Prophetess is the follow-up to Keven Newsome’s Winter, a book I reviewed here on my older blog:
A lot of what I wrote there could also apply to Prophetess so I recommend a look at that earlier review.
The prophetess is Winter, the title character of the earlier novel and we meet her again as she’s returning to school for another year after she and her friends survived some horrific events the year before.
At first I found myself getting a little lost at the beginning because of a few references to characters and events I’d forgotten from the earlier book, but that initial feeling of disorientation comes with many novels that are released as a series and it would have easily been avoided if I’d chosen to reread Winter before I moved on to Prophetess. Once I’d moved past that I was soon hooked by the story.
Or maybe I should say stories, because there are two main time-lines describing different periods of Winter’s life. There is the present story where Winter tries to find and protect a fellow student who is being targeted by Xaphan the occultist adversary from the earlier book. And there is also the story of a slightly younger Winter, withdrawn into a state of depression after the death of her mother. These story threads are interwoven leaving us with mini cliff-hangers as they switch from one to the other.
With Winter I had reservations about the portrayal of prophecy and I’m not convinced that it fits a biblical view in either book, but that’s something I addressed in my earlier article and the author of the book responded with comments to give his position so I won’t cover that ground again. So putting aside that theological issue, I found the book ticked a lot of entertainment boxes without pushing God to the side.
Both Winter and Prophetess are a blend of suspense and supernatural thriller with a seasoning of horror, touching on some serious issues, like the consequences of dabbling in the occult, teen depression and the real freedom that a relationship with God can bring.
I think this is the first Christian novel I’ve read this year. If I could find more of a similar quality I’d be very happy to read more. I think it’s the equal of a lot of popular fiction, but has the added quality of taking God seriously.