How Great Is The Darkness: A Book Review

It’s not very often that I run across another author who demands this kind of attention. In general, as a society, we do a pretty good job of locking up the deeply disturbed. I have managed to escape detection thus far. Thankfully, Jamie Greening is also on the loose and writing funny, smart, Christian fiction. Really twisted stuff, but so enjoyable that even the “tut-tut” crowd will find some whimsy and humor in the books. For those who do not tut, it is going to be a great read. I thus present my review of How Great Is The Darkness.

How Great Is the Darkness

How Great Is the Darkness

Jamie Greening

Jamie Greening

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Before we begin, let me set out the usual caveats: if you want a plot synopsis, go the book page. If you want to know why I liked the book, I lay it out below. Fair enough? Here’s the review I posted on Amazon.

How Great Is The Darkness? Pretty Darned Big, But Lit Up Well By This Author.

Let’s start with full disclosure: I paid for this book. My own money. Nothing free, no promise of an unbiased review. Nada. I’m reading the whole Athanatos catalog this summer and Jamie’s book was next up on the list. Man, I’m glad it was.

Some say you can’t judge a book by its cover. I say this is a great cover, and if you pay attention as you read the book you’ll totally get the reference to the artwork. The insides are every bit as good as the cover. Plus, they’re every bit as disturbed as the cover.

The Butch Gregory series has one other novel, and I probably should have read this second, not first. Fortunately it’s a great stand-alone book, and because of the minimal (but well done) back-story, I just purchased the first book to find out what happened in this universe prior to my arrival.

Here are the things I liked about the book: the characters were not only eccentric, but they were the kind of pastors I know from personal experience. The dialogue was snappy, sarcastic, and realistic. Just the kind of thing you’d hear when smart people meet insane people. There was a second-tier character who had a characteristic that made me want to scream at my Kindle more than a little bit. Or smash it. Or enjoy the fact that just dropping a few lines of description into the text made me clearly see this person and allow them to drive me nuts with this habit.

The ending is usually the saddest part of any book. Everything wraps up with a ribbon, everyone goes home, all is fixed. At least that’s how most Christian fiction works. Jamie didn’t read that handout at the writer’s conferences. I’m glad. Sloppy, unkempt ending (I mean that in a good way) that left you wondering about the characters. That tells me there’s another book coming. Yes, please.

Christian content – I’m not even sure how to answer that one. There’s violence. It’s pretty graphic. It’s also appropriate for the story. Kind of like the Bible. Scriptural content? That’s there in a larger percentage than you might expect, but it’s there for a reason, not to bash you with the Bible. You need to understand some of the characters and their motivation in light of scripture. He uses his pastor characters to do just that and it works. Part of a pastor’s duties are to teach. He (Jamie Greening) is a pastor and a teacher and he keeps it to the minimum needed to clear the plot over the hurdles.

All in all, it’s a Five Star read. I had a lot of fun and look forward to reading the next one.

This is where you open up your browser and buy the book. You’ll enjoy it if you enjoy this blog.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.

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