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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
The Scribe of Salem: Ministers Of The Mystery by Kathie Costos is a Christian fiction novel that revolves around Chris Papadopoulos, a former war reporter. In Salem, Massachusetts, Chris reunites with his friend Bill Gibson and learns of the death of Bill's sister Brenda. Chris joins his military comrades to honor their fallen comrade, discovering an intriguing woman named Mandy. Chris embarks on a transformative journey, seeking help from Mandy to regain control of his life. Inspired by their encounters and encouraged by friends, Chris finds the strength to write a book that becomes a bestseller, offering solace during the trying times of a pandemic. Chris finds unexpected fame in a series of events that catapult him into public recognition, but when Chris faces a harrowing blackmail attempt, both how strong his faith in God is and how solid his group of friends is are tested to their fullest.
The parallels between the persecution of witches and the persecution of open Christians set the foundational theme in The Scribe of Salem by Kathy Costos. The novel is a no-holds-barred story of faith and will resonate well with readers who enjoy Christian fiction in a way where scripture and conversational sermons run through almost every scene, as opposed to the more nuanced approach that is found in most fiction within the same genre. Costos' style might not be as elegant, but it certainly does get the message across. I liked the contemporary setting and the way the characters are confronted with incidents surrounding COVID-19 protocols. As an observer, these feel really authentic and do well in exploring the group's unique contributions in the fight against chaos and darkness, to which the pandemic adds an additional layer, and realizing the profound impact of their connections and gifts. The full circle that the ending brings is satisfying in that there is closure; a relief given the possibility of a book in a series ending with a cliffhanger. Recommended.