Books,  Celebrate Lit

Plunge Into Darkness by Kristen N. Spencer

About the Book

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Title: Plunge into Darkness

Author: Kristen N. Spencer

Release Date: February 27, 2018

Genre: Fantasy

Two girls.
A village with a dark secret.
Their only hope is a mythical figure Ever Morena has only read about in her father’s lone book.
Ten years ago Ever’s best friend disappeared without a trace. Though the loss of her friend only came close to killing her then, the truth of what happened might finish the job now—just when her future as the village healer is looking bright.
Ever must risk everything she loves in order to plunge into darkness on an impossible journey in the middle of the Concealed Forest.
Never before has redemption been so costly.
Please note: This book contains subject matter which some may find troubling as it spotlights helping those who have experienced abuse. I tried to handle this topic as delicately as I could, keeping the reader’s experience in mind.

MY THOUGHTS

The first in a series of books, I’m not sure how many books are planned for it, but I will certainly check out the next one(s).

While the characters appear unique with blue skin, there isn’t a big difference between them and a secluded community living a few centuries ago. They have their wise elder, their healers, their upright citizens and their scoundrels and low lives.  They use herbs for healing, farm their land, eat hearty meals, some make booze and get drunk.  They have their Book of Fables, some believe, some reject.

The story is about caring for the abused, not having a blind eye, but having compassion. Having a heart that follows the call of God to reach out and be led by Him. In this story, the darkness is really dark.  Kristen Spencer renders a very clear image of how dark it can be for so many people.  This hopefully will stir a sense of compassion and mercy for thousands upon thousands who are terribly abused, while everyone makes excuses and walks away or shuts their eyes and hopes it will go away.

As a warning, the story deals with some horrific situations. While it reads like it’s starting out as a nice “fairy tale”, please don’t think that it’s safe for a child or even a very young or immature teen.  Later in the story, it talks about incestuous rape of a child, and other horrifying situations, not in massive detail, but enough to get the “darkness” part across and left me feeling quite uneasy. That is a feeling we NEED to feel, if we dare to help and care for those who have been submerged in the “darkness” at the hands of wicked people.

And now the part that always bugs me, because I always want to say good things and not give negatives, but I feel like what I have to say is important from a strictly Christian perspective.

Regarding some spiritual issues , and I am bearing in mind that things may change and there may be better revelation to these blue people, whatever, where ever and whenever they live.  But with the story as it is now, in the Christian genre, I think we have to be super careful with allegorizing God and his Word.  First, when referring to what is likely an allegory of the Bible, to call it a Book of Fables, when non-Christians already think that, seems demeaning to God’s Word.  Granted, maybe the authors plan is to have her characters change that in time.  Second, Yacov, who I think is supposed to be an allegory of God the Father, seems weak, his knowledge is deeply limited, because he isn’t even aware of how evil things are in his creation?  When “Man of Sorrows” reports to him all the wickedness, he weeps like it’s news to him?  He seemingly has little control over things that go on. The characters in the story have more control than him, because they can decide to listen to him and follow him, or not.  He seems very impotent.

Maybe it’s not my place to say what the author should do with the story in their head, but I’d like to say this anyway.  I’m hoping these blue people come to learn of a better, stronger, all knowing, all powerful Yacov, than their Book of Fables teaches them.  I’m hoping some missionaries come and bring them The Book of Truth, about the real Man of Sorrows, who took the wrath of His Father on His back, to save His followers.

Lastly, and this is a little one, Man of Sorrows name kept being shortened to Man, which read so much like a script from the 70’s. You know what I mean, Man?  ?

Thank you to the author, who is brave enough to make us see and feel a little bit of the horror and darkness of abuse.

DISCLAIMER:  I received this book as a gift.  No compensation was received.  The opinions I express are provided without obligation.

Click HERE to get a copy of the book.

About the Author

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Kristin N. Spencer spends part of each day imagining up new worlds and beings when she isn’t busy taking care of her three children and writing partner husband T. E. Spencer. When she’s not writing you can find her working in full time ministry, sewing cosplay costumes, or watching geekesque movies. She writes whatever genre she wants including but not limited to Non-Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Sci-Fi, Space Fantasy, and traditional Fantasy. Kristin studied Comparative World Literature at California State University, Long Beach and received a Bachelors, which she fondly calls a degree in reading. Her favorite movie is Sabrina (the Julia Ormond version) and her favorite person is Jesus.

Guest Post from Kristin N. Spencer

Life is messy because people are messy. While I was missionary in Athens, Greece I spent a lot of time around profoundly broken people who were making brave choices to change their lives and the lives of their children. Human trafficking creates a unique kind of broken, and the people that minister to people who have survived this difficult journey also have to reach an understanding of what the people they’re ministering to have been through. After a while serving in a ministry that works with women who have been rescued out of prostitution, the founder and director sent me a message. She said she wanted to have a sit down talk so we could get to know each other. As I nervously tapped my foot on the plastic metro floor on my way to the meeting, a picture came into my head. I saw a young woman sitting next to a dark pond filled with sledge, and knew instantly that something that could help her was inside there, and the only way to help her was to jump into the sledge and find it… to experience the darkness as a witness as a way to understand it. When I got to my meeting with the director, I told her about the picture I had seen on the metro. She said it was a perfect illustration for the work we do as advocates for survivors of sexual abuse. It was then that I thought, “This is more than a picture… this could be a story to illustrate how sometimes the only way to help hurting and broken people is to go through the darkness—though to a lesser degree of course—ourselves.”
When you have a friend or acquaintance that is healing from a difficult ordeal, one of the best ways for them to heal is to be able to talk about it. The simple truth is, hearing about someone being raped is horrific and uncomfortable. But imagine how much more horrible it is to actually be raped, and then never feel like anyone wants to let you talk about it. Not only are you reeling from the sexual assault, but also from the society imposed silence everyone expects you to keep.
Enter Ever, Dawn, and the Man of Sorrows. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you read the story, you will see the clear implications of how what I’ve just described came to be crafted into a fantasy story that deals directly with the character of man versus the character of an all loving, creative being. I hope you love this book and it leaves you wanting more even though the topic is a difficult one.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, June 5

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Ashley’s Bookshelf, June 9

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Reading is my Super Power, June 10 (Interview)

Luv’N Lambert Life, June 11

Janices book reviews, June 11

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Texas Book-aholic, June 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 13

Jeanette’s Thoughts, June 13

Carpe Diem, June 14

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Margaret Kazmierczak, June 16

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, June 17

For The Love of Books, June 18

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kristin is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card, ‘Plunge Into Darkness’ Paperback, Minimalism Art Classic Notebook Journal, and Huhuhero Fineliner Color Pen Set (10 Pack)!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!

Enter for Giveaway

One Comment

  • Kay Garrett

    Thank you for your review on “Plunge into Darkness” by Kristen N. Spencer and for being part of the book tour. Enjoyed reading all about the book and author. I’d love the opportunity to read the book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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