that Acheson has stepped up to tell a similar tale that includes the supernatural underpinnings of the real battles that spill over into the natural world. One thing that I would like to see improved in Acheson’s next novel would be a more thorough editing process by his publisher as I noticed a few typographical errors where wrong words were used due to misspellings.
My rating is 4.5.
Guest review by Cleve Johnson
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter@lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457