Review – Powers and Principalities WARNING: This novel could change your perception of the spirit realm! Powers and Principalities is a powerful story about the unseen spiritual forces that exist everywhere around us and how these forces are bent on human destruction – both personal and global. Author Dan Calabrese weaves a tale that is simultaneously fantastical and imaginative while at the same time realistic in its gritty portrayal of the characters. It centers around three friends – a somewhat eclectic and unlikely trio – who come face to face with these dark forces of evil when one of their number is ‘gifted’ with the ability to see into the spirit realm. Once he sees the forces at work, an even more insidious plot is uncovered and it is up to the threesome to save the city from mayhem and destruction. Not since Frank Peretti’s groundbreaking novel This Present Darkness was released 25 years ago, has a novel about spiritual warfare had this kind of potential to impact people’s thinking on the topic. Powers and Principalities jumps in with both feet and comes out swinging. Having said that, as a work of ‘Christian’ Fiction this novel is sure to raise a few eyebrows, or, as is more likely the case, garner some strong criticism from mainstream church-dom. As ‘Edgy Christian’ fiction, it is way beyond edgy. Perhaps the initial warning could have read: ‘Explicit language and graphic sexual descriptions’. However, since author Dan Calabrese has done this himself quite openly in the preface to the novel, there is no need. Mr. Calabrese clearly explains to the reader what is coming, and why he chose to write in this style – a style that many Christians will undoubtedly question and certainly that many more will find offensive. Reader, consider yourself warned! This is not a novel for the squeamish, sheltered, or faint of heart. Mr. Calabrese has deliberately chosen to write in a realistic style that doesn’t pull any punches. Demons aren’t pretty, and their activities aren’t either. For those who choose to read past the third page, you will find that this authenticity only adds to the sense of urgency that the author is trying to portray. It also adds credibility to his characterization, not only of the humans, but of the demons controlling them. Social issues are presented in all their raw intensity without any sugar coating whatsoever. This is a current and relevant story for the modern reader who is not afraid of the truth – ugly or not. Ultimately, this is also a novel about redemption. There is no mistaking the evangelistic message, but the characters are portrayed as real people with flaws – even after conversion – which is both refreshing and believable. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting an intriguing yet thought provoking read. Read with an open mind, this novel could have great impact as an evangelistic tool as well as serve to enlighten the minds of believers. Bravo to Mr. Calabrese for such a gutsy and timely treatment of spiritual warfare.