By Robin Parrish
In stores July 11, 2011
In a world where evil runs rampant and bad men are allowed to carry out their wicked deeds unchecked by any authority, where can people turn for hope? Sounds a lot like our world today, doesn’t it? But this is the future world Robin Parrish has presented to us in his new book, “Vigilante.”
Nolan Gray is sick of the corruption and crime that he sees taking over the country. After years of fighting in numerous wars and years spent as a POW, Gray has seen more than his share of the evil men can do and the suffering they can inflict on their victims. And he’s not going to let that continue to happen in his country.
Proclaiming, “There is a better way,” Gray decides the best way to change the world is to show people there is hope. For most people this would be a fool’s errand, but Gray isn’t most people. An elite soldier skilled in many forms of combat, Gray fakes his own death and is reborn as the masked vigilante known as “The Hand.” With the help of his two friends, Gray sets about the monumental task of stopping crime in New York City and reminding people that good can triumph over evil. Of course, evil has its own ideas about Gray’s plans. As the villain takes the fight to Gray, our hero’s beliefs and standards are put to the test.
I’ve always loved comic books and superhero stories and this book fits nicely into that genre. At times, I couldn’t help but picture Batman fighting Gotham City’s supervillains as I read this story. With the high-tech gadgets and the crimefighting, the comparisons are inevitable. But this hero is tormented by demons even darker than Bruce Wayne’s, pushing him to make decisions that Batman would never make. I loved the internal conflicts that we saw Gray go through as the stakes were raised higher and higher. He is a supersoldier who still was very human and relatable. Put in the same position, would any of us have done any differently? Those are the questions I pondered as I read “Vigilante” – questions I’m assuming Parrish wanted us to think about. If so, mission accomplished, Mr. Parrish.
With his sixth book, Parrish has crafted a fast-paced story that will make a great summer read. I’ve loved his previous work, which has all fallen into the “speculative fiction” genre. This one has its feet planted a little more firmly on terra firma, but there is still plenty of fun action and compelling story to keep you turning the pages. And the ending … well, I won’t give it away, but it certainly did surprise me. Parrish again proves that he is not afraid to push the boundaries and test the limits of what is acceptable in the Christian book genre.
On a score of 1 to 5, I give Vigilante a 4.