BOOK REVIEW: Invitation by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky

A compilation of the first four episodes of the Harbingers series. Five characters--with gifts they do not fully understand-- are mysteriously brought together to battle growing pockets of darkness throughout the world: Brenda-the street-hustling tattoo artist who sees images of the future. The Professor-the atheist ex-priest ruled by logic. Andi-the professor's brilliant-but-geeky assistant who sees inexplicable patterns. Tank-the naive, big-hearted jock with a surprising connection to a healing power. Daniel-the institutionalized ten-year-old who can see into the supernatural world."

I was a little bit excited to be able to read Invitation through NetGalley.  It promised to be different, engaging, yet manageable in small bits.  It was all those things and a few others as well.  Each story within the book is a continuation of the previous from a different character's point of view.  Brenda starts us out with 'The Call' and ultimately bringing most of the group together.  She can sometimes see things, premonitions of people that will later become important to the story. We also meet most of the group with their own special talents. The Professor takes over from there with 'The Haunted' where the final member of the group meets up with them.  The Professor is all logic all the time.  Everything can be explained by science and logic.  Even when he can't figure out at way he still tries.  Andi takes over in 'The Sentinels' where they all come back together again.  Andi sees the world in patterns and number sequences.  Seriously, the girl can look at a pattern in the carpet and figure out exactly how often the pattern repeats in a set area.  Finally we hear from Tank and the girl that can appear and disappear at will.  Tank has a foundation in faith and in Christ, the only on of the bunch that does.  Tank also has an ability to heal things, sometimes.  He's OK with sometimes though because he feels that it happens when it's God's will and not just because it's his will.  

While I knew this book was going to be something different there were aspects that I didn't 'get' right away and aspects I didn't expect.  I get it, a harbinger is something that brings forth something else.  Perhaps I'm more obtuse than I thought because I just didn't get it.  I kept waiting to figure out what was coming, what was going to happen, something.  Finally about the third story I realized it's all harbingers, every story is a harbinger of something more to come.  By the end though I still don't know what's coming.  I know that there are more books, more episodes, to come but I'm still feeling lost.  The other things that threw me off a bit was how deeply supernatural it all was.  I mean, I should have clued in during story one at a school for the 'gifted' (and they don't mean super smart) that was built over a well to somewhere else.  I should have clued in as the special talents of the cast were put into play.  Yup, kinda clueless here.

That aside, I really really liked this book.  When I say I will literally read almost anything it's the truth.  Faith - got it but it was a bit downplayed in this book and not as forward as I expected from this cast of authors.  Supernatural - got it, and done well.  Mystery - yup, at least for me since I totally missed the harbinger play on words and all.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is open and likes the supernatural aspect of the world and storytelling.  In this book the faith was subtle and therefore I don't feel would be a deterrent for someone who doesn't look for that in a book.  I can't wait to be able to read the next episodes.

As mentioned before, I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by NetGalley.  I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review.

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Invitation (Harbingers #1-4)
About Bill Myers
Bill Myers was born into a Christian home, and although as a child he became bored with Christianity, he decided at the University of Washington quote, to "make God my boss." Ironically, at the University his worst subject was writing. He claims to have prayed, and said that he would be able to do anything for God, except write. Even so, he has become a prominent Christian writer, and has a large amount of successful books and films to his credit.
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About Frank Peretti
Frank Edward Peretti is a New York Times best-selling author of Christian fiction, whose novels primarily focus on the supernatural. To date, his works have sold over 15 million copies worldwide.
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About Angela Elwell Hunt 
Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With over three million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.
Her books have won the coveted Christy Award, several Angel Awards from Excellence in Media, and the Gold and Silver Medallions from Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. In 2007, her novel The Note was featured as a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel. Romantic Times Book Club presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. 
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About Alton Gansky 
Alton Gansky is the author of 30 books--24 of them novels, including the Angel Award winner Terminal Justice and Christy Award finalist A Ship Possessed. A frequent speaker at writing conferences, he holds a BA and MA degrees in biblical studies. Alton and his wife reside in Southern California.

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