I used to be a frequent reader of Christians novels of the supernatural/suspense variety. The “used to” part of that sentence is because of two things. One–I became more involved with reading theology and Christian non-fiction. And two–the theology in some of the Christian novels I otherwise enjoyed was somewhat smushy.
In regard to the novels mentioned, smushy theology (at least to me) is when what is being depicted is not quite biblically accurate or when it is biblically accurate, but terribly stated. These books, while interesting and mostly enjoyable, contained questionable material with the possibility of leading people either astray or into confusion. Because of this, for the most part, I quit ready these types of novels.
Then I learned that Jared C. Wilson had written Otherwold, a novel in the genre I had abandoned. This is the first novel for Wilson who is best known for his nonfiction works like Gospel Wakefulness and Gospel Deeps (among other books). Having read the former (as well as some of his articles/blog posts and following him on twitter), I knew his theology to be anything but smushy. So, I decided to give it a try.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
Otherworld is about strange occurrences in Houston and one of its suburbs, Trumbull. It begins with an event that sparks a tidal wave of speculation regarding UFO sightings and alien encounters. All of this, however, may not be as it appears as several of the characters gradually find out. Some of those characters make terrible decisions while others show themselves to be stronger than they realize, but they all seem believable even in a story born out of unbelievable happenings.
Of course, it is about more than any of that. It is also about faith, hope, and the belief that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Is there anything negative to say about this novel? Sort of. At times, it felt as though it had too many subplots. However, as the story went along the number of subplots helped to increase both the tension and my concern for the characters and their well-being. Especially since this is Wilson’s first novel, this is completely forgivable.
It is my hope that this review has piqued your interest enough to encourage to purchase this book without giving away anything that might harm your enjoyment of it.
Otherworld is a gripping book with good lessons; I really believe it is worth both your money and your time.
To purchase this book from Amazon click HERE.
What novel(s) have you read lately?