Thursday, September 29

Ascent from Darkness by Michael Leehan

Ascent from Darkness is probably one of the most chilling books I’ve read, made more so because it is a true story.  Feeling unfulfilled by where his life was leading him, Michael dedicated his life to the service of Satan.  Through much of it he tried leading a double life.  He tried to keep this decision hidden from his friends and family, and though they did not know specifically what was happening to him, many felt a sense of darkness surrounding Michael.

Michael’s writing is raw and honest.  He tells us many stories, many of which show the darkness that he fell into, but he does so not for the purpose of shocking us (though much of it is shocking), but rather for the purpose of showing how far he had fallen.  His stories include purchasing Satanic bibles and leaving them scattered throughout fundamentalist churches, animal sacrifices, and opening himself up to demonic possession.

Though this book tells many stories of dark events, it is still filled with hope, and we are shown Michael’s honest struggle.  Eventually, he does turn away from Satanism and towards Christ, but it is not an overnight conversion story.  Wrestling with the choice for quite some time, we learn of the oppression that Michael felt while contemplating this life-changing decision.  At the end, you will be in awe of the way that Christ has worked Michael’s life.

The tagline on the back of the book reads, “His assignment from Satan was to kill Pastor Craig Groeschel.  Today he sits on the front row of that pastor’s church.”  It gives just a hint to the evil that Michael experienced.  This is not a book that anyone would ‘enjoy’ reading, nor would I recommend it for everyone.  Despite the hope that is presented, the darkness of Michael’s life may be overwhelming to some. 

Ascent from Darkness is a strongly told story, and I am glad I read it, but do not pick it up expecting a light read.

4/5 stars
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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