Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
The Rhise Of Hope: Book Two in the Darkness Overcome Series, by Max B Sternberg, is a compelling and entertaining Christian sci-fi fantasy novel that successfully takes the undead-horde concept into faith-based territory. In Book One, the character of Leon Rhise is established as a non-traditional hero in that he chose to fight for the last living kingdom instead of staying in the comfort of his family's wealth. This time around, Rhise is a new Judge, chosen to save villages, destroy the undead, and reconcile the world to a God that for the most part is just a faded memory. But he's been deemed a criminal, and this makes his work doubly hard. He has a lot on his shoulders with seeking forgiveness for his own past, trying to help Princess Schalae, and trying to fight the undead.
Sternberg delivers a powerful story with realistic conflict, strong characters, and a foundation of Christian faith that gives this novel its unique spin on fantasy sci-fi drama. The author's talent for worldbuilding is the perfect stage for the creative faith-based plot, and his characters, especially Leon Rhise, may remind you of some dynamic biblical characters. The nature and message of God are told in a way that's relevant to the story, and you feel the spiritual needs of the characters, thanks to the insightful and immersive writing by the author. Sternberg's world is tough, and sometimes you wonder how this will all work out, but that is the appealing nature of this book. You have the classic good versus evil, faith versus non-belief, and the uncertainty of the future. The character arcs leave a lasting impression, and there is room for a third book. For those looking for an entertaining, suspenseful novel with unforgettable characters, action, and a spiritual twist that may have you thinking about your own life, make The Rhise Of Hope: Book Two in the Darkness Overcome Series, by Max B Sternberg, the next fantasy saga you read.