I first encountered Frank E. Peretti and his brand of spiritual non-fiction when I was a 19 year old teenager in bible college on the East Coast. I had only been a Christian and convert from the Catholic Church for three years and very early on in my faith walk I realized I was very intrigued and drawn to the idea of spiritual warfare, the existence of angels, and demonology. I remember getting my hands on This Present Darkness and immediately being riveted and stirred in my soul by the storyline. I devoured the two follow up books, Piercing the Darkness and The Prophet, with rabid interest. Obviously, we know that the works are clearly non-fiction, but much like the film The Exorcist, it was hard to deny their many elements of accuracy and biblical authenticity.
I made a New Year’s Resolution three years ago to pick up a long last habit of reading books. That first year I read 5 books, mostly for fun, which was the most reading I had done since graduate school. The year following I set a goal of 12 books, one each month, and succeeded. This year I am aiming to beat that total. As I have been working on this site and trying to rediscover my spiritual voice I began to search for books that might help stir the pot of insight and inspiration. Enter stage right The Oath. Once I started it, in similar fashion decades ago I simply could not stop or easily put it down. Complete with forces of darkness and their followers that are pitted against regular, every day folks who learn to rely on their faith and personal relationship with God to navigate their way; this book has it all. Here is the official book synopsis…
An ancient evil. A long-forgotten oath. A town with a deadly secret. The result unfolds in this gripping thriller with over one million copies sold.
Something evil is at work in Hyde River, an isolated mining town in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
Under the cover of darkness, a predator strikes without warning—taking life in the most chilling and savage fashion.
The community of Hyde River watches in terror as residents suddenly vanish. Yet, the more locals are pressed for information, the more they close ranks, sworn to secrecy by their forefathers’ hidden sins.
Only when Hyde River’s secrets are exposed is the true extent of the danger fully revealed. What the town discovers is something far more deadly than anything they’d imagined. Something that doesn’t just stalk its victims—it has the power to turn hearts black with decay as it slowly fills their souls with darkness.Inside book cover
I have always loved how Frank Peretti is able to weave good, sound fundamental doctrine into the lives of the protagonists and keep those characters complex, human, and relatable. I love he can flesh out spiritual dynamics and good biblical teaching without being preachy, pushy, or just plain corny. I also really enjoy how he paints the dark spiritual forces in the world and effectively, and mostly accurately, connect them to bad actors. Peretti portrays wonderfully in this book how sin and evil is a stain on one’s heart that can then poison and pollute any soul in multiple ways. I found this book stirring and jarring and I mean both of those descriptors in the best possible light. If you are looking for a good read that will also feed your spirit I would recommend it without reservation.