Two things become abundantly clear just pages into Jon Guenther’s latest novel, Soul Runner. One: the author is a man of faith. Two: he’s an expert at crafting edge-of-your-seat tales of high adventure.
The first point should come as no shock, as the plot of Soul Runner revolves around a mission to rescue a Christian dissident from her Communist oppressors in Romania, circa 1988. Its hero, Dr. Abram Aronsfeld, is a former Hasidic Jew and current member of ARK, a covert organization that exists to rescue persecuted Christians worldwide. Aronsfeld can quote scripture like nobody’s business (to prove it, Guenther provides a list of scriptural end notes in the novel’s back pages), and he also believes in miracles. Not that he’s necessarily expecting the parting of the Red Sea or a plague of locusts to beset his enemies, but the occasional Deus Ex Machina in the form of a colleague getting him out of a jam at just the right moment is certainly enough to justify Aronsfeld’s faith in divine intercession.
As for the second point, Guenther proves throughout Soul Runner that he’s mastered the juggling act of keeping a story moving forward at full-steam while simultaneously fleshing out his characters and placing them in expertly wrought, highly credible settings. That is, Guenther is not just an expert at plotting out stories; he’s also quite the universe builder, breathing life into his characters and giving them free reign over their destinies. Thus, while the plot of Soul Runner is clearly mapped, it never seems contrived. Rather, it stems naturally from the wishes and desires of its characters. Again, not that this should come as any surprise, as Guenther is the author of over 30 novels (mostly pseudonymous), which is to say that he’s had a lot of practice.
Given all of this, it’s a safe bet that Soul Runner will appeal to anyone who’s looking for a literary thrill ride with a distinctly Christian bent.
For a free sample, prospective readers can download the first chapter at his website.
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