The Awakened by Richard Spillman -Book Review, Preview

Posted March 7, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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Years ago, I read The Oath by Frank Peretti.

Now before you scoff in disbelief that I would have even looked at the cover without running away in terror, I had read This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness and found them to be fascinating. For those who aren’t familiar with them, they are about spiritual warfare in a small town in Oregon and you can see the workings of the angels in protecting the people there as they fight against evil. Though they are suspenseful, they were not really scary.

The Oath was different. As I recall, it was darker and had less (none?) of the insight of the presence of angels. Regardless, it was a creepy AND scary book and my imagination made it even more so.

There was one night I stayed up late reading The Oath. And later, after I had been asleep for a while, I had to get up. My husband and I don’t turn lights on at night if we can help it, so I was standing at the sink in the dark and all of a sudden there was a hand on my shoulder.

I screamed!!!

Maybe it was only a shriek, but it was the middle of the night and I’m not a screamer.

Regardless of the level of the sound I made after I leapt a mile off the ground, I had to explain to my poor husband why it was that he couldn’t walk up behind me in the middle of the night like this when I have been reading scary books. I was then informed that Frank Peretti needed to be put on my do not read list.


The Awakened by Richard Spillman -Book Review, Preview

The Awakened

by Richard Spillman

Series: The Lazarus Chronicles #1
Series Rating:
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date October 1, 2018
Genres: Christian Fiction, Action/Adventure, Suspense, Paranormal
Written for: Adults
Pages: 378


Everyone dies once. But what if a chosen few were raised from the dead?

Two thousand years ago Jesus resurrected his friend, Lazarus, who founded a secret organization: SOAR. Since then Jesus has added to the resurrected—The Awakened—to aid Lazarus in SOAR's battle against Satan's slaves, the UnVeilers. The threat is escalating. The UnVeilers have stepped up their attacks on mankind through a charming leader and a devastating series of bombings in Dubai and Tel Aviv.

But the invasion doesn't stop with international terrorism. The UnVeilers are searching for a secret that Jesus embedded in Lazarus’ journal that not even Lazarus knows—and it will determine the fate of mankind. After a failed cyber-attack against SOAR's computers, Lazarus and his team of experts must find the secret before the UnVeilers do. What clue is he overlooking that could turn the tide of this ageless conflict?

The souls fighting with Lazarus are weary, but the war against evil is far from won. Can Lazarus and his team set aside their longing for heaven and put a stop to these satanic attacks before it's too late?

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Also in this series: The Ascension

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Every so often, I pick up a book that sounds a little outside my comfort zone on the recommendation of others or because I have read other books by the author. The Awakened is one of those books. I mean, really, I’m not the paranormal thriller or heavy suspense type. At all. . . Emphasis on the “I don’t read thrillers or heavy suspense!”

I am so thankful for the recommendation I received to read this book.

I was intrigued by the book’s description and the recommendation came from a reader I trust. Look at the description again. What’s not to lure me in? After all, a fight against good and evil is something we are involved in every single day. And I do enjoy a good PG suspense story.

The Awakened was a little bit of everything. It was a fast-paced action story taking place mostly in Washington (the state) and the Middle East. There were computer geniuses trying to break codes, spies trying to infiltrate, and everyday people (Normals) caught in the middle. And there were the UnDead who were evil but not zombies. (I was relieved at that! I know – only in my mind is it better to have a body animated by a demon than a zombie.)

And throughout the story, snippets of Lazarus’ journal were shared, starting with when he first heard Jesus calling to him from outside the tomb.

This story is so POWERFUL!

It is a story of hope, faith, and love. And while you are catching your breath from the excitement, you will have your heart tugged by the pain Rikki carries from her childhood. And experience the loneliness of the Awakened as they watch those they love move on to eternity leaving them behind.

One of the most touching moments was when Lazarus, speaking of Jesus, told how much he misses His physical presence. Oh, to have such a relationship with the Lord that we cannot stand to not be out of an intimate relationship with Him!

Thank you, Richard Spillman, for this very moving story that has me longing even more for the time I will be face to face with my Savior evermore!

The Awakened will appeal to wimpier readers like me who still like action and some drama. It will also appeal to those who like a fast-paced, inspirational thriller with a hint of the paranormal added in.

This is my Review of the Month for the review collection on


About Richard Spillman

Dr Richard Spillman founded the Kingdom is Near Ministries (KIN). Through KIN he has supported an orphanage in Uganda as well as a church/school for kids from conflict zones in the Philippines. He has small teams on short term missions into slums and jungles around the world. He has also taught in DTS for YWAM in Mali, South Korea, India and the Philippines.

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