Quarter-angel Jonah Stone re-enacts the tale of his biblical namesake in the latest of an evangelical fiction series aiming for Percy Jackson–style adventure.
Grief-stricken by his mother’s murder, Jonah ditches the cloistered Angel School with his fellow “quarterlings” for the easy popularity his special powers bring him at an ordinary public high school—so long as he ignores the way the whole place is ruled by demons. But Jonah cannot run far enough to escape Elohim’s plans for him: not boring proclamations of repentance and mercy like the ancient prophet, but a more gratifying battle with monsters on a luxury yacht for the soul of the U.S. president. Readers accustomed to thinking of life as perpetual spiritual warfare will likely overlook the clunky prose and stereotyped characters and thrill to the nonstop chases, kidnappings, storms, wrecks and gruesome violent clashes with the forces of Abaddon. Others will find the perspective bizarre and mean-spirited and are more likely to giggle than gasp at the silly B-movie villains and the heroes’ ludicrously literal spiritual armor (“sandals of speed,” “belt of truth,” “helmet of salvation,” etc.) Nonetheless, anyone can appreciate the hard questions about divine justice Jonah hurls in his very real anger and despair; few will be satisfied by the anodyne platitudes he receives in response.
Strictly for the target audience, but they deserve better. (Fantasy. 10-14)