40 by Travis Thrasher has to be one of the darkest novels I've ever read. Tyler Harrison is nine months away from turning 40 and suddenly begins to experience hallucinations that rival a horror movie. He sees things that no one else does, he travels back in time and sees himself in near-death experiences that he doesn't remember ever really happening. All of this happens at about the same time that a man claiming to be an angel enters his life and tells him that he is going to die on his fourtieth birthday.
What happens next is a struggle for his soul. There are forces of both evil and Light that are warring for him. Unfortunately, this book focuses more on the evil than the Light. This book is littered with mild obscenities, which this reader finds out of place for a Christian novel. The first 4/5 of this book are so dark that I didn't want to finish reading it, but then in true Travis Thrasher style, he throws us a surprise that is mind-blowing and redemptive, it's sad that it took so long to get there though (at around page 375). I was also left a little confused by one of the women that Tyler was involved with. Laila is not actually a character in the book, but she's thought of and spoken of often. I didn't understand the reason for her.
There are a lot of obscure musical references in this book, too many in my opinion. I didn't even realize that the chapter titles were song titles until reading something about it in the discussion questions in the back of the book. Other than an occasional reference to U2, Michael W Smith and one of Taylor Swift, I've not heard of 99% of the groups that he referred to.
I did notice some references to some of his author books in this one (Gun Lake and Broken) and thought that was interesting.
Travis Thrasher has authored over a dozen books, of which I've read all but two. This one is not my favorite. You can see his other books here.
40 is being released on May 4th by FaithWords.
The author provided this book in exchange for my honest review.