4 out of 4 stars
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Have you've ever struggled to understand the conflict between good and evil, or wondered about God's involvement in your life? So Shall It Forever Be: The Making of Satan by Chris Pagano is a contemporary retelling of the Bible story depicting Lucifer and his followers being cast out of heaven by the Almighty One. The story begins in heaven, as preparations are being made for a celebratory award ceremony. The angels are excitedly anticipating the anointing of Lucifer, the "the largest, most intelligent, fastest, and brightest of all the creatures of light." At the celebration, things change when God speaks of Lucifer's virtues, and the citizens of heaven become increasingly aware "that the only true beauty and splendor resided in the one who held the podium." The realization isn't lost on Lucifer, who becomes resentful, and when he is introduced, proceeds to exalt himself, revealing his true nature. Pagano creatively interprets what follows in this epic battle between good and evil, as well as its consequences.
This 128-page read is eloquently written with flawless editing. Although the story is told in the third-person narrative, it gives insight into the perspectives of God, Satan, angels, and demons from prior to the conflict in heaven through creation and the murder of Abel by his brother, Cain.
The recent popularity of shows such as Lucifer and Good Omen is evidence of society's preoccupation with the supernatural. While these programs are more fantasy based, I thoroughly enjoyed Pagano's tale, which is based on passages from the Bible. He masterfully illustrates both the subtle and not-so-subtle attitudes of pride and self-adulation that contribute to Lucifer's fall, setting the stage for the epic conflict. It is also interesting to see the bandwagon effect resulting from the angels who side with Lucifer. While most readers will be familiar with the angels, Michael and Gabriel, Satan's minions are fittingly named according to their actions and attitudes, such as Giteven, Dis, and Condone.
I particularly like Pagano's creative perspective regarding the personalities of God and Satan; the latter changes his name from Lucifer, after being expelled from heaven. I also appreciate Pagano's hints of humor throughout the book. One of my favorite examples is his description of God creating the moon and His joy regarding the appearance of a face as a result of the craters. "The Creator of the universe smiled each time he looked at this moon. He delighted in showing His humor by it."
Pagano plans to publish a sequel and hopes that readers "will go back to the original source of the story in the Bible and search for truths hidden there regarding these things." The only thing I found lacking was the inclusion of scripture references which would be beneficial, especially for readers who may not be familiar with the biblical account of the story. However, while a note section including verse references would enhance the book, its omission didn't detract from my overall reading enjoyment. It is a pleasure to rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It will appeal to a wide audience, including those who enjoy the reinterpretation of Bible stories, as well as readers who appreciate reading about the supernatural.
So shall It Forever Be
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