THE MESSENGERS: Concealed. By Lisa M. Clark
THE MESSENGERS: Concealed. By Lisa M. Clark. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2017. 346 pages. $12.99.
The Messengers: Concealed by Lisa M. Clark is the second volume of a CPH’s dystopian trilogy. The first volume, The Messengers: Discovered I reviewed earlier and can be found here.
Fresh off a very public and nearly deadly confession of his faith, Simon Clay has been whisked back to safety and is now living as a known believer of Jesus Christ in the faith-oppressing country of New Morgan. Rather than kill him, the government is carefully monitoring all that Simon Clay does in an effort to get at the core of the Messengers (called ‘The Darkness’ by the government) and squash the faith and its faithful once and for all.
Simon’s bold and public confession has awakened the faith of others, some of whom seek him out for more information. Simon must struggle with whether this “newfound faith” of others is genuine or simply an act so that these new believers can become moles for the government.
Rather than discovering his latent faith, as occurred in the first book, The Messengers: Concealed shows Simon’s faith in action and all the struggles that are inherent to it. His hunger for the Word and desire to share it with others propels Simon on many such journeys which are often met with road blocks and hazards and tragedies.
All of the commendable features of the first book are present in this second book as well and I won’t repeat them here.
My greatest critique of this second book is that I thought the book wandered without and lacked urgency. The book is very clear on confessing Christ and keeping the faith in the midst of all trials in life, but as far as the plot goes, I don’t know where the Messengers are going or how they are going to get there in the in final volume.
There were moments of plot clarity and movement, but they tended to only show themselves near the end of chapters to provide the reader with a cliff hanger (there were many) to turn the next page. It would have been nicer if that urgency present in the cliffhangers were consistent throughout the entire chapter, not just the last page or two of each.
The glimpses into the perspective of the government—though brief—were fantastic features of this volume and I hope they continue in the next.
Criticisms aside, The Messengers: Concealed is a worthy continuation of the story of Simon Clay. Pick up the books, read them with or to your children. Engage with the questions at the end of the book, and be sure to go to Twitter and let @LisaMClark1 know what you think.
Rev. Timothy A. Koch, Pastor of Concordia and Immanuel Lutheran Churches in Cresbard and Wecota, South Dakota.