Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer

The Canary List by Sigmund Brouwer
WaterBrook Press – June 21, 2011
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Source: Blogging For Books

From Goodreads: Protected by the dark of night, Jaimie Piper runs. But is anywhere safe when Evil is hunting you?  She’s just a twelve year-old girl, bumped around between foster homes and relegated to school classes for challenged kids, those lagging in their test scores or with behavioral issues. But her real problem is that she can sense something the other kids can’t—something dark. Something compelling her to run for her life.  All Crockett Grey wants is to mark the anniversary of his daughter’s death alone. But when his student Jaimie comes to him, terrified, her need for protection collides with his grief, and a tangled web of bizarre events sends them both spiraling toward destruction. Crockett’s one hope of getting his life back is to uncover the mysterious secrets of Jaimie’s past and her strange gift. It isn’t long before his discoveries lead him to a darker conspiracy, secrets guarded by the highest seat of power in the world—the Vatican

Demons. Evil. Childhood abuse. Satanic Rituals. Perfect possession. Vatican City. In the end, you’re still not sure what side of the fence you’re on –even if you believe in angels and demons. I mean, at least I wasn’t. Either it’s all real or it’s the most elaborate scam that anyone has ever attempted. As far as the book goes, I am not sure that it matters which story you choose to believe. You’re pulled into the story right at the beginning, and Brouwer doesn’t realize you until well after the book has ended.  Maybe things wouldn’t have played out the way that they did if Crockett wasn’t already vulnerable, if he wasn’t “that type of a guy”. Maybe it’s not only the abused that have cracks in their psyche that gives the devil room to play.
This is not your typical good conquers evil story. In the end, good isn’t all that good. It’s just not evil. While some readers may take this to be commentary about the Catholic Church, I believe that it speaks more to the depravity of the human condition. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be any of the characters, and I honestly wouldn’t want to know. But the characters were real and relatable. I think everyone would hope that they would have the strength and determination to fight the way that Crockett did, but those that came to his assistance is not available to everyone.
It’s hard to mention the abuse that’s been meted out by the hands of Catholic Priests and not have a reaction. Brouwer does an amazing job of playing on the fear of the far reaches of the Vatican. The reaction to the abuse is intensely stronger when on thinks that the Catholic Church is a breeding ground for pedophiles and an institution with enough reach to cover it up.
There was one spot that I didn’t like, the writing confused me. It was at the end of Chapter 63 when the Cardinal comes into the picture. But other than this part, I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense in the book. This is the first book that I’ve read by Brouwer, but it’s not the first that I’ve heard of him. I know that I will definitely be reading more of him. 

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review


Always Shine, 
Starr K

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