Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer

Twelve year old Jaimie Piper is a troubled foster child with an amazing ability:  she can sense when evil is near.  When she finds herself in a tight spot, there is only one person she thinks she can turn to:  her school teacher, Mr. G.

Crockett Grey is a teacher of troubled children, but is a troubled man himself, struck with the loss of a child and recent divorce.  One night, he hears a knock on his window and finds one of his students, Jaimie, on his doorstep, asking for his help.

Soon Crockett, Jaimie, and Jaimie's psychiatrist, Dr. Mackenzie, are thrown into a dark conspiracy involving demons and members of the Catholic church, including the Pope.

The Canary List was an unusual read for me.  Though I am a big fan of fiction involving spiritual warfare, this one seemed more sinister, and lacked the redeeming message of Jesus Christ.  While it was faintly reminiscent of Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness, The Canary List was far less suspenseful and gut-wrenching, and therefore less satisfying.  I literally had to force myself to read further than the first sixty pages, hoping that it was just a little bit slow starting off, but I was utterly disappointed in the lack of a climax and the abrupt ending.

The Canary List had the potential to be an excellent novel, especially if it were drawn out to its full length.  Please, do not misunderstand me:  it was still a decent book, if you like "speculative" Christian fiction, but it has not earned my recommendation.

Caution:  This book contains mature content.  There is frequent discussion of exorcisms, a child abuse lawsuit, and other mature topics.  Nothing is discussed in graphic detail, though.  It is only a book for adults and very, very mature teenagers.

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.