Friday, July 22, 2011

Review: Vigilante by Robin Parrish

The streets of New York City are overrun by organized crime. Many of the city's police officers are corrupt. Families are being torn apart, and people are dying. Hope is lost. All over the world people are suffering as the wicked roam free, devouring whatever and whoeverk they want.

The world needs a hero to show them a better way, and one man personally takes on the challenge. A man with incredible skill and a firm faith. A man convinced that for people to change they need an example, a symbol to inspire hope and motivate love in action.

Robin Parrish's latest novel VIGILANTE is about this hero. Highly trained military soldier Nolan Gray is tired of the wicked having their way and has faked his own death to reemerge as a vigilante superhero in New York City known as The Hand. With the help of a retired general named Branford, a gadget expert named Arjay, and a nurse named Alice who was rescued from an abusive home life, The Hand daily makes his way through the streets of New York doing good for people and inspiring hope.

The Hand seems nearly unstoppable until the night a tragic accident claims the lives of the wife and daughter of the city's most powerful crime boss Yuri Vasko. Believing The Hand to be responsible, Vasko vows revenge and pushes Nolan to his limits. Can this one man really change people for the better or will evil win in the end?

Parrish has been one of my favorite authors since I picked up his book RELENTLESS in a book store 3 years ago to see what the book was about. I couldn't put it down until I read through all three books of the DOMINION TRILOGY. With each book it's clear that he's getting better and he has an incredible ability to craft a truly interesting and emotionally-driven story.

I loved VIGILANTE because I've always loved superhero stories like Superman and Batman, and Parrish's hero is well-crafted and memorable. It would be great if the story could achieve widespread appeal beyond just a Christian audience because the story is so compelling and inspiring.

VIGILANTE is great because there's nothing supernatural about the hero. Nolan Gray is a man who has been stretched more than any human being should and is resilient and resourceful as a result. Nolan is also surrounded by a great cast of characters who care about Nolan and his cause, as well as a very resourceful villain who helps define The Hand as a hero.

Throughout the story Nolan struggles with the nature of the evil he's trying to stop, as any human would. It prompts the question, "Can a flawed man truly stop evil without succumbing to it himself?" Parrish handles this tension in a way that is completely unpredictable and kept me turning the pages.

I loved the story and it would be great if Parrish wrote a sequel to The Hand's story. The Hand could join the ranks of all our favorite superheroes.

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishing.

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