It felt like I read this book extremely quickly. And, in fact, I did, finishing in about 2 days, or maybe 3 hours or so of reading time. (I'm not certain whether to attribute the action laced throughout the book, my own interest level, the fact that I read it to myself and not the Littles, or simply because it's written down to a lower reading level, but I'll try to cover all these possibilities.)
The truth is, I enjoyed Spirit Fighter quite a bit when I read it to the Littles and I was anticipating this sequel. The story continues as can be expected and even grants Jeremiah, the youngest Stone sibling, a larger stage. (This may explain the lower reading level as the series hopes to expand readership?) Anyway, it seems Law tried to spread the action sequences throughout the entire book, which actually created something of a bipolar reading experience, with intense action and equally notable lulls. I felt like I couldn't turn the pages fast enough during both, on the one hand to see what happened next (though it's largely predictable) and on the other, to get back to some action.
And while I wasn't sure how closely the series resembled the Percy Jackson books, I'm now sure that it's probably not going to be a series that attracts too many non-churched fans of Riordan's tales. The first book delivered distinct spiritual overtones, but it wasn't overly "preachy," avoiding too many "Christian codewords" and refusing to limit the storyline to a 3-bullet Sunday school sermonette. I have since read a few customer reviews to the contrary, so perhaps my tolerance for such overt messaging is high, but that only bolsters my next argument. FIRE PROPHET takes its position behind a pulpit and thumps the Bible proudly, which doesn't necessarily limit the story, but definitely limits its audience.
The story itself is essentially the same as in the first installment: the Nephilim are at risk and the dark forces want to destroy all of their families. And for as powerful and threatening as these Nephilim are made out to be, it's kind of odd that defending their existence is a task that befalls their children, who are half the half-angels their parent is, but that's not exactly the point, I guess. In this episode, all the Nephilim are whisked away to an undisclosed location for their own safety, while all the quarterlings are held at a convent where they undergo training in the ways of spiritual warfare. Jonah and Eliza have something of a celebrity status because of their earlier adventures, which earns them respect, admiration, and disdain from their peers.
The training is largely where Law takes license to preach at the reader. I'm not going to nitpick at some of the theological points with which I disagree, but there are certainly plenty. The students learn about the power of prayer, Bible study, and worship from a broad ecumenical perspective. They also engage the pieces of spiritual armor with which they've been equipped. Apparently, the "full armor of God" isn't for everyone - we each just get a piece or two - but I will not nitpick (a reminder to myself). Not surprisingly, the plot culminates in a huge battle and you can guess the outcome, I'm sure.
But all this is not to say that this isn't a book worth reading for fans of the first book. I know the Littles are going to enjoy this immensely, but they fit the "church kid" demographic. If you know what you're getting into and are okay with a fair portion of theology, this is another fine story. Slightly predictable and contrived, but that's generally what we want anyway, if we're being honest. And, personally, I'm still looking forward to March's third installment, SHADOW CHASER. However, if you're looking for a sneaky way to witness to your unsaved bookworm friend, you might do just as well throwing this book at their head.
Despite being one quarter angel and having succeeded in rescuing their mother from the forces of evil (in Spirit Fighter, the first book of the Son of Angels series), Jonah and Eliza are almost regular kids, just starting eighth and sixth grades respectively. But their lives quickly change when they are victims of a coordinated attack by Abaddon on worldwide Nephilim and their families, and this time, their younger brother, seven-year-old Jeremiah, is also involved. The angels decide to move the quarterlings to New York for safety—and so they can be trained in battle.
Cue a fast-paced and very visual story with a well-executed if basic good versus evil plot and some good battle scenes where Jonah and Eliza have to exercise their faith. The scenes where Jonah and Eliza were rapidly moving between the physical world and the spiritual realm had the potential to be confusing, and would certainly be more effective on TV. But they certainly made the point that the physical world and the spiritual world are both equally real, even if we can normally only se one.
Fire Prophet is aimed at children aged nine and up, so it does feel a little juvenile at times to the adult reader. But I liked it. It makes no apologies for the fact that we are in a spiritual battle, something us grownups and too easily forget. Yet Fire Prophet gets these truths across in an interesting and exciting manner. It is fiction, like Percy Jackson, but with a Biblical foundation. Recommended for boys, but girls will probably enjoy it too.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
Fire Prophet Son of Angels ~ Jonah Stone By Jerel Law
Fire Prophet is the second book in the Son of Angels series. Fire Prophet takes place nearly a year after the events of Spirit Fighter. Jonah and Eliza have been practicing with their angelic powers since they discovered that they were quarterlings (1/4 fallen angel and 3/4 human). But on the first day of the new school year they are attacked by fallen angels and the entire Stone family has to escape from Peaceful to New York City when Abaddon's fallen followers attack quarterlings around the world.
Soon the world's quarterling's are gathered together at the Convent of Saint John of the Empty Tomb for both safety and spiritual training. Meanwhile their parents are taken to another hidden location for safety. To Jonah's surprise his name is well known to the other quarterlings because of his rescue of the Nephilim the year before.
But as the quarterlings soon discover spiritual warfare is not based on one's own strength but on faith and prayer. Prayer is the most powerful weapon in their arsenal against the enemies of Elohim. As the children learn about the Armour of God they learn which of these spiritual gifts they are gifted with.
Jonah is having dreams and visions that seem to indicate that someone needs his help. But who needs his help and can he determine who it is before it is too late. Soon the quarterlings are under attack and their heavenly guard is being decimated by forces of the fallen. Jonah feels that the person he is to help is necessary to the survival of the quarterlings, so with the help of Eliza, Jeremiah, David he sets out to find the prophet in need of his help. But Abaddon is determined not only to stop Jonah and the quarterlings but to destroy them. In a race against time and evil, can they fight the good fight and win
There has been some discussion on various blogs and writing groups as to the appropriateness of fiction books that deal with half angelic beings walking the earth and whether this is Biblical. This something you will have to determine for yourself. But Fire Prophet leans heavily on Scripture and prayer as the weapons on which we are to wage spiritual warfare.
Overall Fire Prophet packs a lot of action into its pages and there are Biblical foundations upon which the story is based. All in all an enjoyable fast paced book that middle grade aged readers and up should be able to easily get caught up in.
For the purpose of this review the publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through BookSneeze.
Jerel Law in his new book “Fire Prophet book coverFire Prophet” Book Two in the Sons Of Angels, Jonah Stone series published by Thomas Nelson takes us back into the life of Jonah Stone and his family.
From the back cover: What if you could actually see angels and fallen angels engaging in battle–and you were expected to join the fight?
It’s been one year since Jonah Stone and his sister, Eliza, discovered that their mother is a nephilim, the product of a union between a human and a fallen angel, which makes them and their little brother, Jeremiah, “quarterlings,” or one-quarter angel. After embarking on an epic journey to rescue their mother and the other nephilim, who were kidnapped by fallen angels, the Stone kids have enjoyed a little peace and quiet.
But when Jonah and Eliza are attacked by fallen angels at school, they learn that quarterlings all over the world are being targeted, and separating them from their parents is the only way to keep them safe. The kids undergo special training to help them discover their own unique angelic gifts, which come in handy when they embark on a mission to find a mysterious prophet who they believe holds the key to Abaddon’s defeat in a massive battle between good and evil.
The battle continues. Jonah Stone and his family have had a bit of R&R from the events of the previous book but that is all about to change. Fallen angels are attacking and it is time to regroup, retrain and find the prophet who can help. Mr. Law brings a wealth of experience to the table as he is a gifted communicator and pastor with seventeen years of full-time ministry experience. So he understands about spiritual warfare and communicates it very well in the pages of this book. Spiritual warfare is something that we all engage in. We are the targets of a very powerful spiritual enemy. The good news is we have an even more powerful Defender on our side who engages in the warfare with and for us. “Fire Prophet” is great fun, filled with truth told in a convincing manner. And even though the target audience is the youth I believe the adults will enjoy it equally. I recommend this book highly and am already looking forward to the next book in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”