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I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading debut author's novels or those author's who have not had many reviews thus providing them much needed encouragement 
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Friday, 24 March 2017

Armor of the Fallen: Wielder of the Gauntlets, Book 1 by Jason A. Dimmick



Armor of the Fallen: Wielder of the Gauntlets Book 1

Answer the call. Wield the Gauntlets. Fight the Fallen. Protect all mankind.

The life Tim is living is not the life God has intended for him. Now he is faced with a choice that will determine the fate of all mankind. After spending the last twelve years of his life in an orphanage, Tim must now move away from everything and everyone he knows to live with an uncle he never knew he had. What happens while with his uncle will not only drastically change Tims’ life forever, but will place the fate of mankind in his hands and answer all the questions Tim has about his past. The Gauntlets have chosen their Wielder. Will Tim answer the call and fight against the Fallen?

The Guru's Review: 


I am so glad the author found my blog and requested a review of his debut novel. I was captivated by the synopsis and readily agreed to review. I am also glad to have offered him a guest post on my blog to help promote this novel. 

I thoroughly loved this story. I was engaged from the start and could not put it down. Dimmick has constructed this novel as one fast paced, action packed adventure full of mystery and intrigue. It would definitely make a good movie! 

All the characters endear themselves to you, especially Tim. But then again, he is the main character. There is enough characterisation to achieve this despite this novel being more plot than character driven. I can see that this novel will become popular with young adults as it written and constructed to do so. Yet, some young adult novels do not lend themselves to the older age groups but this one does. Dimmick should take this as a compliment and a strength as a writer especially this being his debut. 

I have stated in previous reviews where the plot involves fight scenes that authors will either develop these well or they will not. Dimmick has achieved the former. If this comes naturally, then he has an asset in this aspect of his writing talent. If he has achieved this through practice and mentoring then he shows excellent application. Seeing that a large part of the plot involved fight scenes and other action sequences, having this developed well has only added to the overall enjoyment of the novel and its plot structure. One other aspect of achieving this level of competency is that it adds to the charactersation, especially of Tim, seeing that being a Wielder means he has to embrace fighting and using the Gauntlets to do so. In one sense, he and these Gauntlets become one when he is fighting, all part of being a Wielder. 

Overall, Dimmick has a good command of the English language, however, there were a few lapses. Minor, but it did stick out to me. Maybe I am too picky seeing I like grammar to be used correctly. An example is, 
.........the main hall of the Bradley Home for Youths. 
Grammarist.com implies that this should read, Bradley Home for Youth. (italics mine)

Another is, 
Ju-Long gives Gwan a nod as Gwan goes and takes a seat on the raised platform.
Should it not be, 
Ju-Long gives Gwan a nod as Gwan takes a seat on the raised platform?
What follows next is not a criticism but just a subjective observation. This novel is written in the present tense. I have not read in this tense for many a decade. I found it a bit hard to adjust but once you are immersed in the action and fast pace of the story, it is no longer noticeable. I am not sure why Dimmick chose this style; maybe this is what he is comfortable with. Does not really matter, it was effective in delivering a very memorable and enjoyable story. 

Dimmick has Tim stating that fallen angels are demons. Not sure if this author has used poetic licence in describing them as such or if there is another reason. In "Devils and Demons and the Return of the Nephilim" by Klein and Spears, fallen angels are defined as devils and demons as the disembodied souls of dead nephilim [nephilim being the offspring from the mating of fallen angels and human women, see Genesis 6: 4. (The above authors state that these fallen angels who committed this sin are the teraphim, the lowest form of the three types of angels-cherubim and seraphim-being a higher rank above them, where 200 of the teraphim made a pact to take on human form, seduce human women and produce their nephilim offspring)]. 

It is this fallen angel background, the supernaturally empowered gauntlets to fight these "demons" and those God has appointed as Wielders of these weapons that creates a solid backbone to this story and the rest of the trilogy. There are many elements here that make this story one very enthralling and captivating read. Dimmick has plenty to play around with in the next two novels from what he has established in this novel. That is wise groundwork as with some first novels, there is not much established and the rest of the trilogy has to support and build on this deficit. Again, this shows more of this new author's talent. 

I do like the spiritual aspects of this novel. Dimmick has portrayed the Archangel Michael as a Messenger and Warrior which is the Biblical description. The biblical message/theme of redemption and forgiveness expressed by Kau adds valuable biblical truth and adds much credibility and depth to the plot. Even the enemy Rhi-Nu has his spiritual "eyes" opened and realises the honour that he sought was through deceptive demonic means. He realises that this is no what he wanted. Without these biblical message/themes, mentioned above, a novel like this remains as one of the bad guys versus the good guys. There are plenty of non-Christian novels like this. Christian fiction needs to ascend past this basic plot line especially when the Bible contains so much hope for the reader. Christian fiction is a great medium for this. 

Any Christian novel that has a plot involving fallen angels, and/or demons versus the angelic host, and Christians caught either innocently in the middle or part of this warfare needs to have the biblical reason for this conflict spelt out as the basis for this plot line.

I am hoping that Dimmick expands more of this biblical background in the remaining instalments of this series. He is off to a good start in this regard with this debut. 

I was a little concerned at Dimmick having Tim "share" Ju-Long's body in order to learn how to use the Gauntlets to their full potential and how to fight. It has strong parallels to how demon possession works but there is a difference. In demon possession, the demon spirit takes total control of the human body and gives it all the spiritual attributes of the demon entity. The human spirit is suppressed and dominated by this demon until cast out. This is not the case with Tim and Ju-Long. It is a mutual and symbiotic relationship where one does not have control over the other. I am not sure if the use of this method is misplaced. Has Dimmick used a demonic practice in a Christian novel? Not sure, but I don't feel it would have been intentional. It serves his aim to show Tim how to use the Gauntlets. 

I loved this section where Tim is training under the tutelage of Ju-Long. There is an obvious back history between Ju-Long, Kau and Gwan as brothers, that suggests this needs to be told. I listened to the author's podcast recently and he confirmed that this will be the next instalment, albeit a novella. If this is so, I do hope he also includes in this, some of the loose ends that left me hanging at the end of this novel. 

I look forward to this series. I also want to see how Dimmick develops the plot and the spiritual issues in the remaining volumes. This is an author with talent and one to follow. 

Strongly Recommended. 4/5 

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