Shade by John Olson – My Review

Originally Posted at Bibliophile’s Retreat by Melissa Meeks

B&H Fiction (October 1, 2008)
If I rated books based on my sleepless nights this one would be off the charts. While that does come into play simply because for me, a non-thriller person, it proves one of a number of accurate gauges for the quality of the book and how believable it is. This is however not the only measure of a book’s success in my world though in the case of this book it once again proved its worth as a measuring tool.

Olson’s descriptive yet action filled thriller was a pleasure to read for his loaded prose and flow of language that kept me as a reader floating through this story much like some of the characters must have thought they were themselves at times. The questions raised in this context hit rather close to home in the arenas of spiritual warfare, reality, and knowing who we can or cannot trust in real life. The twists and turns of this plot kept pummeling the reader unaware like the Mulo and Melchi were wont to treat one another whenever they came face to face. The hardest part to stomach however was that most of the world at large believed that people were suffering a sudden-onset-dementia in the form of paranoid schizophrenia and would medicate them without researching the basis for their assertions of their experiences with the spiritual realm although even those “afflicted” were rather confused as to the cause and nature of their “hallucinations” or experiences.

Who are the good guys and the bad guys, can the good overcome the evil, what is real what is not? Can we truly experience the spiritual realm in such a tangible way as these characters do and if so how would we “survive” the shock? This book raises these and many other questions that bring spiritual warfare and the concepts of good and evil right to our doorstep in a vivid experience I won’t soon forget though I might at times wish I could. Many of these questions are addressed while a few were raised in my mind as a reader more in terms of a something to ponder rather than an integral piece of this particular plot. I truly do enjoy the stories that leave my thoughts whirling on some deep question although the intensity of most leaves me exhausted and craving something fun as a chaser. This definitely falls into the category of thought provoking fiction and if I weren’t such a scaredy-cat I would be even more eager to find out whether there will be more coming from this author with the same characters continuing their journey. (ISBN#9780805447347, 416pp, $14.99)

Be sure and visit my fellow CSFF Bloggers to see what they have to say as well. Again please look to this list for this month’s active bloggers as the blogroll in my sidebar still cannot be updated.
Brandon Barr, Jennifer Bogart, Justin Boyer, Keanan Brand, Kathy Brasby, Valerie Comer, CSFF Blog Tour, Stacey Dale, Janey DeMeo, Jeff Draper, April Erwin, Karina Fabian, Todd Michael Greene, Katie Hart, Joleen Howell, Jason Isbell, Jason Joyner, Kait, Magma, Margaret, Rachel Marks, Rebecca LuElla Miller, Eve Nielsen, Nissa, John W. Otte, Steve Rice, Mirtika or Mir’s Here, Chawna Schroeder, James Somers, Robert Treskillard, Steve Trower, Speculative Faith, Jason Waguespac, Laura Williams, Timothy Wise

Don’t forget to drop by the author’s website to learn more about him and his book. Remember the cover link will also supply additional information.


  1. Great review, Melissa. I agree with your assessments. At one point I was planning to do a comparison with Frank Peretti’s works. I had too much to say and never did the review of those books that such a comparison would entail, but still, I think John Olson may be considered an author in that same vein.


  2. I think this book bears similarities to Peretti as well as Dekker. Although I can only claim knowledge of Peretti’s very early work (IOW This Pressent Darkness and Piercing the Darkness) which although I read many years ago are definitely realistically probably spiritual warfare stories from my perspective. And with Dekker I am really only comparing this to Thr3e aa that is his only book I have read to date but again we are talking unexpected twists and spiritual warfare.

    Thanks Becky for stopping by and for your comments regarding my review and this book.

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