I received a request from the author’s publicist to do a review of Richard Sones’ new novel “A Brush with the Beast“. Usually, I do reviews of Bibles, Study Bibles and Bible Reference and Resource material, but I agreed to take a look at this novel and do a review of it. This book is a self-published thriller and end times novel.
I would give this book a 7.4 out of my normal 10 point rating scale. On a “5 star” scale that some websites use, I would give it a light 4-star rating.
First, I want to give a disclaimer – this book has some material that is not suited for younger readers in my opinion. I won’t go into every single detail, but language and some disturbing scenes and topics are depicted within this book. With that said, the Characters in this book are developed nicely as you dive into the complexity that makes them who they are. I personally would NOT recommend this book to any young readers at all or to anyone that gets offended at some language or fairly descriptive explanation of certain scenes such as pagan rituals or graphic violence whether implied or direct.
This fairly dark book is kind of along the lines of the Left Behind books if you will. An end times book that covers a lot of fallen (sinful) people where some encounter the Lord and follow him. You really do feel the darkness in people in this book.
I’m a little torn about giving it too good of a review, mostly because of the adult nature of some portions of the book such as drug use, some foul language, graphic descriptions of some pagan rituals and violence to name a few. These adult nature portions are “committed” by the characters that fall on the non-Christian side of the story line, but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t throw out a strong caution to readers on this.
One of the things that I wished the author did a little more of was to explain how some of the events came to pass in a little more detail. For example, one of the main characters rose to power, but I don’t feel like the author explained how this happened as well as it could have been explained. It kind of just happened in a few steps over time and the reader is partially left to assume the path was logical and potentially plausible. To be honest, if the author would have spent a little more time diving more in-depth into the details to the multiple progressive events in the main characters lives, it would have really rounded out this book quite well.
The book is left with an open ending as you really don’t hear what happens with a couple of the main characters. I am assuming that this is intended to be the first in a series of books possibly. Will I read the next book in a potential series about these characters? To be completely honest, I am not sure. I think if it weren’t for the mature content and language that really isn’t necessary, I would be interested as the characters were developed very nicely apart from some of those quick jumps and assumptions about events being legitimate and believable.
On the back cover of the book, it reads “You will laugh, cry, and cling to the edge of your seat as you follow this thrilling, international adventure, and epic battle between the ultimate good set against the ultimate evil.“. Well, I can’t say that I laughed or cried when reading this novel. It does have some thrill factor for sure, but I’m not sure I would say that I was clinging to the edge of my seat. However, I did want to continue to the end of the book to find out what happens with the characters.
This book is self-published and there were a few times where I felt it could have been edited a little better.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my unbiased review and all opinions are my own.
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BOOK:
Type of Book: Novel (Christian Fiction/Thriller)
Author: Richard Sones
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 978-0692891612
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this novel from is either Amazon or Barnes & Noble as they both have it for the same price. They have it for $14.95. Please note that Christianbook.com does not currently sell this book. I’m not sure if it is just because they typically sell books from publishers and not typically from self-published authors, or if they didn’t approve of the mature content in the book.
See below for a breakout and links to the different prices from some major re-sellers. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges and are subject to change at the seller’s discretion.
- Patent (perfect/square back) bound
- 298 pages
- Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Weight: 11 ounces
My Favorite Part:
I really did enjoy the character development that the author did in this book. I feel that most of the characters were believable most of the time. I did want to continue to the end of the book to find out what happens with the characters. The author really did a nice job of bouncing between the story lines of the different characters without feeling too choppy.
My Least Favorite Part:
I would have to say that I didn’t appreciate the mature content within the book. I personally don’t feel it was necessary to convey the story. I also felt that some of the events were not developed as well as they should have been – almost requiring the reader to take a “leap of faith” (if you will) to trust that certain events happen and they make sense as to how and/or why they happened.
I did like how the author weaves the Bible and Salvation into the book, but felt that it could have been done a little more.
I personally would NOT recommend this book to any young readers at all or to anyone that gets offended at some language or fairly descriptive explanation of certain scenes such as pagan rituals or graphic violence. It’s not like the book is strewn with this stuff, but it does have portions of content like this in it.
If you are OK with these more mature content portions, this book is a pretty good thriller that pertains to the end times.
So with all of that said, would I recommend it? Well… .it depends. I’m just being honest.
Richard 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 people.
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.
Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.