Review: Prophet Reborn
By: Diane M. Johnson
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Lucas, a sociopathic former Satanist, seeks redemption from his sins in a fringe Christian commune after his former atheist half brother takes a turn as a celebrity faith healer. When the commune leader finds out about Lucas’ dark past and his connection to the faith healer, Lucas is given a choice; prove his brother is a fraud and save someone else, or be banished from the commune that can save him.
A sequel to Perfect Prophet, about Alec, the death metal atheist who becomes the target of his Satanic fanbase because of a prophecy that links him to a Satanic cult’s future.
An IndieReader Approved book with 4.2/5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Alec is the “perfect messiah,” a miraculous healer for the large evangelical Light ministry but he is drowning his trauma and nightmares of the brutal ritual at the hands of his half-brother, Lucas, that made him the messiah. He struggles with finding faith in the light of the miracles he performs, the miracle of his own resurrection, and the raw power of the dark magic Lucas can perform. How can you deny the existence of a higher power in the wake of all that proof?
Jake is Alec’s son and grim witness to the bloody ritual that should have killed his father. Alec’s turn to religious superstardom as a rock star faith healer. He does not want to believe in God, but he does not understand why his dad refuses to prove the non-believers wrong. He is just a child caught up in a sea of problems he is struggling to understand. Bullies, the nightmares, his distant father, and his mother struggling to cope with the stress of holding her traumatized family together.
Lucas is repentant and lost. He hurt the people dearest to him and beheld a miracle. He seeks shelter and God, wanting to turn away from the dark powers that led him to harm his brother. He witnessed Alec’s miracle and is ready to accept God’s plan for him, whatever it might be. He is willing to suffer any harm, abuse, to do anything thing he has to for that sense of purpose given to Alec. His quest leads him to the off-grid Christian Commune of Church of Jonas Adonis, a self-styled prophet. He finds kindness John David and acceptance in the innocent friendship of Maggie. He embraces the teachings of God and seeks to walk away the darkness of his past until it catches up to him.
The Prophet Reborn, primarily shifts between the perspectives of Alec, Lucas, and Jake in an exploration of the search for faith, purpose and coping with the traumas of the events of the previous installment. As more of a personal drama, the pacing was even and lingered long enough on each of the characters to make them feel like fully conceptualized people rather than caricatures of the traumas that defined them. As extreme as Lucas behaved, you were still left with a sense that while his actions were wrong- he did not fully justify any of it as the fault of anyone but himself. There was no real attempt to romanticize his pathology so much as provide an understanding as to what his motivations for his misguided actions were.
My main compliant is more a matter of expectation management, I thought this would have more supernatural or horror elements than it did. There are some gory moments and some touches of triggering events but nothing too graphic. It was incredibly thoughtfully executed with a dash of dread that comes when people are ruthlessly fanatical. You can relate to the plights of the characters and root for them, however misguided they are. This sets up nicely for a sequel, so I look forward to seeing what happens next.
I received this ARC from Reedy Discovery to review. Originally published for Reedy Discovery.