Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Canary List - by Sigmund Brouwer

The Canary List is a fiction book about the connection between the spiritual forces, the physical world, and the humans that straddle the two. Do demons exist? Do our beliefs about them - whether belief or skepticism - affect us, or them? At the opening of the book, C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying:
"There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight."

Crockett Grey is not looking for an adventure, he's not looking for a cause; he's not even looking to leave his house on the night Jaimie Piper comes to him for help. He's looking to get drunk and to grieve the anniversary of his daughter's death. Jaimie is looking to escape the Evil she believes is hunting her, and she cannot reach the person who has promised to help her, her psychiatrist Madelyne Mackenzie. Crockett, instead, gets swept up into a whirlwind of scheming, and plotting, and politics of the Catholic Church, not to mention the question of supernatural forces of evil.

I don't normally read suspenseful books, mostly because I can't afford the lack of sleep due to the intense need to read "one more chapter" to find out what happens. This book definitely kept me up later than I should have been. I was intrigued by the characters, and the action kept moving at a pace that made it hard to put down. I do not like heavy foreshadowing, or predictable plots, and this had neither. There were several reveals that, while logical based on the story, had not been the obvious outcome.

Until the conclusion of the book, I probably would have come away fairly satisfied with a good read. There were sections of the book where I felt a bit too in-the-dark about what was going on, but it seemed true to the character's point-of-view from which I was experiencing the story. However, some loose ends and an unnecessarily complicated ending left me displeased. I wanted to know what became of the other characters, I wanted to know how the remaining question was answered, and I wanted something deeper - something to spark the reader to question their own beliefs in the spiritual realm.

I would give this book 3 stars - it was well-written, but it left me wanting just a bit more.

Want to see if this book grabs your interest? Try the first chapter HERE.
Please rank my review; you could WIN a free copy!

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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