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Reviewed by Leonard William Smuts for Readers' Favorite
The struggle between good and evil began with the dawn of time and with the granting of free will. In Chained in Darkness Anthology, Dr. Eugene Barnes adds a new and exciting dimension to this classic theme. It is a tale of fallen angels and their leader, who have been captured and imprisoned by the forces of Light. They seek to escape being chained in perpetual darkness by using earthly surrogates - such as the evil Charlotte Devereaux - in order to destroy the world. Against this background, Detective Wanda Price investigates a series of apparent suicides in her hometown in Illinois, USA. She suspects a spiritual link and seeks the advice of Reverend Kristofer Masters, the pastor at a local church. The trail leads them to confer with his mentor in New York, where similar unexplained deaths have occurred. There, a team of academics and theologians is assembled, but they must first cope with mystical experiences and be exposed to personal danger by dark forces. Relationships are forged through trust and international associations are established. They pool their esoteric knowledge to unravel clues from sacred texts and ancient wisdom to prevent the impending apocalypse, which reaches its climax in the town of Bethel.
Chained in Darkness Anthology extends the notion of an angelic rebellion and their misused stolen wisdom to include the unseen realms where highly evolved beings oversee our wellbeing. Entrance to those dimensions is strictly controlled. Dr. Eugene Barnes explores fields such as demonology, quantum physics, translocation, and altered states of consciousness through his rich cast of characters, which expands with the plot to include a professor, his student, a rabbi, and his sister. I particularly enjoyed the intricate blend of spiritual beliefs from Christianity through Rastafarianism, Judaism, and the Kabbalah to Native American teachings. A touch of romance completes the mix. The plot is well developed and it seems fitting that such a diverse interfaith team should set out to save the planet. This book pushes the bounds of conventional religion and provides an alternative scenario for a hypothetical Armageddon. It is well-written, entertaining, thought-provoking, and highly recommended. An excellent read.