Rusty Whitener in his new book, "A Season of Mysteries" Book Two in the A Season Of series published by Kregel Publications brings us into the life of Richard Powell.
From the back cover: In the vivid reality of his memory-a haunted and disturbed memory that is cursed gift-Dr. Richard Powell relives his season of mysteries, a season filled with Boy Scout adventures, blossoming relationships, and realities he cannot fully comprehend. Richard and his friends find themselves drawn into the world of the unexplained-into the realm of the supernatural, and ultimately into the seismic battle between good and evil.
Are there truly demonic entities loose in Richard's world, and if so, what could they possibly want with him?
Eliciting a panorama of emotions, A Season Of Mysteries is an engaging amalgam of the pranks, adventures, and romance of teen life in a pre-politically correct era, and the sobering reality of a world of seen and unseen influences bent on claiming unsuspecting victims.
"A Season of Mysteries" takes place takes place in 1976, five years after the events of the first book, "A Season of Miracles" and can be read as a stand alone without reading the first book. Once again the book has a warm feeling to it as it is told from memory in first person narrative. It is a story about friendship. It is a story about growing up. It is also a story about how teens have to face the spiritual world and face the battle between good and evil. Mr. Whitener has done an outstanding job with this book and I look forward to more from this very talented author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications. 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."
In the summer of 1976 Richard and his close friends experience life in a way that no one has been able to forget. Discussions and discoveries pertaining to the unknown and supernatural surface leaving mystery at the forefront. Richard, at a mid point in his life, find his thoughts and reminiscing carry him back to his youth, of baseball, boy scouts, friendship, faith and fun.
A coming of age story where forces of darkness and evil are introduced. This book was a strange yet creative read that reintroduced the characters from A Season of Miracles and adds an element of more imagination. This could possibly be a stand alone novel although it is the second book in a series. Character development was excellent and scenery was highly descriptive. At times however, the storyline drug in several places and the plot shifted slightly. I found the overall message inspiring and faith challenging. I received a complimentary copy from Kregel Publications for this blog tour for my review.
A Season of Mysteries has a seemingly light topic: Boy Scout Troop 44 in the summer of 1976. But deeper things are going on beneath the carefree surface of a summer camp. The reality of Light and Dark is discussed as this group of boys learn the reality of both. Encouraging to see the way these friends grow in their faith and share it with others. The deeper subject matter is balanced by humorous moments sprinkled throughout. Rusty Whitener writes an enjoyable and easy to read dialogue.
I chose this book based on the title and picture on the cover, thinking it was a mystery with a classic whodunit to solve. I couldn't have been more wrong. This is definitely not a typical mystery. This story involves some mysterious happenings, but has more to do with becoming aware of the unseen battle between good and evil fought 24/7. What role do we play, if any, in this battle? This is a follow-up to the author's first novel, A Season of Miracles, which I haven't read, but plan on doing so.
The story is told from the point of view of Richard Powell. It begins with him as a 52-year-old professor, who thinks he might be going a little crazy as he can't get conversations out of his mind. He is an ability to remember conversations verbatim, and he has started reliving conversations from 1976 and can't stop. His two professor friends advise him to journal his thoughts/conversations as therapy. Via flashback technique, we visit Richard as a teenager in his home state of Alabama.
Richard is a 15-year-old genius who tries to hide his intelligence because he just wants to lead a normal life and fit in with all the other kids. He is extremely well-read and on course to graduate high school very early. He is a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. He has four or five very close friends, who are fellow Christians like himself. They have a bond that was formed during a Little League baseball season five years prior in 1971 and their relationship with Rafer, who has since died. They attend church and Boy Scouts together. Just to read about teenage life in 1976, which is when most of the story takes place, is so very enjoyable. There are many funny scenes and comments sprinkled throughout.
Things take a more serious vein and talk turns to angels and demons. Are they real? Can a person believe in angels and not demons? What is their role? Can they be seen by humans? Can they harm humans or influence their decisions? The questions and thoughts Richard has are sometime mind-blowing in their depth. What a mind! Richard is in the habit of thinking before he speaks which I admire greatly and wish I could do better myself.
This book made me think about what I believe and why I believe what I do. It made me laugh out loud. It took me back to memories of my teenage years. The teenagers portrayed in this story appear so much more sophisticated and intellectual than I remember myself or any other teenager I knew at that time. It was really stunning to hear some of their conversations and their comments or questions were sometimes very thought-provoking and deep. The book has a very entertaining plot with characters that come to life and leap off the pages right into the readers' thoughts. The writing is excellent! Put on your thinking cap for this one and get ready to use it for sure.
We meet Dr Richard Powell in the beginning of the book. He is at the home of Dr David Woodruff. He has a unique gift, or curse? Depends on how you look at it. He proves it with recounting every word that had been spoken at the house, since he arrived. He is there to recount a complete dialogue of the summer of 1976. A time of his youth, and challenge to his faith.
He was growing up that summer, a gifted learner. He has his first date with Julie Prevette, he is also on the winning Little League Team. We are with him when he learns how to pitch, with the help of Mr Peachy, and again when he remembers and uses the pitch!!
You will love the antics of these young teens, and the dialogue he remembers verbatim. Typical boys being boys!
We learn about UFO's...Demons??? What an interesting way to describe them. We also experience Spiritual Warfare with these teens, and challenges to their new found faith.
Enjoy the story of Good over Evil, God over Satan. It is a real page turning, fast pace read.
I received this book through Kregel Publishing, and was not required to give a positive review.