Brenda, a tattoo artist who sees images of the future, and three other strangers with special abilities are drawn together to help a young student at the mysterious Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies. Daniel's gifts are supposedly being honed to assist world leaders . . . but it turns out there are some very disturbing strings attached.
|Publisher:||Baker Publishing Group|
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Awesome short read!
If I were to ask you the name of a book that changed your life, would you be able to recall the title? For me, there’s more than one. Daughter of a Thousand Years and In the Shadow of the Storm are two recent books that hit me soul-deep. The very first books, however, to shift my world were by Frank Peretti. They are This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, and they are my very first loves. To this very day, I remember the names of the angels and the main characters, their storylines and how I felt when I read through the books. So when I was offered the opportunity to read and review The Invitation, I very quickly picked up on Frank Peretti’s name amongst the authors. Bill Myers, Angela Hunt and Alton Gansky are new to me, so I was really excited to read their work. This book is so flippin’ good, and completely different than anything I’ve read. The four authors didn’t write the story together as a whole, but instead, tried something a little different. There are four characters in the book…Brenda, The Professor, Andi and Tank…and each author chose a character and wrote from that character’s perspective. The book is laid out like a television series. It’s literally brilliant. For example, the book begins with Bill Myer’s contribution. He writes from the perspective of Brenda (a tattoo artist who sees images of the future). We get 12 chapters of the events from Brenda’s view, including how she feels about the other characters as she meets them. It’s like an entire television episode devoted to Brenda and her awesome abilities. That section closes with it’s own Epilogue, and then we begin the “episode” written from The Professor’s perspective. All the characters are still there, except the circumstances are now different and we see things through The Professor’s eyes. Everything that happens seems increasingly supernatural, with the characters coming together as a team to tackle each mystery using his or her unique abilities. Isn’t that so cool?? I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the way that it was written. I look forward to getting my hands on the other books in the series, as I really loved the characters! (Especially Tank. I might have a crush on Tank. I think it’s pretty likely. It’s highly probable. Although I still have a crush on Sonnung from Daughter of a Thousand Years and Adam from In the Shadow of the Storm. So, there’s that.) Bottom Line: If you enjoy supernatural suspense, with relatable characters who come to realize just how bada*s they are individually, as a team and with God’s help…then you will love this book! **Thank you Bethany House for the opportunity to read and review this book!
I was a little bit excited to be able to read Invitation through NetGalley. It promised to be different, engaging, yet manageable in small bits. It was all those things and a few others as well. Each story within the book is a continuation of the previous from a different character's point of view. Brenda starts us out with 'The Call' and ultimately bringing most of the group together. She can sometimes see things, premonitions of people that will later become important to the story. We also meet most of the group with their own special talents. The Professor takes over from there with 'The Haunted' where the final member of the group meets up with them. The Professor is all logic all the time. Everything can be explained by science and logic. Even when he can't figure out at way he still tries. Andi takes over in 'The Sentinels' where they all come back together again. Andi sees the world in patterns and number sequences. Seriously, the girl can look at a pattern in the carpet and figure out exactly how often the pattern repeats in a set area. Finally we hear from Tank and the girl that can appear and disappear at will. Tank has a foundation in faith and in Christ, the only on of the bunch that does. Tank also has an ability to heal things, sometimes. He's OK with sometimes though because he feels that it happens when it's God's will and not just because it's his will. While I knew this book was going to be something different there were aspects that I didn't 'get' right away and aspects I didn't expect. I get it, a harbinger is something that brings forth something else. Perhaps I'm more obtuse than I thought because I just didn't get it. I kept waiting to figure out what was coming, what was going to happen, something. Finally about the third story I realized it's all harbingers, every story is a harbinger of something more to come. By the end though I still don't know what's coming. I know that there are more books, more episodes, to come but I'm still feeling lost. The other things that threw me off a bit was how deeply supernatural it all was. I mean, I should have clued in during story one at a school for the 'gifted' (and they don't mean super smart) that was built over a well to somewhere else. I should have clued in as the special talents of the cast were put into play. Yup, kinda clueless here. That aside, I really really liked this book. When I say I will literally read almost anything it's the truth. Faith - got it but it was a bit downplayed in this book and not as forward as I expected from this cast of authors. Supernatural - got it, and done well. Mystery - yup, at least for me since I totally missed the harbinger play on words and all. I would recommend this book to anyone who is open and likes the supernatural aspect of the world and storytelling. In this book the faith was subtle and therefore I don't feel would be a deterrent for someone who doesn't look for that in a book. I can't wait to be able to read the next episodes. As mentioned before, I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.
Invitation is a collection of four interconnected stories by authors Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, Bill Myers, and Alton Gansky. This volume contains the first four stories in the Harbingers Series, an ongoing series with additional stories already available that was created by these Christian authors. In the series a team of four widely diverse people join together to use their individual skills to solve a mystery or help someone. The author's set up two rules for their collaboration: Rule #1 Each author would write as one of the characters in the series: Bill Myers's character is Brenda, the street-hustling tattoo artist who sees images of the future. Frank Peretti's character is the professor, the atheist ex-priest ruled by logic. Angela Hunt's character is Andi, the professor’s brilliant but geeky assistant who sees inexplicable patterns. Alton Gansky's character is Tank, the naïve, big-hearted jock with a surprising connection to a healing power. Rule #2 They would write the stories like a TV series with an overarching storyline. The series part would be their individual stories, novellas, written from their character’s point of view. The first four stories in this volume include: "The Call" by Bill Myers: We are introduced to the characters and their first team effort to help a student at the Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies. "The Haunted" by Frank Peretti: The four try to solve a murder mystery centered around a mysterious house. "The Sentinels" by Angela Hunt: Animals are mysteriously dying and discovered with their eyes missing. "The Girl" by Alton Gansky: A young barefoot girl is found holding a sbingers series croll after walking for miles in the snowy countryside. There is no doubt that the writing is excellent and the individual stories are compelling; however, there are some pros and cons to the series. The premise that the stories are written like a TV series, with each story/author focusing on one character, is unique. This makes it easy to quickly read one story and know the next one will be a new adventure from a different character's point-of-view. This is also the downfall of the series - or at least this first volume. Because it is written as an ongoing series and this volume is just the first four stories, there is no concluding resolution and the character growth is limited. Invitation is only the first four of the sixteen individual stories already written for the series. In the end the real questions for readers are: Do you like episodic ongoing stories? How much time are you willing to invest in an ongoing series? Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.
Harbinger: (noun). A person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another; a forerunner of something. A crazy school in Southern California with a well that reaches to the spiritual world; a house that haunts instead of being haunted; birds and other animals dying with their eyes missing; a young deserted girl who can appear and disappear at will. These are the harbingers in cycle one of the Harbingers Series of novels by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt and Alton Gansky. Think of it like a Christian version of the Twilight Zone and each author takes their turn at one of four characters from their perspective and spins their own unique spin on this unusual pairing of people in episode after episode. Bill Myers tells the story from Brenda's perspective, a street hustling tattoo artist who sees images of the future. Frank Peretti writes as the professor, the atheist ex-priest ruled by logic, Angela Hunt writes as Andi, the professor's brilliant but geeky assistant who sees inexplicable patterns and Alton Gansky writes as Tank, the naive, big-hearted jock with a surprising connection to a healing power. The Call from Bill Myers sets the stage, followed by Frank Peretti's The Haunted, Angela Hunt's The Sentinels and Alton Gansky's The Girl. These are all coupled in one book known as the Invitation even though you could pick these up one at a time, I was completely glued to each of them. Each novella offers a bit of the unusual supernatural as only these masters of Christian speculative fiction can weave. These team of rag-tag individuals have been pulled together for some reason yet unknown. Is it a calling on their lives from God or something more sinister and dark. I've been a huge literary fan of each of these authors in their own right and love the collaboration to put something together that I would LOVE to see on a television series. Nothing is ever solved but in each, the characters are tasked to perform each of their unique gifts along with a young boy named Daniel they meet in The Haunted. I don't want to give too much away, but if you love the creepy, suspenseful, dark and supernatural, you will WANT to pick this one up. Readers even get a sneak peek at The Revealing, the 5th installment in the series. I received Invitation by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt and Alton Gansky compliments of Bethany House Publishers and Net Galley. This collection is due out in April of 2017 and trust me, you WILL want them all. For me, this was an easy 5 out of 5 stars and held me on the edge of my seat by these talented and gifted authors. Now I am off to find the rest of the series!