How do you run from an unseen enemy . . .
. . . in a world you’ve never experienced?
Twelve-year-old Ima Fredericks is a second generation mim (manufactured image of man). Born and raised in the secret research facility known as CeSiR Tech, she discovered early in life that she was different—different from humans and different from the other mims.
When the one person she trusts is murdered, Ima flees the only world she has ever known. But escape was the easy part. Can she survive in an unfamiliar world while hunted by the unseen forces responsible for the creation of the mims?
As a faithful warrior of the heavenly host, Adiya cannot understand why she would be assigned to protect an abomination created by the enemy. She trusts in the Creator s wisdom, but will she be up to this challenge?
Interview with Robert Rouse can be found here
In my review of Book 1, In The Image of Man, I stated,
If there is one thing that I dislike immensely is reading Book 1 of a series then having to wait for Book 2 when this first book has entertained me immensely, uplifted me spiritually and reinforced spiritual truths from the Bible. All the three things that I expect to see and like to see from Christian fiction. This author delivers this with ease and expertise. Quite a feat and talent for his debut novel.
Well, now this applies to Book 2! I sincerely hope that Book 3 will not be too long in the waiting as the ending of this one leaves the door wide open as to what happens to Ima after the events in this instalment. Again, Roush has entertained me immensely, uplifted me spiritually and reinforced spiritual truths from the Bible.
It was great to be back in the world Roush created in Book 1, In The Image of Man. Although I was looking forward to seeing the plot develop more between Chris and Sarah, Marilyn and Daryl, Pastor Thomas and others, this instalment focusses solely on what happened to Ima at the end of Book 1. This entire novel is devoted to her and the spiritual warfare between the forces of Mael and his demonic horde and those of the Host of Heaven.
This is necessary to further the plot of this trilogy. Roush has this plot full of action and adventure, twists and turns while interspersed throughout with the spiritual warfare principles that were included in Book 1. Here we learn more about submission to God’s will and His Ways. Mainly through the angel Adiya, Roush shows the reader that despite wanting to act on her own will in the spiritual warfare battles against Ophois, she instead keeps her obedience to God, understanding that His Sovereignty is above her instincts and she is a Warrior and Messenger, and not the one who has the final say. Every time she kept herself in check with God in this regard, it touched my spirit as I can fully relate to wanting to act on my own behalf when situations have gone pear shaped before going to the Throne of Grace and seeking His counsel first. This is just one example of what Roush instructs throughout the novel. There are many more. It is also fitting in a spiritual warfare novel of this calibre to have the Spirit present and active in the lives of both the Angels and Patricia and Charles as this is what should be the experience of the Christian in real life.
I felt more endeared to the characters in this novel than the previous. Not saying that the previous were not well developed; they were, just that in this novel, I felt Roush had made the angels (Adiya, Eldwyn) and the humans, Patricia and Charles, the mims, (Manufactured Image of Man, human clones) Ima and Trenton, very relatable and real, seeing that the majority of the novel comprises these characters. I loved the grandfatherly figure of Eldwyn, the angel guardian of Charles, who has this demeanor, not due to any aging characteristic but more due to his personality. My heart warmed every time Eldwyn entered the plot! I loved Adiya, her strength in battle, determination to be the best she could be, forever loyal and submitted to her Lord and the hierarchy of the chain of command of her angelic warriors (mainly to Captin Eitan). He is also one very strong and powerful strategist, the leader who takes charge, but also understands and is caring and considerate to his angelic charges.
Having read this second novel, it is quite evident that he is very consistent with how he constructs his novels. The flow never slows, just like the pace, it is fluid, like a bubbling brook, no peaks and troughs in the pace, his characters are relatable and you either like or hate them which is evident more in a series like this where it deals with good versus evil, light versus darkness and spiritual warfare. His adherence to biblical truths and honouring God has not waned in this novel and this latter point is one of the strengths and pillars of this novel’s and the series construction.
Roush is one author who is not afraid to present God for who He is and His many character traits. He is also not afraid to present in his novels the behaviour of what a Christian should be. In Patricia and Charles, we see two people who are selfless and committed to God, submitted to Him and put Him first in what they do daily. Patricia is sensitive to the Spirit, has constant daily prayer with Him as a prayer warrior and receives discernment and contact with and from the Spirit during the day. She is a mentor to those she comes in contact with and uses her experiences with Ima to teach her about God, His ways and what His Word is about. Charles, while not a prayer warrior, is more of a hands on person, who is an encourager of the faith. Both compliment each other here and this is a good example of what biblical marriage should be.
I loved how Roush has constructed the plot to lead Ima into the knowledge and experience of who God, Jesus and His Spirit are and her need for Him as Saviour. These events are not contrived which is a great asset to the storyline and is in line with the nature of who God is, but rather had a natural occurrence and follow on from the input of Patricia and Charles in her life in the circumstances that surround the spiritual warfare concerning the battle over her life.
There is an intriguing twist relating to Ima being a mim, that is not suggested as a result of the events in Book 1, and it shows more of the Sovereignty of God in relation to His creation. I did not see this coming and it sets the stage for some very good plot developments in Book 3. Something very good to look forward to that should end this trilogy extremely well.
For those who have not read Book 1, In The Image of Man, they will have a great blessing and a treat in being able to read both of these together. I really pray that Roush will be able to release Book 3 as quickly as possible.
World building 5/5
Spiritual level 5/5
Spiritual Enemy Level 5/5
Average Rating: 5/5
Peter Younghusband has been an avid reader from as early as he can remember. Since becoming a Christian in his early 20s, his passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on his blog. He loves reading new author’s novels or authors who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.