Reviewed by Julia M. Reffner
The Resurrection by Mike Duran
"Suspense fans will find much to enjoy and ponder in Mike Duran’s first novel."
Attention Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker fans: make room on your keeper shelf for Mike Duran’s The Resurrection. Duran is a promising speculative author and I’m already counting down the months until his next release.
The novel begins with a spark that kindles into a quick-spreading spiritual
Reverend Ian Clark is a minister recently hired in a small, spiritually-dead town. Bitter about the path his life has taken, Clark wrestles with doubts that only increase when he renews a decades-old friendship with a seminary classmate turned apostate. But how can he explain the mysterious presence of an entity known as Mr. Cellophane who visits his office regularly?
Ruby Case is an ordinary middle-aged woman with a limp who begins to see visions involving an immense dead tree. As she touches the corpse of her friend’s son at his funeral, he suddenly springs to life. Ruby finds herself thrust in the midst of a decades old battle of good versus evil.
The Resurrection is a suspenseful novel that kept me turning the pages late into the night. Duran delivers one surprise blow after another leaving the reader’s heart pounding in a constant sense of anticipation.
The ensemble cast of characters are memorable long after the reader puts the book down. Since seminary Clark has been unable to reconcile the events of his life with the existence of a loving and powerful God. Through Clark, Duran provides a realistic assessment of the struggles of many non-believers. He demonstrates the sad reality of many sitting in the pews, yet spiritually lifeless. Duran demonstrates the dangers of New Age pantheism and the realities of spiritual warfare in a fallen world. The Resurrection contains a message that is woven tightly through with spiritual truths that are never force-fed to the reader.
Ruby and Vinyette are the prayer warriors of Canyon Springs Community church. They meet to pray weekly for the congregation and for Reverend Clark. Ruby shows how the Lord can take the seemingly ordinary and use it for His glory. Ruby sees herself as weak, yet she has a yielding heart to her heavenly Father. She is a living demonstration of God using the weak and foolish things of the world to bring Him glory.
Duran does not provide a neat and tidy ending. Instead he provides one that keeps the reader thinking. Long after I put down this novel I found myself pondering its contents. Suspense fans will find much to enjoy and ponder in Mike Duran’s first novel.
Reffner is blessed to be a servant to the King,
married to the love of her life, a busy homeschool mom of two young children,
and owned by one
shedding longhaired cat. She is enjoying working on a women’s fiction novel
in her spare time. She is a reviewer for Historical
Novels Review quarterly,
a magazine of the Historical
Novel Society. Julia can be found blogging about
God, literature and life at Dark
Glass Ponderings and about writing at the group
blog, The Writer's Alley.