Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Trapping by Anthony Vela

Xlibris, 1413123493, $20.99



Gabe Chaplin has one true love, his art, yet as he observes the devotion of couples around him in the sleepy town of Southwick he yearns for something more. Living at home with an invalid, demanding, and verbally abusive mother, he is not afforded many opportunities to find a companion, and when he does it seems his mother is there to ruin everything. This changes during a visit to the town's first true art museum, and Gabe meets Sara Livingston.



Gabe's love for Sara is immediate and strong, and it is not long before he draws enough strength from this influx of positive emotion to take charge of his situation at home - which begins to prompt a change in his mother's attitude toward him for the better. Only the constant presence of a myriad of black birds swarming the grass and streets foreshadows a sense of the tragic, which Gabe sees in the form of a strange man watching his and Sara's every move, a strange man who insists Sara is not what she seems, and not of this earth...



As his relationship with Sara hits rough patches, Gabe soon learns he must fight for more than Sara's love, he must also save his own soul. Both Sara and the stranger claim the other is a dark force leading him to damnation, forcing Gabe to choose sides, a decision which culminates in a gripping conclusion.



Though elements of Christianity are pervasive throughout the story, it can be debated whether or not Vela's THE TRAPPING should be considered a Christian novel. As one discovers Sara's true identity the more studious Christian may question the accuracy of Vela's characterization - is it possible for an angel to do this or that? Nevertheless, such thoughts should not deter the reader from enjoying the story. THE TRAPPING is a brief but entertaining thriller, with vivid tension between characters (Gabe and his mother, Gabe and Sara) and an unexpected yet satisfying ending.

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