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 â€˜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!
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.
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
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