The Rising by Robert Ovies
C.J. Walker's mom takes him to the wake of family friend Marion Klein. C.J. is one of the last to pay his respects to the deceased. He touches the body and says, "Be well, Mrs. Klein." After everyone has left, the undertaker notices the corpse moving! The priest is called back, 911 is called, and the media are soon all over the story. After the initial shock of seeing what happened on TV, the nine-year-old boy tells his mother Lynn that he brought Mrs. Klein back from the dead.
Naturally, mom is skeptical. They talk to the parish priest (and their good friend) Fr. Mark, who had been at the wake and helped the undertaker in coping with the situation. Eventually C.J. tries his power on other people and some animals. Lynn's ex, Joe, hears about the rising and senses a chance to get rich quick off his son. The situation soon spirals out of control. The government has been helping keep the crowds at bay but if they get confirmation of the boy's power, they will probably take the child. The church offers to protect C.J., even if that means taking him out of the country. Joe tells Lynn C.J. will just be hidden away in some Roman monastery so he doesn't provide competition for Jesus. Joe would rather have C.J. resurrecting the rich and famous for the right price, a scheme he is reluctant to share with his ex-spouse. At the heart of everything is Lynn who wants to preserve the innocence and well-being of her only son. As crowds gather on her lawn demanding a peek or a miracle, that becomes harder and harder to do.
The story is an exciting thrill ride, showing what would probably happen to a family and society if the power to undo death were given to a small boy. The reactions from the family, the press, the local and federal government, and the church are all believable and interesting. They are thoughtful in good and bad ways, increasing the drama. I found the beginning of the book a little wordy--the first couple of chapters lay out a lot of different elements of the story and, for me, move too slowly. About a quarter of the way through the pace picks up and accelerates to an exciting and satisfying conclusion with some nice twists. Highly recommended.
This book was given to me as a review copy in e-book format by Ignatius Press. All the asked for in return was a review. The opinions expressed are my own.