Tuesday, July 6, 2010

CFBA Presents NIGHTMARE by Robin Parrish

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
(Bethany House - July 1, 2010)
Robin Parrish


Robin Parrish is a journalist who's written about the intersection of faith and pop culture for more than a decade. Currently he serves as Senior Editor at XZOOSIA.com, a community portal that fuses social networking with magazine-style features about entertainment and culture.

He had two great ambitions in his life: to have a family, and to be a published novelist. In March of 2005, he proposed to his future wife the same week he signed his first book contract with Bethany House Publishers. They contracted him for the rights to The Dominion Trilogy: Relentless (2006), Fearless (2007), and Merciless (2008). His science fiction thriller, Offworld came out in 2009. This summer debuts Nightmare, and he's working on another for 2011. Robin and his wife and children live in North Carolina.


The Nightmare is Coming...

Ghost Town is the hottest amusement park in the country, offering state-of-the-art chills and thrills involving the paranormal. The park's main ride is a haunted house that promises an encounter with a real ghost.

When Maia Peters visits during her senior year of college, she's not expecting to be impressed. Maia grew up as the only child of a pair of world-renowned "ghost hunters," so the paranormal is nothing new and to her most of the park is just Hollywood special effects. In fact, the ride feels pretty boring until the very end. There, a face appears from the mist. The face of Jordin Cole, a girl Maia knows who disappeared from campus a few months ago.

Convinced what she saw wasn't a hoax and desperate to find answers to Jordin's disappearance, Maia launches into a quest for answers. Joined by Jordin's boyfriend--a pastor's kid with very different ideas about paranormal and the spirit realm--Maia finds herself in a struggle against dangerous forces she never expected to confront on the edge of the spirit realm that try to keep the truth from emerging.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Nightmare, go HERE.


Do you believe in ghosts? Your perspective might change after you read Nightmare. In his latest novel, Robin Parrish introduces us to Maia Peters, the college-age daughter of two world-known paranormal investigators. Although Maia used to investigate with her parents, she wants to break away from the family business. But Jordin, a rich classmate with her own reasons for wanting to touch the other side, pulls her back in, putting both of them in a kind of danger they never thought possible.

Parrish starts the book off with a bang when Maia discovers a real ghost in what's supposed to be an amusement park attraction. He then takes us back to the year before when Maia first meets Jordin. The book continues in this fashion, alternating between the present day search for Jordin and the past "ghost hunts" Jordin and Maia went on together.

Kudos to Bethany House for the graphic presentation of the novel. Rather than put the flashback sections in italics (which I've seen more times than I can count), they made the physical look of these pages different. This makes it extremely easy to keep track of what time period you're in... and it looks cool, too.

I was immediately drawn to this book and found it hard to put down. For me, the flashbacks moved the fastest and were the most engrossing. The present day sections slowed down a bit and stretched the boundaries of believability (even for a supernatural novel). While I found Maia's prickly personality slightly irritating at first, she grew on me. Like many real-life people, you have to spend some time with Maia to understand and appreciate her, making her a very realistic character.

Nightmare is the kind of book that gets people talking. From the online chatter I've seen so far, the conversation is broken into two groups: those who applaud Parrish for his bold, outside-the-box novel, and those who think Nightmare's subject matter is not appropriate for Christians. As a person who used to live above a mortuary and grew up hearing stories about my grandparents hanging out with Bela Lugosi, I have my own personal take on ghost stories. While I do believe that spiritual phenomenon exists, I'm not afraid of it. (I also wouldn't go looking for it, but that's a whole other subject.) As Parrish emphasizes, the blood of Christ is far more powerful than any paranormal activity. Readers who stick with the book to the end should be pleased with the outcome. I know I was. And I look forward to whatever Parrish comes up with next.

1 comment:

Susanne Dietze said...

Wow, interesting book, Jen! I appreciate your insights, as it does sound like a controversial story. I'll have to look into it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!