I generally don’t read a lot of fiction, but this book was handed to me by one of my student’s parents and I found that I couldn’t put it down. Randy Alcorn, noted author and speaker, co-wrote this book with his two daughters, Angela and Karina. Though I have heard of Randy Alcorn before, this is actually my first book of his to read. Needless to say it won’t be my last.
The story that Randy Alcorn and his daughters weave in The Ishbane Conspiracy centers around the lives of four teenagers Jillian, Brittany, Rob and Ian and takes place over the course of a year. Three of the teenagers are making the transition from high school to college. Rob, the oldest in the group starts the book as a college freshman.
The authors do a great job of leading the reader through the high school world and touch on real life subjects. As a student pastor and having been on high school campus’ quite a bit over the last twelve years it is surprising how accurately the issues are represented in this book. Yet, the Christian students in this book struggle through these issues (or walk with their friends through these issues) and though the road is difficult at places, they find guidance and deliverance in Christ.
Each chapter is followed by a letter from one demon to another in a similar style to C.S. Lewis’ The Screw Tape Letters. The letter’s contain hell’s strategy for leading students to death, or at least a wasted life. The letters increase in length throughout the course of the book. Each one providing more commentary on the temptations that teenagers face.
Due to the mature themes that run through the book I would recommend it to parents and students in high school. The issues are real and aren’t really over-exagerated, but may appear shocking to parents who don’t have kids in high school. If you are a high school student looking for a practical guide on how to live for Christ in your school, a parent looking for more insight into the issues that surround teenagers today, or just a good fan of great fiction, I highly recommend this book to you. I give it four out of five stars.
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