Dustin's Reviews > Prophet

Prophet by Frank E. Peretti
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really liked it
bookshelves: religious, spiritual, classics, political-intrigue, intellectual, favorites
Recommended for: Truth seekers everywhere.

Frank Peretti, affectionately known as "The Father of Christian Fiction," became known to me at a very early age. I was likely in sixth or seventh grade. I remember because in the fourth, I started attending Sunday School regularly, during which time my dad and stepmother gave my sister and I Bibles for Christmas. A couple years later, my grandparents gave me Peretti's The Cooper Kids. It was a nice box set, and though I tried getting into a couple of them (maybe all four,) I just couldn't do it. Specifically, I couldn't get into reading. The "reading bug" wouldn't infect me for another couple years.

Fast forward to spring, 2012. The premise of Illusion. astounded me, and I knew I had to read it soon. Then, in December of 2013, I read his debut, This Present Darkness. I gave both two stars. I never thought I'd read another, with the possible exception of House
and only because he co-wrote it with
Ted Dekker, an author I very much admire. I'm awfully glad that I took a chance with this one, because Prophet was impressive, and very entertaining.

Crash! We're inside the building, sailing past rafters, cables, floodlights, and then, like a roller coaster going over the top, we nose over, dropping down past rigging, wires, lights, monitors, into the open expanse of the NewsSix set, heading for the news desk where John Barrett and Ali Downs are ready and waiting to inform us, accepting with ease that we have fallen from the sky and through their ceiling to get there.

One of its easily discernible facets was the prose itself, as the passage above makes clear. Not that the entire novel was written as such, but a lot of it --approximately fifty percent-- benefited from that distinctive style. It was almost immediate, thus pulling me in further, and was reminiscent of bird's-eye POV. Given that the protagonist, John Barrett, was a news anchorman, this creative choice was a smart move that Peretti pulled off with pizazz.

Prophet was less concerned with plot (though the whole was very engaging,) and much more concerned with theme and character development. In fact, the themes were as developed as I could imagine. Specifically, the pacific-northwestern author (originally from Lethbrige, Canada,) exposed the sad realities of the media's influences, weaving his fiction together seamlessly, almost effortlessly. With it, he posed very apposite questions: what exactly is news? What makes those stories newsworthy? How much is profit, and how much benefits society? How does sensationalism come into play when they decide which stories to cover, and which to discard?

At the heart of the novel, though, was the story of our likeable protagonist, and his artistic son, Carl, as they battle spiritual forces. At times, they fought each other, as the past made itself known in irreparable ways. You can't alter or unsee it. All you could do is go forward, in the hopes that you learned something; that those mistakes, ignorance, and neglect might stay there, where they belonged....in the past.

Paint was everywhere. The canvas was all but invisible under splatterings, smears, globs, and dashes of paint of all colors. The walls were speckled and splattered too, as were the floor, the windows, and several of Carl's other works....And he was still digging it out of jar after jar...throwing the stuff blindly, crazily, his vision blurred with tears..

Together, John and Carl Barrett, alongside a ragtag group, were tasked to crack a sprawling mystery fraught with peril, moral implications, the government, and an issue that's more relevant today than it was thirty years ago: pro-life vs -choice.

And, of course, coming from Peretti, "the Father of Christian Fiction," there was plenty to be said about faith, as his characters grappled with the world, each other, and their individual religious dispositions. That was a little much at times. I get why some readers criticized it for being didactic.

About halfway through, certain details pertaining to the investigative mysteries- inevitably coupled with the spiritual realm-- began coming to light, and the whole soon escalated, losing control. The stakes couldn't have been higher.

With it, the characters and political motivations grew increasingly fascinating, and I couldn't put it down. Actually, from the get-go, Prophet was one book that had my enthusiastic attention. I thought about the characters and situations often, which is what a good book should do.

Part of why it resonated was the ease of prose, which I came to reconcile not as overly simplistic or unrefined (although those adjectives wouldn't be incorrect,) but naturally the way he talks. Surely, there's nothing wrong with refraining from grandiose syntax. I prefer the natural form. Could I have done without some of the cliche terms or unnecessary exclamation points? Sure. But I can't fault it too much.

And again, the consistent bird's-eye view really worked. Seeing everything unravel and develop the way they did helped put me in the protagonist's mindset. His worldview, you know? Not only that, but the supporting characters kind of flit in, out, and around John Barrett ("NewsSix at six,") making the reader privy to some of their backstories and thought processes, even when John wasn't around. In other words, third- person omniscient, and in this instance, it was extremely effective.

Another reason why it flowed so freely stemmed from the explored issues, and the deadly consequences of those choices. It all felt very believable, rarely contrived. Clearly, Peretti did his research.

The end, though...wowed me on multiple levels. Everything came full-circle, in an incredibly profound, awesome, and personal way. To say more would spoil its inherent beauty.

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Reading Progress

June 4, 2019 – Started Reading
June 4, 2019 – Shelved
June 4, 2019 –
page 23
4.0% "I'm pretty leery about another Frank Peretti novel, because I've read two previously, and neither made me anxious to go out and seek more.

It's a little interesting so far. I dig the panoramic storytelling style, which might be temporary, but I'm hoping it's consistently implemented. I think I have a sense of what Peretti was going for thematically.. We shall see. *both fingers crossed*"
June 6, 2019 –
page 77
13.39% "His heart began to race. His muscles tensed, ready to run. This was getting to him. He was afraid. Fear, real fear, was creeping up on him. Up to this moment he had no idea there was anything to be afraid of, but now it hit him: I'm right in the middle of something. There's something dreadful happening out here, and I don't know what it is, and it's harming a lot of people, which means it can harm me too."
June 6, 2019 –
page 91
15.83% "But even after that, the news gathering process still involved a balancing of journalism and business: What are the people out there interested in, and what are we as journalists interested in and concerned about, and- this one nobody talked about openly--what material is in the best interest of our News Department as far as ratings and advertising accounts are concerned? It was a complex world."
June 6, 2019 – Shelved as: religious
June 6, 2019 – Shelved as: spiritual
June 6, 2019 – Shelved as: classics
June 6, 2019 – Shelved as: political-intrigue
June 6, 2019 – Shelved as: intellectual
June 7, 2019 –
page 105
18.26% "They turned right and went down to the end of the plywood wall, where a small camera perched on a stand looked down at them like a curious, one-eyed crow.

Flashcam, eh? I'm detecting some serious big brother vibes going on. It's intentionally unsettling. I LIKE it!😀"
June 12, 2019 –
page 153
26.61% ""Oh, it's news, sure, but it's dispensable… to be honest, it's news that people would enjoy, would find interesting, but they can do without it."
Carl nodded thoughtfully, digesting that.

I love his inquisitive nature. Peretti's asking some big questions, too: what qualifies as news? What makes it news? And who are the media to determine what's important-vital-- to the masses? What's truly dispensable?"
June 13, 2019 –
page 189
32.87% "I am loving where this going, and I never imagined I'd ever say that about Frank Peretti. It's not just theological stuff-that's actually quite minimal so far; it's the political intrigue, mystery, cover-ups, and thematical strengths: consumerism and realities of the so-called "news."

Overall, good stuff.☺👍"
July 9, 2019 –
page 283
49.22% "This was truly a pivotal moment:

Paint was everywhere. The canvas was all but invisible under splatterings, smears, globs, and dashes of paint of all colors. The walls were speckled and splattered too, as were the floor, the windows, and several of Carl's other works....And he was still digging it out of jar after jar...throwing the stuff blindly, crazily, his vision blurred with tears.."
July 9, 2019 –
page 382
66.43% "What could he say? What could he not say? How much did the governor really need to know? How much should he tell the governor in any case? Which information would be to his advantage and which would not? What would the consequences be?"
July 9, 2019 –
page 407
70.78% "Twenty-Six"
July 12, 2019 –
page 445
77.39% "Things are moving fast now.😀"
July 14, 2019 –
page 463
July 16, 2019 –
page 479
83.3% "Chapter Thirty"
July 17, 2019 –
page 529
92.0% "It's so condensed and partially told, that is doing the story actually worth it, John? It'd be better to write it out, sparing no details, and attempt to publish it under a different medium, possibly using a pseudonym."
July 18, 2019 – Finished Reading
September 9, 2019 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Fergus (new) - added it

Fergus Wonderful review, Dustin - you put your heart into it! And I want to read it.

Dustin Thank you so much for reading it, and the kind eords, of course. I think you might like it.☺

Dustin *words*

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