I mentioned a while ago that I started working at a library, and that my reading activity since then has increased greatly. As such, I have lots of new books to review here, which is nice because it will help me fill some time before getting to those more intellectually challenging posts like Character Studies. XD
Over the book, Everett's perspectives change. I felt this was done as realistically as possible in a single book. It was gradual, for the most part, but then, true to life, some things are impossible to experience without going through radical change.
The characters were well done too. I've already talked about Everett- but despite his flamboyant nature, he didn't steal the show from the rest of the characters. Karen, who is barely present throughout most of the book, still manages to touch every chapter with her dream. Brian Boone and his rival, Dooley, shine during their trial scenes, and their natures are revealed through their interactions with others.
And the mysterious Endora Crystal made for an excellent and creepy presence. The book deals with spiritual warfare a lot, and it soon becomes apparent that the Endora Everett knows is far more than her mortal shell reveals....
And now, to talk about the pros and cons. :D
Like I've said a few times now, this story was fascinating. I picked it up yesterday and returned it to the library today, having already finished it. It was hard to put it down- especially near the end. Good character development, good build-up, good plot. Having done some research into the era in which the book takes place (late 80s to mid 90s), it was cool to see how the author neatly inserted this fictional band into the real life music world.
The message of God's redemption is prominent. Some might complain that Karen can be a little too preachy at times- but as someone who has witnessed to an unsaved friend, I can tell you that's exactly how it is. You're so desperate to get these people to see the Light and turn to God, it's easy to become passionate very quickly. When you care about someone who's headed the wrong direction, it's troubling to see them continue to walk away, and you want to do everything you can to make sure they have the chance to hear the truth. I found no theological problems in this book, maybe because they didn't really delve into a lot of deep apologetics. Basically, if you believe in God, and you believe that Jesus is the Savior, this book will make sense to you. And if you don't, then this book will witness to you.
Creston Mapes does not shy away from revealing the dark side of the rock 'n roll. Extra-marital sex is mentioned as being a regular pass time for all the members of Deathstroke and their entourage. Drug use is prominent throughout the book, as is alcohol. Though nothing is gone into with great detail, all of these things are a part of Everett's life, and he makes no bones about it. However, it is never condoned or glamorized: in fact the negative affects of these vices are clearly shown in the characters lives. However, young readers may be disturbed (and rightly so!) by these elements, so parents be aware.
*The following section contains minor spoilers*
A character is revealed to have had an abortion at one point during her teenage years, at the insistence of her father and mother, who later regret the act.
A Christian relative of Everett is divorced and later remarries, though it is unclear whether she was divorced before or after her conversion, which might affect the morality of the situation. (my mom and I are still debating with ourselves on how this works...)
A few violent acts are described without intimate detail- such as a man threatening a younger man with a knife and puncturing his skin slightly, and several instances of a man waving a gun in people's faces. A woman is shot, and there were a few instances of car chases and attempted hit-and-runs.
The spiritual warfare shown may be frightening and disturbing to some. One of the characters regularly uses tarrot cards and communes with demonic forces, and her voice changes when she does so. It is shown to be evil and twisted, and even considered so by the secular characters- but still, be aware.
Dark Star is an original, well-written story worth the read for anyone who would take the time. Just make sure you have time, because once you start you probably won't want to stop. Repentance and redemption are clearly shown, so despite much sadness and tragedy, the story leaves you feeling light and hopeful.
Young readers, be aware that I found this book in the Adult section of the library, and though nothing is explicit, there is dark content. But that dark content just shows how life can be when a person tries to follow any other god but the True God, and how even the most wretched sinner is not beyond the all-powerful reach of Jesus Christ.