Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Review: The Hidden Soul by Reagan Colbert

The Hidden Soul
by Reagan Colbert

“The iron scales of the breastplate clattered together as he pulled it over his shoulders.
A sound he would hate until his dying day.”

The worst day of Marcus' life was the day his father enlisted him in the Roman legions. Five years later, his commanders have big plans for his career, but Marcus fears becoming a Centurion. He has a soul, his friend, Justus, says. When he loses that soul, he will finally accept his fate as a soldier.

When he is assigned to an execution, Marcus must face his soul in a way he never has before. He wants to believe that he will become the hardened officer his father once was, but when he encounters a strange man claiming to be the Son of God, his soul is stirred once more, and he sets out to find answers.

From the rocky hill called Golgotha, to a mysteriously empty tomb, and a hidden group of disciples in Jerusalem, the days that follow will change his life forever.

My Take:
Oh. My.

What can I say? This story, the story of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, speaks to every Christian in resonating tones. In this retelling, it is from the perspective of Marcus, an unlikely soldier in the Roman army, stationed at Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion. He is present for the crucifixion, and is one of the soldiers stationed at the tomb at the time of His resurrection. He knows he saw this man Jesus die. Yet here he sees Him alive again. This flies in the face of everything the soldier has ever believed. How he comes to terms with his own part in the killing of God's Son makes for a powerful testimony to the grace and forgiveness shed abroad to all who come.

The struggles that Marcus has are ones we all have had. Several scenes in this novella made me cry. In one, Marcus declares in despair that he was the one that killed Jesus. And in that, he was wrong, because I killed Him. Ever been there? And even that is wrong, because He willingly laid that life down. And He did it for us.

This is the story of Jesus' crucifixion. Blood is mentioned, and that there's a lot of it. But it's not gratuitous, and mentioned in passing rather than dwelt on. Threats of death are everywhere, the constant fear of punishment from soldiers, their leaders, or God Himself.

G - There's none at all that I can recall.

Adult Content:
G - No romance, no adultish themes.

Christian content:
This book is a retelling of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The only thing in it that is non-Christian is the non-beliefs of the Romans. The fatalistic feeling that they have lost their soul to Rome.

Final analysis:
In such a short work it would seem difficult to get a good solid dimension to Marcus and to those around him. But each character in the novella - Justus, Marcus, even Jesus and His disciples, are fairly well-defined. Marcus is as real and poignant as the man in the mirror. His fear, his despair, his anguish are real and raw, as are his hope and joy in the end. A well-written retelling of the turning point of time. Five Stars!

About the Author:
Reagan ColbertReagan Colbert is a fiction author with a driving passion to bring glory to the name of Christ. When she was fourteen years old, the Lord gave her the call to be a writer, and she has followed her calling with a passion ever since.
In 2015 she finally started her author blog, www.fiction4hisglory.com, but could not have predicted where God would bring her. In just six months her blog was picked up by other Christian bloggers, and that was when the Lord decided (much to her amazement) to hand her a book. Through unbelievable obstacles, that book, "The Hidden Soul" was published on Amazon in April of 2016, two days after her nineteenth birthday.

She is currently working on the sequel, "Soul Set Free", which she hopes to have published by the summer. Her life's mission is summed up in the one verse that she always comes back to: "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not unto men." ~ Colossians 3:23

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