The Dark Man – Marc Schooley
In a not-so-hard-to-imagine future, the government has taken control of many of the things its citizens once held as freedoms. Christianity has been outlawed, and Charles Graves is on a personal mission to eradicate any remnant that dares defy the law. A master of disguise, Graves lives behind a mask that conceals his own insecurities and pain—such as his guilt over and responsibility for the brother and mother he lost as a child.
Graves is haunted by a puzzle he’s had since a kid, a wood block puzzle that can be arranged to show different faces. One phantasmic face keeps appearing over and over, a harbinger of doom. The Dark Man. As Graves takes on his toughest challenge yet, he uncovers the truth behind his childhood losses even as he closes his on the most notorious Christian leader left in America. Saul became Paul, but who will Charles Graves become?
The Dark Man is a harrowing debut novel from theologian/philosopher Marc Schooley. Drawing heavily on Biblical themes, but avoiding over-preachiness, Schooley launches the reader onto a pulse-pounding journey of espionage, intrigue, and grand battle between good and evil—between God and The Dark Man.
Schooley handles his material well, showing solid writing and great integration of Biblical themes. The portrayal of evil in the form of The Dark Man is unique and chilling and the future dystopian elements are handled with believability and realism. The book begins shockingly and never lets up, smashing into a conclusion both unpredictable and yet exactly how it should be.
Sci-fi and speculative fiction fans rejoice, because you have a new author to read. The Dark Man is an excellent debut and I only expect things to get better.
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