Updated: Sep 10
About the Book
Author: Hope Bolinger
Genre: YA Christian Suspense
Release date: August 9, 2021
Rabbits for Food meets Waiting for Fitz meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
After Danny Belte ends up with a gunshot wound to the head, he’s shipped off to a local psychiatric center under the assumption he’d attempted to commit suicide. Knowing that he’d actually been killed by a fellow enemy at his high school, and a photographic memory to prove it, manages to keep him sane.
After meeting the fun and playfully rebellious members of his ward, he suspects that some underlying connection ties them all together. Haunted by revealing visions, he may have a shot at discovering a conflict of interest and buying their ticket out of the ward.
But memories are dangerous things. He may just make as many enemies as friends at the ward who want his memories erased.
A modernized take on Daniel 7-12.
About the Author
Hope Bolinger is a content editor at Salem Media and a multi-published novelist. More than 1000 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids to HOOKED to Crosswalk.com. She writes about 250-300 articles a year.
She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. She had four of her books traditionally published in the last three years (see below) She has 8-9 books scheduled to published between 2021-2023.
She has won awards for her essays, poetry, children’s books, novels, and plays. Her favorite way to procrastinate is by connecting with readers on Instagram and Twitter @hopebolinger .
This Daniel Biblical retelling in a modern-day high school setting will leave you all kinds of messed up.
I binge-read this entire trilogy so I could read Vision as soon as it came out, and let me say, this series isn't for the faint of heart. While I thought books #1 and #2 were heavy, this one took it to a whole different level, throwing poor Danny into a psych ward. Just when I thought things couldn't get much worse for him...
This book has a lot of triggering content, but I would still highly recommend reading Hope Bolinger's entire series if you aren't affected by suicidal content. The creative ways she brings the Bible events of Daniel and inserts them into a Christian teenager's life is entertaining. Every time a new character showed up with a strange name, I found myself wondering what Babylonian or Persian historical figure she got it from.
Without spoiling the book, I do want to say that the themes of mental health and spiritual darkness are combatted with the power of God. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to go through a lot of it to get there.
More from Hope
“The Book of Daniel? In a high school? Where on earth did you come up with an idea like that?”
I’ve gotten this question a number of times and the answer to it comes from an even stranger place than the concept itself … a college classroom.
We’d blitzed through the entire Old Testament in a semester for our Biblical Literature Class my freshmen year. The professor often accompanied each class for this Gen-Ed with a PowerPoint full of 70 or so slides we’d try to keep up with in our notes. Our hands would cramp from the sheer speed our pencils had to go across the paper.
One day, as she went over the Book of Daniel, something she said snapped me out of my 9 A.M. stupor. “Daniel, and his friends, would’ve been 14 or 15 years old when taken into the Babylonian captivity.”
This woke me up. I’d dropped my pen onto the paper and stared at the front of the atrium classroom for a few moments. Fourteen or fifteen? High-school aged?
I’d always pictured Daniel in his late thirties. Part of me blames VeggieTales and Larry the Cucumber’s rendition, which in no way could’ve been interpreted as a teenager’s voice. But the reality of the Old Testament story came crashing down on me right then and there.
Daniel had been evicted from his home through the Babylonian siege. He likely watched his friends and family members die at the hands of the Babylonians and the fires that scoured Jerusalem. Then he and the cream of the crop were herded to Babylon for a three-year education, where they tried to stamp anything Israelite out of him.
And yet, he trusts God. He continues to stand strong in his identity. As do Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—even when it meant certain death … as teenagers.
That got me thinking about culture now. And how so many Christian teens face problems and dilemmas we could’ve only dreamed about in our adolescent years. What would it look like to stick Daniel in a modern-day high school? I thought.
So that summer, I started to write the Blaze trilogy. I chopped the Book of Daniel into three parts, and showed a teenager standing strong in integrity and faith despite death threats, bullying, and peer pressure. It was the book I needed back in high school when confronted with hot-button issues, and I was so thankful to have that college professor guide me to learn more about the prophet Daniel in the Old Testament.