Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky. Probing. Bethany House, 2017. See here to buy the book.
Probing is the third volume of the “Harbingers” series. As in the first and second volumes, authors Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky each contribute a section, from the perspective of a main character. Bill Myers conveys the perspective of Brenda, a tough tattoo artist who has premonitions of the future. Frank Peretti contributes the perspective of the professor, James McKinney, an atheist ex-priest. Angela Hunt writes from the point-of-view of Andi, the professor’s assistant, who is Jewish. And Alton Gansky shares the viewpoint of Tank, a lovable ex-jock, who is probably the most Christian character in the book. Another character is Daniel, who hears from invisible people. Brenda is a mother-figure to him.
Allow me to comment on each story:
Bill Myers, “Leviathan.”
This story had an interesting concept: there is a colliseum-type environment, and the sinister, conspiratorial Gate is using that to shape people’s morality for the worse. There was also an insightful exchange about whether God is necessary for there to be morality. The professor said no, for morality is simply human attempts to keep communities from self-destruction. Tank retorted, however, that he himself needed God to have the strength to do right. Bill Myers’ contribution was like his contribution to the other two books: there are some interesting details.
Frank Peretti, “The Mind Pirates.”
I did not care for this story, as much. It was rather scattered. I know there were pirates in it, but I cannot tell you much else. Another issue I have is that the professor was said to be a professor of fields that are in the humanities, whereas Angela Hunt depicts him researching and writing about science (i.e., dimensions). There could have been more coordination among the authors about what exactly the professor’s field was. I enjoy many of Frank Peretti’s books, but I have had difficulty with his stories in this series. He writes from the perspective of the professor, but I usually find that I prefer the other three authors’ depiction of that character.
Angela Hunt, “Hybrids.”
As in the first volume, Angela Hunt’s contribution is the best. She did a better job telling the story in an understandable, compelling manner. Maybe that is because she includes more dialogue that tells readers what is going on, or she focuses more on the characters’ feelings than the other authors do. This story had some interesting scientific speculations about time travel. A main character drops out, and there is a mysterious incident at the end.
Alton Gansky, “The Village.”
Gansky’s contribution was actually pretty good. It is from the perspective of Tank. Tank shares his Christian faith, but he also vividly describes his struggles with his gift of healing, appealing to a scientific experiment on animals as an analogy. Tank comes across as a sensitive, loving person.
This may be the final book of the series. Unlike the last two books, this one did not end with an excerpt from the coming book. Plus, Amazon says this is Book 3 of 3. There are unanswered questions, such as the question of how the professor lost his faith. This series is not my favorite, but the characters were entertaining and likable, in their own way.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My review is honest.