Devil Game by Kyle Adams. 380 pages.
As I’ve mentioned here before, writing Christian fiction carries with it a double challenge. First, you have to write a good story. Like any author, you have to pay your dues and learn how to keep your audience entertained through the hundreds of pages that they have agreed to share with you. Second, because it is a Christian book, there needs to be a spiritual message behind the story. Otherwise, why make it a Christian book at all?
In his new book, Devil Game, Kyle Adams shares his writing abilities and demonstrates that he knows how to tell a good story, an original story. It’s based on the premise that the apocalypse comes to Earth and with it, demons and angels are now visible to humans. People use them to wager against each other in games–Devil games–and when you lose a game, you lose part of your soul. Participating in these games gets the Mark of the Beast branded on your forehead.
The risk is obvious. Just like going to Vegas, the odds are stacked against you, and eventually everyone loses, and loses their soul. But they play anyway, because it is addictive. And that’s why the main character is involved. He’s good, and claims that he never loses, despite evidence to the contrary. He’s recruited, along with other young people, to fight against Lucifer and his Lost Legion in an effort to regain the souls of those who were lost.
The story is quite original, with most of the emphasis being on the games themselves, and I found myself thinking a lot about similarities to Ready, Player One. There’s a lot of positives to be said for this approach to telling the story, and the author does a good job in characterization, in dialog, and in overall writing throughout. Especially there is a lot of action in this story. I would imagine that the story would appeal to a younger audience, those who might be more involved in computer games.
If I were to think of any hesitations I have about the story, it would be my concern that evil, especially dealing with demonic forces, might be handled a bit too trivial. At the same time, the power of God was not emphasized enough. That’s a danger that I think would come with the subject matter, but I think it is also consistent with those who deal with gaming today anyway. Satanic imagery, and demonic representation seems to be everywhere in gaming today, and it may be that a book like this can appeal and reach readers who might not consider reading anything else associated with Christianity. I’m of the belief that Christians need to use any and every tool possible to reach people about God’s goodness and the dangers of Satan.
I give this book four and a half stars out of five.