Book Review: A Brush with the Beast by Richard Sones

a brush with the beast book review

The synopsis in the back of the book: 

You will laugh, cry, and cling to the edge of your seat as you follow this thrilling, international adventure, and an epic battle between the ultimate good set against the ultimate evil.

A brilliant and exceptionally talented IT executive, Nick Gooseberry, is at his wits' end trying to rid himself of chronic debilitating pain. In desperation, he turns to The Order, a shadowy organization that promises him freedom from pain and much more. With The Order's help behind the scenes, Nick lies and blackmails his way into the highest levels of government while plunging into the blackest corners of hell until he sets his sights on ruling the world.

Sarah Johnson is a thirty-something ex-con that the system abandoned in a small town in Texas. As a dime store cashier, her biggest worries are what to eat and what to wear, but she's always late for work. Her boss decides to get rid of her for good by sending her back to prison, enticing her with a shortcut to riches. She meets the Lord along the way and manages to escape from the authorities, but the fact that she's pregnant attracts the attention of the Beast. After being whisked to the other side of the planet, her biggest worry becomes surviving.

A Palestinian schoolboy who witnessed the death of his parents grows into a world-renowned terrorist driven by his thirst for revenge on his family's murderers. He hates Israel and their number one ally, the United States. Known by his Arabic nickname, Fanak (the Fox), he orchestrates terror on every continent never realizing that he's a puppet of the Beast.

  • Genre: Christian Fantasy
  • Published: 06/2017
  • Pages: 300
  • Goodreads rating: 3.58

What People Are Saying About A Brush with the Beast:

“An apocalyptic tale, written better than Left Behind…” – Paul Brandt, Indie Christian Book Reviews

“A Brush With the Beast is a thrilling, fast paced novel that will keep you guessing until the end, and will stick in your head far beyond the last page.” — 5 Stars, Reader’s Favorite

“The Bottom Line: Author Richard Sones establishes himself as the Christian alternative to Dan Brown in A Brush with the Beast, a compelling religious fantasy about a battle for the soul of the planet.” —  Best Thrillers

“A Brush with the Beast’ begins at a steady pace and maintains it throughout the entire narrative… With rich paragraphs filled with flowing descriptions, the reader is transported… almost as if they are experiencing it first-hand… The descriptions of the locations are precise and full of details that make it very easy for the reader to picture… The story begins to dive deeply into a web of conspiracy, terrorism, and cult behavior on several sides in several different religions… The story twists and turns, and it is never quite clear what the end result will be…” — Red City Review

a brush with the beast book review
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
— Timothy 3:1-5

Why I chose this book: 

I was reached out by A Book Publicity Services to review this book. I don't read too many books about the end of times. I thought I would give it a go and go outside of my comfort zone. 

First Initial Thoughts: 

It took me a little while to get into this book. Simply because of the style and how it was written. It took a few pages for story to start developing. 

Nick is a CEO of an IT company. He is very sick and has constant back pain. He was so desperate to do anything to feel better again. I think that is why he decided to work with the Order because he didn't know what else to do. I really felt sorry for him because he would do anything for a pain-free life. Including doing things he was uncomfortable with. 

Sarah recently was released from Jail because of drugs. She is addicted to Meth. She currently works at a dime store. I didn't really know what to think of Sarah at the beginning. I felt like she didn't have much of a personality. She also finds out she is pregnant in the beginning. I was kind of confused because she never mentioned having a boyfriend. So there is an assumption of an ex-boyfriend out there -or she had a one night stand. 

Fanak (the fox) is a young Palestinian man. His family was killed during an attack. I always found the parts with him interesting. Simply because it's interesting to read the story from the enemies eyes. Why do they do the things they do? 


Richard did a great job with creating the world in this book. He brought us to places all over the world. I learned a few things about Baghdad that I didn't know before. I appreciated that the author took his time to research the places and bring them to life in his story. 

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.
— Matthew 24:7

Final Thoughts: 

Honestly, this wasn't really my type of book. I will say it was very well written and had an interesting concept. I just couldn't get into it! Hense the reason for 3 1/2 stars. I do think that some people will really like this book - as well all have different likes and dislikes! 

Nick, I had hopes for him in the beginning. He was so desperate but because he got into bad dealings with the Order, he suddenly became powerful - and well went over to the "dark side". However, thinking about it I can see why he tended to become so aggressive is because sin took over, and didn't turn to Christ in time of need. 

Sarah made a big turnaround in the book. When she met Latisha in jail, I think that is when her life started to turn around. She realized there was more to life than just drugs and working a dead-end job. Latisha introduced her to Christ and taught her the importance of following him. I really liked that she memorized scripture at certain points in the story. I always appreciate a good redemption story. 

My little pet peeve is that Richard tended to explain a little too much of what each character was doing at the moment. For example, he would go into each step of a task a person was completing at the moment. That kind of is a pet peeve of mine in writing - but it's Richard's style from what I gathered from reading the rest of the book. 

This book, well let's just say.. it was very expressive. There were a few times where people used the Lord's name in vain. There was also violence quite a bit throughout the novel. The Order was just creepy - since they were an occult. 

Even though the story had a lot of violence, suffering, and brutality, there is a good message here. It reminds us that Christ will come again and that everything will be at peace again. I think that gives us hope and peace. 

Would I recommend this book: 

Yes and no. I personally wouldn't recommend the book to friends and family. However, if someone reached out to me looking for an end of times type of book, I would direct them towards this book. Also if you are sensitive to violent material I would give this book a pass. 


About the author: 

Richard Sones Headshot

Richard Sones grew up as a citizen of the world. Moving every three to twenty-four months from continent to continent, he was exposed to many cultures. As an adult, he continued his tour of the world as a chaplain in the U.S. Army having served 28 years. As a consequence of many deployments, he has first hand knowledge of many varied customs and peoples. Happily married now 38 years, he is a father to four and grandfather to another four. He is still in ministry as the chaplain of a major hospital in El Paso, Texas. He lives just outside the city in the semi-desert where he has time to write, build things in his wood shop, play his guitar, and tinker with the yard. 

A Brush with the Beast, was published in June 2017 and is available for sale on Amazon


I hope you enjoyed my review! Do you like reading apocolyptic stories? Share below in the comments! 

the caffeinated bibliophile

** NOTE- I was given a copy of this book by Book Publicity Services to review.