K-N tells the story of a pastor attempting to save his brother from occult forces in this contemporary debut Christian fantasy.
Edward James Lanston, a member of a demonic secret society due to a pact an ancestor made with the king of the locusts, has recently been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. He suspects it has something to do with a magical attack that was recently made on his life—an attack sanctioned by Earle Marrow, the head of his society—during which an angelic being intervened to save him. Edward goes to his adopted father, a Christian billionaire, to seek his help, but the society quickly spirits the man away to keep him from interfering. This leads Edward’s adopted brother, the capable pastor and medical doctor Ace Cadman, to take steps to protect the family from the society (“When Ace Cadman showed up, it always brought comfort, solutions to problems, and at times like this, great relief”). Mounting pressures—the investigation into his missing father, his brother’s illness, and the management of his family’s fortune—weigh heavily on Ace even with God’s help. The good doctor manages to keep Edward alive...for now. But how involved can he become in the secret lives of the Lanstons without risking those of his own family? K-N’s story is epic in its scope and ambitions, and she manages to evoke the dramatic religiosity of the Old Testament: angels walking among men, spells of protection, and God as a direct presence in the lives of the characters. But the characters’ dialogue often sounds off: “And what is that?” Edward’s wife says to his doctor after learning he has glioblastoma multiforme. “Don’t throw us a name as though it’s something our chef serves us up for breakfast every morning.” The book’s main problem, however, is the odd, meandering nature of the plot, which snakes on interminably without ever becoming all that engrossing. With angels and demons doing the heavy lifting, the mortal characters lack the necessary agency to elicit emotional investment.
A lengthy, labyrinthine story about one’s family’s battle against evil.