** But you, on the other hand, are occupied by Christ. By Gods grace, and your faith. You see, it is not what comes against you that matters. It is who occupies you that counts. Christ, the guardian of your soul. **
I am new to Craig Parshalls novels, but wow did I start with a bang with The Occupied, a tale of spiritual warfare.
Trevor Black is a former criminal defense lawyer who develops a unique gift the ability to sense demons, or horribles as he calls them, and their presence in humans. Using this gift, he is dragged into investigating some horrific murders and figuring out the connection between them and himself.
Three distinct sections make up The Occupied. The Flesh deals with Trevors teen years and his introduction to the dark side of the spirit world. We will eventually see how giving into the flesh impacts Trevors future.
The World deals with Trevors life as a high-level attorney, some brutal murders, Trevors loss of career, and his gain of Christ in his life. It is during this time Trevor learns there is a higher purpose in life, his weapon is the word of the Spirit (the Bible), and that God is always stronger than the enemy.
During The Devil section, Trevor returns home to investigate the murder of a high school friend and if it is connected to the recent murders in New York City. He begins to realize that he can truly visualize the true ugliness of the other side, and learns that Jesus has overcome the world, and through that power Trevor can overcome the dark side.
Parshall does a great job of tying together the three eras in Trevors life, and throwing in many awesome spiritual truths. He reminds us that if we truly have faith in God, He will never leave us and will always provide us the tools we need to defeat the enemy. As Rev. John Cannon encourages Trevor: Gods Word is the road map. But the walking is left up to you. You are not alone. God does not fail. He empowers you. Christ in you, the everlasting hope. But the way is narrow. Sometimes daunting. A thin line, like a razors edge.
The Occupied is a great murder mystery and an awesome spiritual warfare novel, with a little bit of legalese and a touch of potential romance. It will send chills down your spine and keep you guessing until the very end. So the only other question to ask is: Who occupies you?
If you are a fan of Frank Peretti, Mike Dellosso or Ted Dekker, you will love Craig Parshalls newest novel. I really hope there are more Trevor Black novels to come!
Five stars out of five.
Tyndale House Publishers provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.
It has been a long time since I have read a book by Craig Parshall, but I remember liking everything I read by him. That made it an easy decision to request this book for review. And I was not disappointed.
This book is totally different from his other works. It reminded me a lot of Frank Peretti's earliest books with the supernatural and the main character's ability to see demons in people. To be honest, I wasn't sure I was going to like the book at first, but the further I got in the book, the more I liked it.
What I didn't like:
The first person point of view. It isn't a favorite of mine, and I think the third person pov would have worked better for this novel.
What I liked:
The main character. Parshall did a great job on his character of Trevor Black. His internal struggle to do what is right is inspiring, even though the book is fictional.
The suspense. This was a book where I couldn't tell what was going to happen next, and there were a lot of surprises.
The "supporting" characters. The book is full of interesting and colorful characters both good and bad. The dialogue and interactions between them and the main character were done masterfully.
The supernatural aspect. A book like this is a great reminder that there is a spirit world out there fighting Christians and all that is good and right. I felt Parshall did a great job of portraying and describing those beings in the book.
I was surprised at the identity of the main bad guy. The author managed to keep that difficult to figure out.
I found this a very enjoyable read, and am looking forward to more in this series.
I was given a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Trevor Black seemingly had it made. Trevor was a successful defense attorney in New York City with a beautiful wife and a classic Aston Martin. Yet in an instant, his marriage shattered and his law practice crumbled. His youthful encounter with the supernatural caught up with him. Suddenly, Trevor can sense and see the demonic underworld and they are coming after him.
The theme of spiritual warfare is the thread that runs throughout the book. This is woven into a plotline where Trevor returns to his hometown trying to help solve the murder of an old friend. Along the way, Trevor is forced to face his demonsboth personal and supernatural.
In one conversation, Trevor tries to explain to an old friend what is going on in his life.
Seeing things the way they really are. The things that I used to ridicule, I now buy into. There are spiritual forcesand some are very dangerousbut Gods at work too. So you have to choose sides. Neutrality isnt an option. Not really.
The book is well written, fast paced, and entertaining. The author grabs you by the throat from the opening paragraph.
I keep monsters in my peripheral vision. When youve been attacked by the horribles, you never forget.
The story pulls you along until the very end. The author inserts spiritual principles and gospel truth without coming across as preachy. The religious dialogue feels very natural. The description of spiritual warfare and demon possession is biblical without becoming sensationalistic. It feels like an account found in the gospels.
Based on the subtitle and the ending, I assume the author is beginning a new series with Trevor Black as the main character. If so, I look forward to reading the next volume.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network http://tyndaleblognetwork.com/ book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Once again I've come across a book that leaves me with a deeper meaning to spiritual warfare. The Occupied is more than mere thriller or horror; it is also a book on truth about the unseen forces that influence the world today just as it did in the past.
Because we can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there. The character Trevor Black (and I started to see a little symbolism about his name as I read more) is blessed with the gift of discernment. Discernment meaning he can smell and sense the evil of demons around him and at times see them as they "occupied" a person.
Although the Christian aspect is not heavy or layered thickly throughout the book, the belief in Christ is made evident. As is the Scriptural truths about the battle that we cannot see.
Told in present tense, first person at the beginning and then morphing into past tense, first person, the reader is held firmly into the story to experience the life of Trevor Black as he learns what his new gift means for him and why. There are references to things I've seen in other books, such as Guardian King and Lord of flies, that makes those other books take on a new level. And it deepens the story of The Occupied even more. The title, The Occupied, has a dual meaning itself.
Want to know what it is? Then read the book! I highly and fervently recommend it
It is a book that leaves you wanting more of Trevor's story; leaves you with questions and the need to understand more; leaves you with a veil lifted from your eyes and the desire to understand more about the full armor of God.
Craig Parshall has brought to readers a solid book of mystery, thrills, passion, hope, and above all love. Emotions ride high in The Occupied. And I will repeat this, buy the book! It's a book that will stay with you for days to come.
***I received this book through Tyndale Blog Network in exchange of my full and honest review***