Monday, January 7, 2019

Review: A Brush with the Beast by Richard Sones

A Brush with the Beast

35554067A brilliant and exceptionally talented IT executive, Nick Gooseberry, is at his wits' end trying to rid himself of chronic debilitating pain. In desperation he turns to The Order, a shadowy organization that promises him freedom from pain and much more. With The Order's help behind the scenes, Nick lies and blackmails his way into the highest levels of government while plunging into the blackest corners of hell until he sets his sights on ruling the world.

Sarah Johnson is a thirty-something ex-con that the system abandoned in a small town in Texas. As a dime store cashier, her biggest worries are what to eat and what to wear, but she's always late for work. Her boss decides to get rid of her for good by sending her back to prison, enticing her with a shortcut to riches. She meets the Lord along the way and manages to escape from the authorities, but the fact that she's pregnant attracts the attention of the Beast. After being whisked to the other side of the planet, her biggest worry becomes surviving.

A Palestinian schoolboy who witnessed the death of his parents grows into a world renowned terrorist driven by his thirst for revenge on his family's murderers. He hates Israel and their number one ally, the United States. Known by his Arabic nickname, Fanak (the Fox), he orchestrates terror on every continent never realizing that he's a puppet of the Beast.

My Take:
Nick Gooseberry has had it with the chronic pain in his back. A brilliant IT executive and owner of Dervish Enterprises, Nick is at his wits' end. In desperation he turns to The Order, a mysterious organization that promises freedom from the pain, in exchange for a deal with the devil. With the Order's help, Nick lies and schemes himself to the top of the most powerful country in the world, but is this at the cost of his own soul?

Sarah Johnson is a thirty-something divorcee with a Meth addiction, working for a dime store. Her boss decides to get rid of her by setting her up to get sent to prison. During the setup she ends up pregnant, which is now illegal for convicts. This attracts the attention of the Beast, who has plans for her unborn child. 

Fanak (the fox) is a deep cover terrorist causing havoc around the world, all to bring down the nation of Israel and it's number one ally, the United States. He is driven by a deep-seated hatred for the murderers of his parents, never realizing he is a pawn for the Beast.

Drug Content:
PG - Sarah is a methamphetamine addict. While the book never goes into detail about the effects of the drug, it's the catalyst that propels her to jail.

PG - This is a book about the last days. A city is destroyed by nuclear bombs. People disappear, are killed, there is some discussion about the blood of the unborn used in ritual sacrifice. A mosque is destroyed by bombs. Terrorism takes many lives. But none of the violence, while pervasive, is gratuitous.

PG - very light sprinkling.

Adult Content:
PG - The main character ends up pregnant after a single encounter. However, the encounter is implied, it doesn't even occur on stage.   

Christian content:
This book is strongly Christian. It's a book about faith and hope in a world gone crazy in the last days. It's about the supernatural guidance and protection of a sovereign God. Bible verses are exchanged and quoted, prayers are made and answered. In one place the voice of God breaks in against the devil himself. The book is unapologetically Christian, but it's not overly preachy. There are several Christian conversions that happen on stage. The gospel during those times is clearly presented. Yet it doesn't preach at the reader, but carries him along through the enthralling action.

Final analysis:
A Brush with the Beast is an epic tale. It spans four continents and covers the progress of three main characters and dozens of minor ones. The world it depicts is stark and dangerously close to reality. It is well-written, gripping, panoramic in scope. The settings are immersive, the plot ever-changing. The characters are real, the spiritual realm clearly delineated. Fast paced, immersive, gripping, encouraging. Well done! Five Stars!

About the Author:
Richard SonesRichard Sones grew up as a citizen of the world. Moving every three to twenty-four months from continent to continent, he was exposed to many cultures. As an adult, he continued his tour of the world as a chaplain in the U.S. Army having served 28 years. As a consequence of many deployments, he has first hand knowledge of many varied customs and peoples. Happily married now 38 years, he is a father to four and grandfather to another four. He is still in ministry as the chaplain of a major hospital in El Paso, Texas. He lives just outside the city in the semi-desert where he has time to write, build things in his wood shop, play his guitar, and tinker with the yard.

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