Chasing Sunsets — LA Gangs, Angels and Baseball (Book Review)

By James.B

Karen KingsburyVISTA, CA (ANS -- May 6, 2015) -- Rising gang violence in American cities, a reemerging interest in angelic intervention and a love for baseball makes Chasing Sunsets, the latest novel by New York Times best-selling author, Karen Kingsbury, timely.

Chasing Sunsets, the second book in Kingsbury's new series entitled Angels Walking (Howard Books) about angels on mission to earth, takes place in Los Angeles where shootings and crime of all kinds are commonplace -- and where fatherless kids find themselves mercilessly sucked into gang activity.

But LA is not just about gangs; it is also home of LA Dodgers and of Marcus Dillinger, MVP baseball player for the Dodgers. And for a season, it is also home to two specially assigned angels, Jag and Aspyn, whose complex mission includes protecting the LA baseball idol and covering Mary Catherine, a girl whose zeal for life and Jesus, grabs his heart-and whose secret struggle nearly breaks it.

Marcus Dillinger wants to use his influence and means to reach the kids on the street, and to help draw them away from gang-bangers. So do his friends, Tyler, Sami, and the lovely Mary Catherine. Together they create a youth center, but things don't go as smoothly as they'd hoped. They were not prepared to face such high level violence. They count not have guessed that the baseball idol would become a target for the WestKnight gang, nor expect to see an innocent child brutally shot while his single mother watched in horror. Things were worse than they had imagined but they were determined to make a difference.

As the four friends work towards solutions-and with two angels working behind the scenes-they find themselves mentoring young girls caught up in the gang circles. But just when progress is being made-and the promise of a Christ-centered romance seems to be in the picture-Mary Catherine receives bad news and Marcus is left in limbo, clueless as to what is going on with the girl who has his heart.

The story ends on a note of suspense with no resolve for Mary Catherine and Marcus-a writerly tactic to lure us into the next book in the series.

Kingsbury's characters are mostly believable although I found myself tripping on a few puzzling details: one angel transforms into a local parent but she has no children (page 33), the other angel is a policeman and "his blond hair framed his face" (page 56), which seems to be the wrong metaphor since police must wear their hair very short. Still the storyline is good.

Chasing Sunsets can be read as a standalone book, but is better enjoyed as part of a series.

Photo caption: Karen Kingsbury (Photograph by Dan Davis Photography)

About the writer: Janey DeMeo is founding-president of Orphans First ( ), a Christ-centered non-profit ministry helping underprivileged children around the world. She is an author, freelance writer and Bible teacher-and has worked with husband as a church-planter in France.

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