Book Review: The Ishbane Conspiracy

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The book description intrigued me, as I have been pondering spiritual realms and the reality of the battles that take place between light and dark every day.  Every moment.

The Ishbane Conspiracy by Angela, Karina, and Randy Alcorn is basically a modern version of C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters.

9781576738177

“In one unforgettable year, four students do battle with light and darkness.  Competing worldviews, occult influences, and the allure of a culture of death threaten their survival.  Can they, and their parents, take the drastic steps necessary to resist the dark spirit forces attacking them?  Can they summon a Power greater than the gates of Hell…Someone who calls them to a higher destiny?

“Readers of all ages can eavesdrop on the enemy’s targeting of four students you might meet anywhere.  Read classified demonic correspondence revealing strategies to deceive and destroy them – and meet a generation of youth awakened to declare: Equip Yourself for Battle!”

I think that I have about decided that fiction is just not my genre.  It is so hard for me to find fiction that I actually enjoy.  I love words.  I’m somewhat a word snob when it comes to books.  Well-written fiction is hard to come by, in my opinion.  So I’ll just get that out of the way first: The Ishbane Conspiracy is a very easy read and is not written in such a way where the words literally seem to draw you into the story.  The plot seemed sensational, with almost every kind of problem imaginable happening to these kids (drugs, alcohol, witchcraft, abortion, suicide, etc).

My bigger concern, however, is that I am afraid it goes too close to legalism.  This is a very sore spot for me right now, so I am highly sensitive to the subject.  But in many of the letters between the two demons, they name specific things, TV shows, clothing, dating relationships, etc, as if Satan is claiming them and using them in an attempt to destroy God’s people.

While I definitely acknowledge that each of those things can be the downfall or temptation of a person, I am very hesitant to claim as fact that Satan is in control of it all.

The good part of the book is the opening of the discussion that there are spiritual forces at work.  For good and for evil.  There are spiritual, demonic battles being fought every day.  Satan is prowling around our souls, looking for someone to devour.  These are truths.  These are realities.

Some people might be able to read the book and come away with a tightened grip on their mind, bringing their every thought into captivity and striving to keep their every action honoring to Him.  I fear that many however might take it too far and see specific things and actions as 100% sinful when they might not be.  I can see many people withdrawing further into themselves and away from the world in a fear-based effort to avoid evil and protect themselves.  Overall I give this book one star.

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books for free in exchange for this review.

-Bonnie

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Ishbane Conspiracy

  1. Huh. I read This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness by Frank Pereti when I was a teenager – and ultimately came to reject his model of spiritual warfare (demons going around and tempting people with the occult, lust, alcoholism, etc and Christians praying dramatic prayers to stop them). I wonder if this is something like that. When I think of Screwtape Letters, I’m struck by how insightful Lewis is – for the majority of us, comfortable lies are much greater temptations than big, evil behaviors. I think there’s probably a reason why passages like II Corinthians 10:4-6 describe spiritual warfare as being a battle of ideas – taking our thoughts (even nice little falsehoods like works righteousness) captive to the obedience of Christ (and His radical undeserved grace on sinners such as we.)

  2. Interesting. I’ve never read The Screwtape Letters, but I’ve read all Frank Peretti’s books and I’m currently working on a new book by Max Lucado that also has an angel’s POV. I agree with you that it’s a bit daring to claim that a specific thing is a work of God or the devil (in the Lucado book, an angel claims to have been at Martin Luther’s side and sure, maybe, but at the same time Luther caused the beginning of massive disunity in the church, which speaks to me more of the devil than of God, who wants unity, but that’s off-topic…). I agree with you about books that are easy to read, yet lack that power of words that draws you in. Have you ever read Lisa Samson? I just finished one of her books and I LOVE her way with words. She’s amazing. I totally recommend her. 🙂 And I think one of her books is on BookLook right now (at least, that’s where I got it). 🙂

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