My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When I reached the final chapter, I was fully intending on giving this book a 5-star rating. It is a retelling of the story of the creation and redemptive history through the mouth of a demon.
I liked the fact that the Biblical story is told. Most of it is straight exposition, but the fall of Satan is dramatized in an imaginative way. I would have liked more of the biblical story to be shown with similar vividness, rather than simply told.
I also enjoyed Lee’s impressive skills with her prose, dialogue, and characters.
The main character is very passive, and there is no real plot to speak of.
Throughout the story, there were hints of a possible plot. The demon makes a remark about how he is taking a risk in speaking with Clay, and there are other hints of drama in the spirit world over these meetings. The promise of that drama kept me interested.
But alas, the book ended without any explanation of what that was about. Worse, the biggest question driving the whole book (why is this demon telling a random human the story of the Bible?) has a decidedly unsatisfactory answer. His purpose was to present Clay with the truth in hopes that he would reject it and suffer a more severe damnation for rejecting the truth.
I agree that there is greater accountability for those with greater exposure to the truth, but for a demon who is so distressed over the large number of people following Christ, it seems unlikely that he would run the risk of Clay believing the truth. The demonic strategy Scripture presents is one of deception, not truthtelling.
Another, lesser complaint I have with the book is the negative view of the church. The demon is unconcerned with churches because they are given to empty formalism. While that is true of many churches, the biblical view of the church as a whole is that it is the primary headquarters of the presence of God in the world, it is the body of Christ, and when individual churches carry on their work, the spirit world gets a greater understanding of the manifold wisdom of God (Eph.3:10).