By Samuel Parker Revell
PB, 283 pages
Jack and Laura are a married couple who ventured to Las Vega in an attempt to rekindle a dying marriage. Colten is a gas station clerk. Red is a sheriff. Molly is a runaway teen looking for adventure in Los Angeles. Boots is a lonely man who lives in a trailer in the middle of the desert. Seth is a manipulative being who bends unsuspecting victims to his malicious will. One stormy night in the Mojave Desert he connects, and changes all of their lives in Samuel Parker’s Purgatory Road.
Parker creates suspense throughout the entire novel by utilizing short chapters to give the reader quick, action-packed scenes. He also keeps the readers on edge by building a chapter up to a cliff-hanger then switching point of view in the next chapter, making the readers wait for the resolution of a previous storyline. Though the purpose of some characters ends up muddled in the beginning, Parker does a good job of weaving their stories together in the end.
Despite some instances of telling information instead of showing through his characters, Parker’s plot is a thrilling one. It is easy for readers to gather the images of God and Satan through his portrayals of Boots and Seth. Without lapsing into preaching, Parker gives an excellent depiction of both of their character traits and their influences on the human mind. Readers will not be able to put this book down once they start it.
This book illuminates just how easy it is to fall into the trap of sin through the actions and beliefs of different characters. It also shows how the devil uses people to do his dirty work, and how trusting in God, is the only way to safety.
The suggested audience is ages 16 and older because there are some violent and graphic scenes. Some content may be too jarring for a younger audience. However, it is entirely possible that someone younger than 16 can enjoy this novel and pull the important themes from it.
Reviewed by Allyson M. Hutchison, a Professional Writing Major at Taylor University