Cloak of the Light: Wars of the Realm, Book 1 [NOOK Book]

Overview

Drew is caught in a world of light - just inches away from the dark

What if...there was a world beyond our vision, a world just fingertips beyond our reach? What if...our world wasn’t beyond their influence?

Tragedy and heartache seem to be waiting for Drew Carter at every turn, but college offers Drew a chance to start over—until an accident during a physics experiment leaves him blind and his genius friend, ...

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Cloak of the Light: Wars of the Realm, Book 1

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Overview

Drew is caught in a world of light - just inches away from the dark

What if...there was a world beyond our vision, a world just fingertips beyond our reach? What if...our world wasn’t beyond their influence?

Tragedy and heartache seem to be waiting for Drew Carter at every turn, but college offers Drew a chance to start over—until an accident during a physics experiment leaves him blind and his genius friend, Benjamin Berg, missing.

As his sight miraculously returns, Drew discovers that the accident has heightened his neuron activity, giving him skills and sight beyond the normal man. When he begins to observe fierce invaders that no one else can see, he questions his own sanity, and so do others. But is he insane or do the invaders truly exist?

With help from Sydney Carlyle, a mysterious and elusive girl who offers encouragement through her faith, Drew searches for his missing friend, Ben, who seems to hold the key to unlocking this mystery. As the dark invaders close in, will he find the truth in time?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/17/2014
Black (the Knights of Arrethtrae series) gets his Wars of the Realm trilogy off to a strong start. His hero is Drew Carter, a high school football player whose father has died in military service. Drew and his mother move from Chicago to Kansas, where Drew befriends Ben, a misfit genius, putting him at odds with some of the popular players on the team. Then things get weird: Ben shows Drew a mysterious photo and suggests it is evidence of alien life. Meanwhile, Sydney, Drew’s love interest, says she can’t date him because he’s not a Christian. Drew doesn’t believe in aliens or Jesus Christ, but when he and Ben try to use a laser machine that Ben has been working on, there’s an accident, and Drew glimpses terrifying creatures from another dimension. Then his life changes forever. Strong writing, a complex main character, and a well-developed plot pull readers along. Drew’s a good guy, and he’s drawn to Sydney’s inner strength, but he’s not going to be an easy sell on Christianity. A reader’s guide discusses the theological framework for the series. Ages 12–up. Agent: Steve Laube, Steve Laube Agency. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Cloak of the Light

“The invisible world gets a makeover in Chuck Black’s Cloak of the Light. Often reading like a thriller, this fresh take on the unseen inspires and entertains in equal measure. Reader of all ages will enjoy this one.”
—Shannon Dittemore, author of the Angel Eyes trilogy

“Bring on the battle! Cloak of Light is a journey you won’t quickly forget. Angels and demons clash in an epic story line laden with spiritual warfare. I loved this book.”
—Heather Burch, author of Halfling series

“Over the last several years, my family and I have come to appreciate Chuck
Black’s works, and Cloak of Light is no different. Cloak of Light is set in the modern world rather than the ancient times of the Kingdom Series. We have come to expect two features from a Chuck Black work: allegory based in spiritual matters and illumination of the spiritual warfare that happens around us every day. Many young people long for adventure, and this book has it.
What I appreciate most is that adventure and spiritual battle are presented as common rather than special. As Christians, our adventure is in living for our
Lord, and this is what Chuck Black brings out so deftly in his allegories. This is a great book for all young people, especially young men.”
—David Nunnery, Teach Them Diligently

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601425034
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/18/2014
  • Series: Wars of the Realm
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 230,648
  • Age range: 12 years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

CHUCK BLACK, a former F-16 fighter pilot and tactical combat communications engineer, is the author of thirteen novels, including the popular Kingdom Series and The Knights of Arrethtrae series. Chuck and his wife, Andrea, have six children and live in North Dakota.

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Read an Excerpt

His dad was gone.

Forever.

Drew might only be twelve, but he knew the sting of his father’s death would last a very long time—a lifetime. The pain of loss was a fresh wound to his young, unscarred heart. There were no life calluses to impede the searing ache of death.

He sat there, staring at the casket, sorrow hanging heavy on his soul, threatening to pull him down to where he could not breathe. Though the sun darted between the clouds, trying to peek down from time to time, the day was a dark one. Long faces, black dresses, tears, tissues, and “Taps”—the four loneliest notes ever played on a trumpet.

Drew tensed up when the colonel knelt down in front of him. He struggled to look the man in the eye. He had quelled his tears, letting them spill only in the privacy of his bedroom. Here, in front of military statues made of flesh and blood, he wanted to be brave for his dad. He stared at the colonel’s whitegloved hand covering the perfectly folded flag being offered to him. His mother had asked that the flag be given to Drew, not to her. He wasn’t sure if the gesture was for her, for Drew, or for his dad. It didn’t matter.

He just wanted it over.

The colonel’s deep and sober voice resonated through Drew.

“This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for your father’s honorable and faithful service.”

As Drew reached for the flag, he looked into the man’s eyes—and saw there the same sorrow crushing his own heart. And though he knew the words had been spoken thousands and thousands of times, Drew believed the colonel meant them.

Tears brimmed his eyes as he took the flag. He pursed his lips to restrain his hurt, but it didn’t help. He felt his mother’s hand on his shoulder and knew that the pain they each bore was additive in a vicious cycle that provided no escape. He leaned in to her. He had heard that time was the salve for such a wound. If that were true, Drew wished a million years could pass in an instant to separate him and his mother from the pain of his father’s death, but instead the seconds took an eternity to pass.

The day lasted forever. Drew didn’t want to feel the pain, but he didn’t want to forget his father either.

So he walked through it all, painfully aware that his life was forever, irrevocably changed.

And there was nothing he could do about it.

A few days later, Drew and his mother, Kathryn, received a visit from Jake Blanchard. He had attended the funeral but was silent through its entirety.

Kathryn invited him in and offered an iced tea. The raw emotions of the week were still evident as the odd trio sat in the living room in silence. Jake held his glass with both hands, either to keep it from falling or to give his hands something to do while he worked up the courage to speak.

How ironic that a Special Forces soldier of Jake’s caliber, with years of combat training and experience, could be reduced to a hesitant, irresolute man struggling to say a few meaningful words.

Drew had seen his mother have this effect on other men, for she was a beautiful woman, the kind of pretty that could not be diminished with dirt, sweat, or sorrow. In fact, the worse the condition, the more resolute her beauty shone in defiance. Her dark-brown hair usually fell loose across the right side of her olive-toned face. Deep-blue eyes framed by high brows and accentuated cheekbones captured the gaze of both men and women. Drew remembered how he’d blush when his dad talked about how beautiful she was, but he was right.

As Drew looked across the room at Jake, he realized that his mother’s beauty was not what was causing the man’s unsettled beginning. Jake finally set the sweating glass of tea on the coffee table before him.

“Ma’am, I’m not very good with words, but I do have a few I need to speak.” Jake dropped his gaze to the untouched tea and the ice still circling to find a resting place. His left hand massaged his right as he continued. He glanced at Drew and then back at Kathryn.

“Ryan and I were on a lot of missions together. We became good friends. In fact, he was the best friend I’ve ever had.” He stopped and swallowed hard.

Kathryn teared up. “He wrote of you, Jake.” She spoke with a sweet compassion. “I know Ryan considered you the same.”

“What I’m sure he didn’t tell you was that he saved my life in Iraq. I owe him everything.”

Kathryn dabbed her eyes with a Kleenex. Jake reached into his shirt pocket and removed a folded piece of paper.

“I’m sure he would have wanted you to have this. It was a letter he was writing as we got called on our last duty together. He gave it to me just before—”

Drew’s mother gasped, and tears streamed down her face. Jake leaned across to her, and she took the letter as though it were as precious as gold. She looked at Jake and mouthed the words thank you.

Jake turned to Drew. “And this is for you.” He held out his father’s Army Special Forces pin and green beret. “I know he would have wanted you to have these. He was very proud of you.”

Drew held the pin in one hand and the beret in the other. Despite all the pain that came flooding back, these things helped. They were one more connection to his dad.

Drew sniffed. “Thank you, sir.”

Jake smiled through wet eyes and nodded. He took a deep breath, as if to prep for a mission. “I don’t mean to make this difficult, ma’am, but I need you to know one more thing before I leave. I was with Ryan at the end, and he asked me to make sure that you and Drew were taken care of.”

“You’ve done that for us today. We will be all right.”

Jake shook his head. “I promised him, ma’am, and I intend on keeping that promise.” He leaned forward and handed Kathryn another paper. “This is my address and phone number. I will be stationed here in Fort Bragg for the next six months. No matter where you are, if you need anything, call me and I
will be there for you and your son.”

Kathryn took the paper. “Thank you. That means a lot, Jake.”

He nodded, then stood up. Drew walked with his mother to the door to see Jake out.

On the porch, Jake turned. “It was an honor to serve with your husband, ma’am. He was one of those rare men of true honor and integrity.” Jake put a hand on Drew’s shoulder. “You can be very proud of your father.”

He looked as if he wanted to say something else, but instead turned and left.

When the door closed, Drew and his mother retreated to their rooms to spend time with their new treasures. Later, Drew’s mother read the letter to him. One part stated that Drew’s dad had some exciting news to share but that it was too important to share in a letter. He wanted to tell them in person. Whatever it was, it was news that was lost forever. Worse than that was how the letter ended…

“Please tell Drew that I miss him and that…”

That was it.

News untold and a message undelivered. The letter hurt more than it helped, but it was worth it because it was a final memory of his dad. The ache in Drew’s heart was the painful tutor teaching Drew a new law that was as unbreakable as all the laws of the universe: life isn’t fair.

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Reading Group Guide

Readers Guide

Chapter 1

The Sting of Death

Young Drew Carter and his mother experience the pain of losing his father. In 1 Corinthians 15:56, the Bible says that death has a sting, and anyone who has lived through the death of a loved one knows it to be true. But God promises for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ that there is coming a day when death will no longer be able to sting. That happens on the day of resurrection.

Death is swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15:54–58)

Thankfully, those who have a relationship with Christ can look forward to a new body—immortal and not subject to the afflictions of this world. Death itself will be eliminated forever.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 21:4)

A Father to the Fatherless

Although Jake may not be a Christian, he demonstrates a biblical principle by “visit[ing] the fatherless and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27, kjv). As a child of God, He promises that He will take care of you. If He has to move a stranger’s heart to help you, He will. Whether or not you have a loving father on this earth, you are not fatherless.

A father of the fatherless…is God in His holy habitation. (Psalm 68:5)

Chapter 2

Least of These

Just as Drew defended Benjamin in the cafeteria, we also should follow Jesus’ calling to show kindness and respect to those whom society has deemed “the least.”

Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these… (Matthew 25:40)

Sometimes it takes courage and the willingness to step outside our comfort zone to be kind to “the least of these,” but Jesus commands and rewards such action.

Peer Pressure

Drew faced peer pressure by the “cool” athletes to mistreat Benjamin Berg, the school nerd. We all want to be loved and accepted, and it’s easy to mistake the high and the rush of giving in to peer pressure for acceptance and love. But it’s a false substitute. The only thing that will make you feel loved is actually being loved. Love comes from family, true friends, and most importantly, from Jesus Christ. When you face peer pressure, take a step back and look at it clearly.
What are you hoping to get from the experience? A rush? Acceptance? Will it deliver what you think it promises? And if it doesn’t deliver, how will you feel when it’s all over?

For all that is in the world…is not of the Father but is of the world. (1 John 2:16)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed. (Romans 12:2)

The key to overcoming peer pressure is to remember that the Enemy often uses peer pressure to deceive, manipulate, and tempt us to commit sin. Remember that God’s ways are always better and that He truly is faithful in seeing us through the temptation and wants to lavish us with reward and blessing when we are faithful to Him.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship. (1 Corinthians 1:9)

Wrong to Do Nothing

Drew tells Ben: “It’s wrong to do nothing when you have the power to do something.” Drew received this from his father and does not realize it is a biblical principle found in James.

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it,…it is sin. (James 4:17)

We who have the truth are without excuse when it comes to doing good unto others.

Chapter 3

Man’s Fascination with Alien Life

The number of books and movies about alien life is growing exponentially. Our culture seems nearly obsessed with the concept. With this much attention and resources dedicated to an industry that has the ability to shape the thought processes of its viewers and readers, a diligent Christian ought to ponder the question, Is there something more to the promotion of alien life than just entertainment or even distraction from God? Could it be that the Enemy of God and the Enemy of God’s people is preparing the world for something? The Bible calls for us to be wary and watchful.

Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion. (1 Peter 5:8)

Finally, remember that the stars in heaven were created for one purpose:

The heavens declare the glory of God. (Psalm 19:1)

Chapter 4

The Foolishness of the Wise

When speaking of Sydney, Ben makes the statement: “Religion is a crutch for the weak-minded and needy of the world.” Satan has used this delusion to support the worldly notions of self-sufficiency and egotism. You may have heard the saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Man seems to have the innate sense to cry out to God for help in his hour of need but just as quickly forgets about his need for a Savior when life is going smoothly. The Bible calls this foolishness.

Professing to be wise, they became fools. (Romans 1:22)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10)

Chapter 5

Real Friends

After the accident, when Drew felt as if everyone was against him, Ben stuck by his side. The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of encouragement and counsel from true friends.

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)

A friend loves at all times. (Proverbs 17:17)

Real friends are not afraid to say the hard thing.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend. (Proverbs 27:6)

God Cares

Because of his circumstances, Drew believes that God doesn’t care about him. Even though life sometimes feels hard or unfair, it is important to remind yourself daily that God loves you. You are important to Him.

Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Chapter 6

Light of the World

Drew encounters Sydney at college and realizes that there is something different about her that he can’t describe. What Drew is drawn to is Christ in her and the light that shines from her because of the Holy Spirit. Even though she hasn’t specifically spoken of her faith to him, her behavior and words testify loudly. At some point, we must use words to present the gospel, but until the Lord presents that opportunity, the light of our lives should proclaim Him just as clearly.

Let your light so shine before men. (Matthew 5:16)

Chapter 7

Witnessing to an Atheist

Sydney invites Drew to a Bible study, where he must face some of the flaws in his own belief system. There are a number of different approaches to take when witnessing to an atheist, but the first question that must be asked is, does he or she have an interest in discovering the truth? The answer to this question determines the approach. People who are antagonistic toward the Bible and
Christianity will not usually listen to sound arguments no matter how scientific or factual they may be. Usually it is the demonstration of love and compassion that has an impact on them.

The goodness of God leads you to repentance. (Romans 2:4)

For a person who is an atheist and yet is open to the truth, an apologetics approach is often best. Apologetics is the branch of theology concerned with the defense and rational justification of Christianity. In Drew’s case, because of his father’s commitment to defending the freedoms of America, the Holy Spirit led Devin to start there. Another effective approach is to start with Creation and the concept of an intelligent designer.

His invisible attributes are clearly seen. (Romans 1:20)

Using Creation as evidence of a creator leads to a logical and systematic progression toward the gospel of Jesus Christ and ultimately salvation: Creation…existence of God…sin…need for the law…need for a Savior. The book of Romans is an excellent place to take a questioning atheist.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10)

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. (Romans 5:12)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9–10)

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)

Irreconcilable Beliefs

Drew discovers just how important and real Sydney’s faith is to her. Sydney takes a difficult but uncompromising stand in obeying God’s Word and in protecting her heart.

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Love is a powerful emotion and can cause people to make unwise decisions that have lifelong consequences. Only a disciplined and obedient mind brought under the truth of God’s Word can keep one from making foolish decisions dictated by emotion.

Chapter 8

Dealing with Fear

Ben is struggling with intense fear because of what he has discovered about the invaders. The Bible says that fear does not come from the Lord; however, there are two kinds of fear: the healthy respectful fear that we should have for God,
and the controlling incapacitating fear that comes from Satan.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 9:10)

It may seem ironic, but the more we fear the Lord, the less we fear the world and the Enemy, and the more courageous and valiant we become.

Chapter 9

Alternate Dimensions

When Ben and Drew discover that Dr. Waseem’s experiment works, Drew gets a glimpse into a whole new dimension. The concept of alternate dimensions is not new. Physicists have theorized about such realities for many years, and it has been a favorite theme of science fiction since its inception. But actually, God told us about His “alternate dimension” from the beginning: the spiritual world. Ecclesiastes is correct when the preacher states that “there is nothing new under the sun.” John 3:6 clearly identifies and separates the two realities: that of the physical world, or “the flesh,” and that of the spiritual world. It is interesting to note that secular scientists and physicists don’t give the spiritual world as described in the Bible any credence but would rather invent their own. It parallels their resistance to accept the truth of Creation versus that of the big bang theory.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)

Chapter 10

Hope in Tragedy

Drew experienced tragedy when his eyesight was lost in the lab accident. Because we live in a fallen world, we are susceptible to tragedy. Jesus warned us that we would face trials in this life, but He has given us all the tools necessary to overcome them and be victorious in spite of them.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord. (Jeremiah 29:11)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. (John 16:33)

Chapter 11

Angel Weapons

Drew and Ben discuss the weapons of the invaders. The Bible states that, at the very least, some angels carry swords. Evidence for this is found in the following verses.

He placed…a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way. (Genesis 3:24)

He saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword. (Numbers 22:31)

David… saw the angel of the Lord…, having in his hand a drawn sword stretched. (1 Chronicles 21:16)

Chapter 12

The Spiritual Realm

Drew can see into the “alternate” dimension. The Bible also tells of men who have seen into the spiritual realm and tried to describe it.

The heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. (Ezekiel 1:1)

Daniel records several glimpses into the spiritual realm.

I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning. (Daniel 8:15–17)

And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision. (Daniel 10:5–9)

Elisha’s servant saw the army of God.

The Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:15–17)

John had a vision of things to come which he describes in the entire book of Revelation.

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. (Revelation 4:1–2)

The spiritual world is more real than our physical world, for it is eternal. Jesus came from heaven to testify of its reality and to show us the way home: heaven.

Chapter 13

Betrayal

Drew felt betrayed by Jake and his mother when they arranged for him to meet Dr. Fisher. Betrayal hurts worst when it is done by someone you love. Jesus felt the sting of betrayal too when Judas, one of his closest friends, gave him over to the chief priests to be crucified.

From that time he sought opportunity to betray Him. (Matthew 26:14–16)

Jesus understands every hurt we feel and every temptation we have endured. He is a Savior whom we can turn to even when we feel betrayed.

We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize. (Hebrews 4:15)

Chapter 14

Spiritual Warfare

Drew begins to understand that there are two factions of invaders that are at war. Although the Bible doesn’t give us a lot of details about what spiritual warfare looks like, it is referenced from Genesis to Revelation. The war began when Satan (Lucifer) became prideful and rebelled against God.

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! (Isaiah 14:12–14)

Many theologians believe that the reference in Revelation 12:4 refers to Lucifer convincing a third of the angels to follow him in his rebellion against God.

His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven. (Revelation 12:3–4)

Satan and his demons seek to destroy all people.

Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion. (1 Peter 5:8)

As children of God, we are called into the battle as well.

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood. (Ephesians 6:10–13)

The Bible is silent on many aspects of spiritual beings and spiritual warfare.

For example:
• What might their weapons be?
• Where would demons get weapons if they have them?
• In any war there is a risk of loss. What might be the risk of loss for angelic beings?
• Do angels and demons feel pain?
• Can they be injured?
• Can an angel lose a fight with a demon?

Whatever the answers are to these questions, it is important to know that God has already determined the end of the war. God is victorious, and we will rejoice on that day.

The devil…was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. (Revelation 20:10)

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. (Revelation 21:3–4)

Chapters 15–16

The Attack of the Enemy

Drew experiences an attack by a dark invader. It is difficult to say just how vulnerable man is to the attacks of demons, but it appears to range from simply causing distress to taking life. Two biblical examples give us a glimpse into the capabilities of these fallen angels. The first is found in Job 1, when God allows Satan access to Job’s family and possessions. All is destroyed, including his sons and daughters. A second example relates to Paul and the attacks of
Satan.

A thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan. (2 Corinthians 12:7)

It is important to note that every spiritual attack described in the Bible is subject to the sovereignty of God.

He rules by His power forever; His eyes observe the nations. (Psalm 66:7)

Chapters 17–18

Being a Good Samaritan

Because of his developing abilities, Drew feels compelled to help other people. But we don’t need special abilities to help someone in need. Jesus tells a story of a man who helped another who was robbed and beaten. He uses the story of the good Samaritan as a teaching point for us all. Jesus also states that the greatest love a person can demonstrate toward another is by laying his life down for him. This was a foreshadowing of Jesus’ great love for us by dying on the cross for our sins.

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life. (John 15:12–13)

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Chapter 19

Enemy of Truth

Drew sees a targeted attack by the dark invaders on the ministry team at Reverend Branson’s church. The purpose of demonic attack is to hinder the work of God and the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Satan and his demons are the enemy of truth, but we should not be discouraged by his attacks because God is with us.

We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed. (2 Corinthians 4:1–9)

Chapter 20

Beasts of the Bible

Drew witnesses the attack of a fearsome beast against the light invaders protecting the church. The Bible contains much symbolism, so it is difficult to make a determination as to whether there is a biblical basis for the existence of such beasts in the spiritual world. However, John declares in the book of Revelation that he was taken up to the third heaven, God’s abode, and he describes exactly what he sees. The beast Drew sees is pure speculation, but it is not outside the realm of spiritual possibility when considering the vivid descriptions of the apostle John.

Out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth.… The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. (Revelation 9:1–11)

Chapter 21

When Bad Things Happen

Sydney tries to help Drew understand a little about God’s character and sovereignty, but Drew has a hard time believing her because bad things happen to good people. Drew’s logic is flawed because he doesn’t understand that there is evil in the world and sin has changed the nature of mankind and the nature of all of creation.

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors. (Romans 8:22)

Despite all the pain and suffering people experience in this world because of sin, God has a promise for His children. It is a promise that comes from the almighty God who is sovereign in everything.

And we know that all things work together for good. (Romans 8:28)

Chapter 22

God’s Call

Sydney tells Drew that she is obeying God’s call on her life. Sometimes God calls us to do things that don’t make sense because we don’t see the whole picture. Hearing God’s call is the first step. Taking action and following is the next and potentially most frightening. If we want to be vessels through which God can work, we must be willing to say yes and then step out in faith.

I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send…?” (Isaiah 6:8)

Chapter 23

The Attack of the Enemy

Drew witnesses an attack on Ben by the dark invaders. See chapters 15 and 16
for further explanation.

Chapters 24–25

Help from Above

Drew and Ben are given help by a mysterious cab driver. Angels do interfere in the affairs of mankind in such ways. Two such biblical examples are Peter receiving help from an angel to escape prison, and two angels helping Lot and his family escape the destruction of Sodom.

Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone. (Acts 12:5–10)

The angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife.” (Genesis 19:15–17)

The Secret War

Drew and Ben speculate that mankind subconsciously knows about the secret war between the invaders. Although they haven’t yet discovered the truth about who the invaders really are, they are right about this deduction. The theme of good versus evil is central to almost every story told from the beginning of time. That element of story is a shadowy indicator of the truth of the real epic, invisible battle taking place all around us right now. People are so completely drenched by the concept of good battling evil in all of our legends, books, and movies that many do not even realize or consider that its origin lies in the truth of spiritual warfare.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. (Ephesians 6:12)

Chapter 26

Risk of Loss

Drew witnesses the death of an invader. What does spiritual warfare really look like? According to Daniel 10:20, angels do fight with demons. Whenever there is a battle or a war, there is risk of loss for both sides. If this fighting has been going on for thousands of years and a demon has never won a fight, why would they ever try. I think it is fairly safe to speculate that demons have won some fights over the millennia. What happens to an angel when a demon wins the fight is sheer speculation. On this subject the Bible is silent. However, we do know that a defeated demon can be sent to the abyss.

They begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss. (Luke 8:27–33)

This is a dramatic example of the power of Jesus over the forces of darkness. Even a legion of demons feared him and knew they had no power over him. A typical legion in the Roman army of the day was approximately 5,400 soldiers. From this example, “the abyss” indicates a place of imprisonment and may refer to the bottomless pit referred to in Revelation. When Jesus does battle, He never loses!

Chapter 27

Deception

When Sydney discovers Drew and Ben’s true intentions, she feels deceived. Although Drew did not tell her for her own safety, she still feels betrayed by the deception. Even with the best intentions, deception is never healthy in a relationship.
Drew should have told Sydney that there were things he could not tell her for her own safety and to trust him.

He who speaks truth declares righteousness. (Proverbs 12:17)

Good and Evil

As Reverend Ray witnesses to Drew, Drew comes to a dramatic conclusion that refutes secular science and evolution: good and evil exist, and they exist in both dimensions. He witnessed moral acts of good and evil in the physical world and in the spiritual world. Because of that, he struggles with the question, Where does morality, or good and evil, come from? It cannot come from evolution, reason, conscience, human nature, or utilitarianism. Because good and evil are universal, the moral laws that define good and evil must come from a moral commander. Drew was beginning to understand this and had to face the conclusion that his logic was driving toward. Believing in and appealing to morality requires one to believe in or appeal to that moral commander: God.

I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways. (Deuteronomy 30:15–16)

Chapter 28

Morals and Ethics

Moral laws come from God, and although ethical laws can be derived from the laws of God, they are generated by man for the proper functioning of society. Sometimes people face a dilemma when moral laws come in conflict with ethical laws. Drew makes a difficult decision when he assaults the FBI agents near Reverend Ray’s church. Although it was ethically wrong, in his mind it was morally right because lives were at stake. In essence, he was sacrificing himself for the lives of Sydney, Shana, and Micah because he knew it would be an act with dire consequences, possibly costing him his life. Those decisions are the hardest to make. If a man must break an ethical law to accomplish a moral law, he must be willing to accept the consequences. There is an excellent example of this in Joshua, when Rahab lied to the soldiers to protect the two Jewish spies
(Joshua 2; 6), and also in Acts, when the High Priest commanded Peter and the apostles not to preach about Jesus.

But Peter…answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

Chapter 29

Demon Possession

Drew again encounters a “double-faced” man similar to the one he faced in chapter 14. We don’t know what demon possession might look like in the spiritual world, only that it is real. Biblically, when a demon possess a person, he is controlled by the demon and may even possess certain unusual abilities. Mark 5:3–4 tells of a demon-possessed man having extra strength such that even chains and fetters could not bind him. Acts 16:16 tells of a woman possessed with a spirit of divination or the ability to predict future events. Today there isn’t much credence given to the possibility of demon possession, but it is quite certain that the demons have not gone away. Believers in Jesus Christ need have no fear of demon possession because they are filled with the Holy Spirit and the “room” of a person is filled so that it cannot be occupied by an evil spirit (see Matthew 12:43–45). Also, the Bible tells us that God is much greater than any evil spirit, including Satan.

He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

The Power of Prayer

Drew witnesses power being wielded against the dark invaders through Sydney, not realizing that it is God working through her prayers. How God uses prayer is a mystery, but Jesus affirms over and over that there is great power in prayer. See Matthew 17:21; Matthew 21:22; Acts 12:5; 1 Corinthians 7:5; Philippians 4:6; and James 5:16 for just a few examples.

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16)

Chapter 30

Angels

Drew learns that the name of the angel who has been helping him is Validus. The abilities and the limitations of angels are not clearly defined in Scripture, and there has been much speculation about them. There are a few things we do know about angels, however. For example:
• They have names (Lucifer—Isaiah 14:12; Michael—Jude v. 9; Gabriel—Daniel 9:21).
• They fight (Daniel 10:20).
• They have power to affect things in the physical world (Matthew 28:2; Luke 1:19–22; Revelation 7:2).
• They are not all powerful (Daniel 10:13).
• They are not all knowing (1 Peter 1:12).
• They carry weapons (Numbers 22:23; 1 Chronicles 21:16).
• They can appear to people (Genesis 19:1–3; Hebrews 13:2).
• They deliver God’s messages to people (Luke 1:19).
• They eat food (Genesis 19:3).
• At least some have wings (Ezekiel 11:22).
• They are holy (Acts 10:22).
• Children are protected by them (Matthew 18:10).
• At least some, if not all, stand in the presence of God (Luke 1:19).
• They carry the believing souls of people to heaven (Luke 16:22).

Beyond this, almost everything else about angels is speculation.

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2014

    Awesome book

    Chuck Black's writing just got better. The science fiction aspect with the spiritual warfare is a great mix for a very encaptivating book series. Altogether, it is the greatest Chuxk Black novel.

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  • Posted September 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    As I was reading Cloak of the Light, at first I thought ¿When is

    As I was reading Cloak of the Light, at first I thought “When is the action going to start?”. Then I looked closer at the cover and realized that it wasn’t a stand alone book (silly me!!) but the first book of the Wars of the Realm series! 




    And what an awesome start is was…with well developed characters, an interesting story that opened up a mysterious unseen world of invaders, and YES even battles …I was hooked (and I got this book for my husband). I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the series! We are also planning to check out more from the author Chuck Black, because, Yes, I was that impressed with my first book of his!!




    I really appreciate the author’s note and the readers guide at the end of the book. “The Readers Guide explains the biblical framework from which much of the speculation for the novel is derived. I hope you find it informative and helpful in your own investigation of understanding spiritual warfare.” 




    As a wife and mom deep in the seemingly mundane, repetitive tasks of parenting and education, I appreciated this book not only as a great read but also as a needed reminder and encouragement of what is important in this life! Thank you, Chuck Black. :)




    **I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for an honest review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2014

    Chuck Black's Best Book Ever

    If you are like me, and have read all of Mr. Blacks other books, and loved them, and when you saw this book you thought why not read it, its probably really good like his other books. I didn't like this book at all... I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!! :)


    Drew Carter is only 12 when his father dies while deployed overseas in Iraq. He struggles with bitterness, and life looks bleak. Drew and his mother move to live with is grandmother.They soon get the news that his grandmother has cancer. Bad. Six months later she dies. His mother gets a job in Kansas and they move. Meanwhile Drew discovered, through his father's best friend and Drew's mentor, Jake, that he has a talent for football. Drew starts going to highschool and wants to play on the football team thats where he runs into a problem. The position that Drew plays is occupied by Cameron OBrian, whos father is very influential. If Drew gets that position it will cause division and anger. Drew and OBrian face off and Drew wins the position. Drew has made himself an enemy.
    Later on after a party Drew gets into a car crash and his friend gets killed. He is then shunned at school and sinks into a depression. College offers some escape, and there he remeets Sydney, the girl who has his heart. The one problem is that she is a Christian and Drew is not. Then, his geek friend Ben tells him that Dr. Wasseem, the physics teacher has seen aliens. Drew thinks he is crazy but agrees to let Ben show him. Then Drew sees them...and becomes blind in the lab accident. Then, miraculously his sight returns ... and with it some unexpected add ons.


    A MUST READ!!!

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  • Posted July 15, 2014

    If you are searching for something that will challenge your mind

    If you are searching for something that will challenge your mind, touch your heart, and refresh your soul, then look no further! This is one story that will not only revitalize your love of reading, but it will also drive your desire to reach a world that is in desperate need of the unconditional love and redemptive power of Jesus. A spark will be created and from it will burst forth an unquenchable and ravenous flame of desire to proclaim the freedom, love, and grace that only God can give to those who turn to Him, humble themselves, and seek His face.

    Some would think that Drew Carter would have every right to be bitter and angry at the world and at God. At a young age, he lost his father to a tragedy in the military and after that things progressively seemed to just get worse. Having to move around from school to school, losing his chance at a college scholarship, and worst of all seeing a friend die right in front of his eyes brought his world crashing down around him. If all of that wasn’t bad enough, he ended up losing his sight due to a freak lab accident, but Drew’s story doesn’t end there. In fact, this is just the beginning. His accident in the lab forced him to come face to face with something that he should never have seen. Will he leave well enough alone and live out his life as best he can, or will his fear and curiosity catapult him into a brutal struggle whose prize is the very soul of mankind?

    This story is brimming with beautiful examples of hope amid despair. Jake was a very powerful illustration of how one person can make a huge difference in the lives of others. He stuck by his promise to his best friend to look after his family if he fell while fighting for his country, and as a result Drew was given an incredible father figure who molded his life in a very positive way. While Jake wasn’t his real dad, he showed Drew what it meant to be a real man. He lived his life in a way that showed what true strength, courage, and honor looked like, and as a result Drew was able to see that there was still good in this life in spite of all of the bad that he had endured.

    I truly enjoyed the painstaking detail that was put into building this amazing world and its captivating characters. The twists and turns were exciting and unpredictable, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! This is a journey that requires a strength of spirit that only you can choose to create from the pain and sorrow that this life brings our way. Nothing about this life is easy, but it is a choice that we all have to make. Live with hope and a purpose, or give into the pain and just survive from day to day.

    What a true joy to find such a beautiful talent in this incredible work by Chuck Black! I have been won over by the unassuming yet brilliant gift that God has blessed this author with. When words leap off the page and make their home in your heart, you know that you have found a truly inspired and deeply precious treasure that you will always remember and forever enjoy. I eagerly await the next part of this journey, and I challenge you to join me on this extraordinary ride.

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite Cloak of the Lig

    Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite

    Cloak of the Light by Chuck Black is the first in a new series for young adults and teens. It features two friends who come together in a tense school-related situation. Drew comes to a new school, hoping for a position on the team's football team. Ben is the school geek and everyone takes advantage of him. Sydney is a beautiful girl who immediately catches Drew's attention. When Drew forms a friendship with Ben, everyone pretty much avoids them as well. And then, tragedy strikes Drew and he is further ostracized. Ben becomes his sole contact until a science experiment goes horribly wrong and Ben disappears. Drew is lost. He begins to wander in hopes of contacting Ben and making sense out of his world gone wrong. Ben has spoken of aliens and now Drew becomes a believer. The science experiment has left Drew with extraordinary powers. When he detects "invaders" in the environment, he becomes committed to helping those targeted by the aliens.

    The characters of Drew and Ben are beautifully portrayed and highly believable. The character of Sydney does seem a bit rigid but there seems to be a purpose for that. Cloak of the Light will appeal to young people who want a different way of viewing the battles of angels and demons. Black has made an interesting story from traditional Scriptures and it is one which will grab and keep the interest of those needing to learn of God's light in a non-traditional way.

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  • Posted March 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    "It's wrong to do nothing when you have the power to do som

    "It's wrong to do nothing when you have the power to do something."

    This isn't just an alien visitation. It's an all-out invasion. That's why I call them invaders."

    Ben sat back in a daze. "It makes perfect sense."

    "What do you mean?"

    "Think about it. What better way to take over the world than without the inhabitants even knowing it's happening? If an alien race has cloaking technology, it would be the perfect invasion."

    Drew nodded. "You're right. But their ability to cloak themselves goes beyond just being invisible. They can walk through walls and doors. It's like they are in some interdimensional state. What I don't get is how come they can see us but we can't see them. Oh yeah, I can't hear them at all. It's like watching a silent movie. I haven't figured it out yet, but they can affect the outcome of naturally occurring phenomena. Like make a tire go flat to cause an accident or maybe weaken a bridge support to make it collapse. It's usually the small things though. They do what they do is such a way that people would never suspect the event has been tampered with. They are extremely careful and crafty that way." (excerpt from Cloak of the Light.)

    There seems to be an interest in aliens and other dimensions that parallel our own. At least that is what Drew Carter and Benjamin Berg believe for now. When a science experiment at the local college reveals the ability to gain insight and see into a parallel dimension running alongside our own, they don't know what else to believe the shadow-like figures really are. Since Ben has always believed in aliens, he convinces Drew that is precisely what Drew has been seeing with his ability to see faster than light travels.

    However Drew also see's what he calls light invaders as well. They have the ability to wage war in a world that no one but Drew can see. He can't understand what their true purpose is, but when the dark invaders attempt to kill both himself and Ben, all he knows is he can't stand by and do nothing. His unique abilities of heightened senses have allowed him the ability to be one step ahead of the human race and he believes he must do all he can to convince others that there are aliens all around us that we simply can't see. The only person he isn't able to convince is a girl he met in high school Sydney, a church going girl, who believes there is more to what is happening than Drew is willing to admit.

    All Drew knows is that the light invaders are always present and helping in the battle against the dark invaders whenever Sydney or her church group is nearby. Even Sydney seems to radiate a blue flame like aura all around her and she seems to be illuminated in a way that offers a sense of peace and power that aid the light invaders. Now it's a race against time for Drew to aid Ben in rebuilding the device that will enable others to see into the parallel dimension before the dark invaders attempt to stop them.

    I received Cloak of the Light by Chuck Black compliments of Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own unless otherwise noted. I LOVE this series as it explains precisely what an unbeliever would see if they had the ability to see into the spiritual realm. With no basis for any other explanation, it is logical that Drew and Ben would believe they are seeing aliens. This is such an amazing new series dealing with spiritual warfare and I especially love how Chuck explains his ideas using biblical references in each chapter at the end along with scripture verses to back up how his ideas came to life, such as angels using swords to further enhance the readers experience in enjoying this amazing fictional series!

    I personally give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for the next one to come out. This has definitely made it to my "watch list!"

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