Dylan Runs Ahead has been running all of his life. He ran away from his people to join the army, thinking he could get away from the guilt he felt. He served in Iraq got a terrible leg injury and becomes addicted to pain meds. Involved in a drug deal that goes bad he is on the run again. Running from people that would just as soon see him dead.
While on the run he meets up with Quinn, a Christian who practices embedding, which essentially means that she cuts herself to deal with her anxiety. She also claims to have some psychic abilities and tells Dylan that he is chosen and destined to be someone amazing. He isn't really surprised to hear this because he has been told this before.
To fulfill his destiny he must face the demons that have been chasing him all his life.
My take: The book was interesting once I was able to get into it about halfway through. It jumps around and the thread is difficult to follow for me. I found the content to be confusing and not as congruent as I would have liked.
Hines uses the allegory of a virus to describe how demonic activity infiltrates humankind. The premise of "Falling Away" is that a few demons infect key "Chosen" people who then spread the demonic virus to others. Since this is touted as Christian Fiction, this didn't sit well with me. The war between good and evil seems to have missing key elements like 1) free agency 2) Christ's atonement. The falling away component comes from 2 Thessalonians "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition."
Quinn and the others in the group have different ways to cope with their job. To put it bluntly, they all have different compulsions and varying degrees of obsessive compulsive disorder. They are cutters, germophobes, obsessive about numbers and patterns, and other coping mechanisms that are common in the mental health field. On the one hand, I am uncomfortable with the behavior being deemed as an acceptable way to deal with anxiety. On the other hand, I applaud Hines for celebrating the differences of people and their coping skills. If this were a real world, I would be pretty darn special.
The story is unique and interesting. Although gritty, there is a feeling of hope with this book. Not my cup of tea, but not a bad read by any stretch. Recommend it? Nah. Discourage anybody from reading it? Nah.
Solid 3 stars.