Rodney has been abandoned, sent to live with weird Uncle Ray while his mother and father get their lives together after a divorce. At first, it seems that the worst thing about his exile is being forced to play baseball or to endure sobriquets like “Rod-nacious,” but when Rodney discovers that his Uncle Ray may be opening a path to allow a demon army to enter the world, all the rest pales in comparison.
Strays is a delightful YA story that takes Christian spiritual realities (six-winged seraphim, envious demons, the Name of Jesus) and imagines “what if?” What if it were possible for demons to become corporeal and invade this world? What if a ragtag band of people (and animals) joined together to stop them?
Other than the fast-paced adventure, one of the most delightful things about the book are the homages to other literary works. The army of Hell have names and personalities similar to C.S. Lewis’ tempters in The Screwtape Letters. The baseball bat (which you can see on the clever cover) glows like “Sting” in The Hobbit in the presence of the orc-ish enemies. The chapter titles are taken from the lyrics of “A Mighty Fortress” by Martin Luther…which made it ever so fitting to have the book release on October 31, the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
Now that I’ve finished reading it, I’ll be putting my copy in our school library so its intended audience can enjoy it too. Recommended!