"Ashton is just a typical small town. But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful pastor begin to compare notes, they suddenly find themselves fighting a hideous New Age plot to subjugate the townspeople, and eventually the entire human race"--Container.
Original publication date
I loved this book so much that when CBD put it on sale a few years ago I got like 10 of them and gave them away as gifts. It not only entertains, but opens your eyes to the wonderful ministry of angels and the beauty of God's love for us, in spite of what is out there to try to steal, kill, and destroy from us.
On the surface, this is about the small town of Ashton in which things are taking a downhill turn for the worse. The town is slowly leaving its typical activities for more nefarious shadow type dealings. A reporter and a pastor compare notes and discover a plan to control the townspeople and even all humanity.
What is unseen is the holy and demonic battle for all of earths souls. Angels and demons converse concurrently with the townspeople of Ashton. This creates two plots that eventually mesh into high stakes race for souls.
This book kept me turning pages well past my bedtime. It makes praying to God mean something. The book shows horrible consequences for actions that are not well considered. It was as if all the stories of the Bible were complied into one whopper of a meaningful tale. This book gets my big thumbs up as being an insightful morality tale for all.
In this novel, dark forces are gathering in the town--a battle of good and evil, with two chosen humans, the young pastor Henry Busch and the weary, cynical publisher of the small town newspaper, Marshall Hogan. Demons hover over both trying to break them or at least wear them down--demons with names like Complacency, Deception, Lawlessness and Jealousy. Also gathering are an Angelic host, but they need "prayer cover" from believers to have the strength to defeat the evil.
What kills this novel for me is what Peretti sets as his forces of darkness. The Reverend Olive Young is one of those personifications of evil--because, after all, he cares about "saving the whales" and his congregation is described as "different, liberal, even bizarre." But the most venom goes into the descriptions of Professor Langstrat, a woman who actually teaches her psychology students to ask difficult philosophical questions of ontology and metaphysics, but worst of all, promotes such New Age ideas as goddess worship.
Sorry--I've known too many wonderful people who consider themselves part of the New Age movement or even Pagans--kind, compassionate honest and wise, to put up with this bigoted demonization of them for the purposes of fiction.