Valley of the Shadow  -     By: Tom Pawlik
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Valley of the Shadow

Tyndale House / 2009 / Paperback

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Conner Hayden is certain he survived his near-death experience for a reason. He thinks it's to save the life-and soul-of Mitch Kent. Mitch's body remains on life support while his spirit is trapped with the old farmer Howard Bristol in the Interworld-a strange and dangerous dimension that Conner narrowly escaped during his brush with death in Pawlik's award-winning debut novel, Vanish. Meanwhile, in the Interworld, Mitch receives a warning from a mysterious stranger: Howard is not who he appears to be, and Mitch must flee immediately. Pursued by Howard and a terrifying creature, Mitch soon learns the truth about what happened to him and that his only hope of survival lies at the very edge of the Interworld.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 350
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 1414326793
ISBN-13: 9781414326795
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Conner Hayden is certain he survived his near-death experience for a reason. He thinks it’s to save the life—and soul—of Mitch Kent. Mitch’s body remains on life support while his spirit is trapped with the old farmer Howard Bristol in the Interworld—a strange and dangerous dimension that Conner narrowly escaped during his brush with death in Pawlik’s award-winning debut novel, Vanish. Meanwhile, in the Interworld, Mitch receives a warning from a mysterious stranger: Howard is not who he appears to be, and Mitch must flee immediately. Pursued by Howard and a terrifying creature, Mitch soon learns the truth about what happened to him and that his only hope of survival lies at the very edge of the Interworld.

ChristianBookPreviews

In Tom Pawlik’s Valley of the Shadow, the characters go through situations that test their beliefs in spiritual matters, giving way to a message of overcoming the past, trusting God, and showing compassion. This suspenseful plot weaves together different characters and situations on alternate planes of existence. Valley of the Shadow is a sequel to Vanish, in which Conner Hayden survived a near-death experience. Now as Conner is putting his life back together, he is certain he lived to help the souls he met in the Interworld, a dimension souls pass through while crossing from life to death. Conner goes on a mission to reach out to the souls he met: Devon, a troubled teen who was also brought back to life; Mitch, who is in coma; and Howard, who also is in coma. Mitch struggles to survive in the Interworld, where he faces his own nightmares, and Howard, who isn’t who he appears to be. The two worlds intertwine with the heart-racing plots ending in a startling conclusion.

With their balanced actions and personal development, Pawlik’s characters are likeable and believable. The Christian couples give a good example of faith, showing communication together in prayer. The details of the Interworld give the reader a clear vision of the dimension without coming off as a cheap science fiction rejection. Overall, the novel is very well written. Readers will be pulled through the story, yearning to find out what is going to happen next while caring for the characters and wishing the best for them. The most powerful scene takes place in the Interworld when Mitch realizes what has been chasing him and how to break free from it. I think a biblical passage that reflects this book is one that is used near the end of the novel, Psalms 23. The story takes the characters through the valley and into the green pastures.

I was thrown off at the ending of this book. It was an ending that I was not expecting, but one that worked out very well. I think the book packs a powerful message that many people can enjoy. The suspense was excellent and caused me not to want to put the book down at all once I started reading. Valley of the Shadow is highly recommended to the mixed gender audience and for the pre-teen and above reading level. – Timothy J. Steece, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Has great story telling
    June 2, 2012
    Junebug
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for Valley of the Shadow - eBook.
    Could not put it down . Had to fine out want was next.
  2. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    Better Than the First!
    October 29, 2010
    Jennifer @ Quiverfullfamily.com
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Building upon the story begun in Vanish, Tom Pawlik surprised me by coming up with much more to write set in the otherworldly setting he so eerily created there. Vanish worked well as a stand-alone novel, and I wasn't sure what else could be added to the work that he completed there, but Valley of the Shadow proved to be even better written and more compelling than the original.

    Characters from the original novel (reading it first is recommended) meet again in the land ‘in-between' spaces to struggle for the soul of one who is trapped between eternal destinies. Physical danger in the land of the living is juxtaposed against a stunning fight in the spiritual.

    The pace is very fast, and Pawlik somehow avoids the clumsiness of the prose that Vanish opened with; it's straight into the action, straight into the fray. If you liked the premise but were a bit turned-off by the writing (as I was), you should find Valley of the Shadow far more readable, and therefore, more enjoyable!
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 7, 2009
    jubilee
    This book is a creepy, eerie, masterful piece of work. I was completely fascinated by Pawlik's haunting narrative. He has an imagination that helped stretch mine. His descriptions of what he calls the Interworld and it's inhabitants had me leaving the lights on while I slept.This is not a horror story though, not in the Friday the 13th kind of way. It's not a slasher kind of novel. Rather, the closest comparison that I can think of is a Frank Peretti novel because of the spiritual world aspects to the story.I have yet to read the first novel in the series, Vanish, which I am sure would enhance the reading of this novel, but it's not necessary. You'll want to though, just as I do. I will be on a sharp lookout for other books by Tom Pawlik.
  4. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    June 28, 2009
    Stacey
    Tom Pawliks Valley of the Shadow takes off at a full-out run! This uber-exciting suspense read gripped me from the first few words and held my attention captive even better than its predecessor, Vanish. Ill be sure to keep one eye open at all times from now on and may never sleep again! (At least until I get a couple of humorous chick-lit reads completed)Tom Pawlik is climbing my list of all-time favorite suspense authors. This is a wonderfully captivating sequel that deserves the same acclaim that is given to such storytellers as Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti and Stephen King. I know that I compared Tom to these other authors in my previous review of his book "Vanish", but the comparison is valid and begs to be repeated. I have never breathed so hard while reading
  5. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    June 18, 2009
    nora
    Tom Pawlik has a very creative imagination and an exciting writing style that keeps you turning the pages to see what hes created for you to experience next. Tom gives you a glimpse into a universeinterworldbeyond the physical, into heavenly realms and beyond. I havent read anything this creative, refreshing and eye opening since Frank Peretti hit the book world with This Present Darkness. Tom Pawlik has a gift of lifting the veil for us so he can give us a peek into the spiritual struggle we cant see here on earth. The main characters thought of Eternity. It was serious business after all. Eternity. Conner was surprisedand saddenedat how little thought most people seemed to give the topic. Death was the one thing they could be certain of, yet they acted as if ignorance would make them live forever. This author also has a good sense of humor, Conner, youve gone from being a hard-core agnostic to the apostle Paul in a matter of weeks. Didnt you think that might be a little disconcerting to some of your friends? This book is not for the faint of heart. Although there is a very powerful spiritual thread throughout the entire story the author reveals the evil side of this world and that of the next. It may make you feel uncomfortable, but it does make you think. There are haunting situations that are woven in the middle of some spiritually amazing scenes. Tom Pawlik stays away from being totally gruesome; I wouldnt have been able to read this book if he wouldve gone over the edge. I think Tom Pawlik has a good balance of good and evil portrayed in this novel. Please push through the parts that make you go Hmmm, my friend, because this author also takes you to the mountain tops and your spirit will soar! It will give you hope, and a new perspective of just how much the Lord cares for you. You wont stop thinking about this story after youve finished. You can count on it!!Book Club Servant Leaderwww.psalm516.blogspot.com
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