This fantasy novel by Christa Kinde is the second in the "Threshold Series" series published by ZonderKidz, a division of Zondervan.
The Hidden Deep is written for kids ages 11 years and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
In The Blue Door, 14-year-old Priscilla (Prissie) Pomeroy learned her small, rural town of West Edinton had a handful of angelic residents. Prissie discovered some of the people her family had known forever were members of a company of angels called Jedrick's Flight. Some of the angels included Tamaes, Prissie's personal guardian angel, Milo the mailman, worship leaders Baird and Kester and bookstore owner Harken.
As The Hidden Deep opens, Prissie spends more time with members of the heavenly team. She's particularly close to Koji, an apprentice angel whom her family believes to be their Asian exchange student. She keeps the angels' identities a secret, and they show her many of the wonders of other realms never before seen by humans.
Prissie lives with her large family on an apple orchard. Her father also owns a bakery in town called Loafing Around. Dad has taken on Prissie's much-disliked classmate Ransom as an apprentice, and she's jealous that he's receiving so much of Dad's time and attention. While Dad tries to share Christ with Ransom, the young man is confused by Prissie's ongoing and unfounded rudeness toward him.
Prissie and her family bake for and participate in town activities like the annual Halloween celebration and events at the orchard. Prissie invites her angel friends to the house for dinner and pie, and the evening culminates in a sing-along. The family also attends high school football games and participates in the annual production of Messiah at the Presbyterian church.
A school fieldtrip to local caves becomes a frightening experience for Prissie. Adin, a demon masquerading as an angel, convinces her to follow a small angel called a yahavim deep into one of the caverns. Prissie gets trapped in the darkness but is rescued by Ransom's friend Marcus. Marcus turns out to be an angel as well. He shows her that part of the deep cave is a prison that holds fallen enemies awaiting God's judgment.
At her father's request, Prissie half-heartedly apologizes to Ransom for her behavior. When he begins to ask her questions about God, after reading the Bible Prissie's father gave him, Prissie realizes she must stop being petty and set a sincere godly example for her classmate.
The angels give Prissie glimpses of their realm while showing their true bodies in all of their strength, color and brightness. They continue to search for a member of Jedrick's Flight, who was kidnapped by demons in The Blue Door. Vague conversations among the members of their company hint at trouble for Prissie and the orchard. They also seem to suggest spiritual battles are on the horizon.
Prissie and her family are Christians. She and her siblings all have biblical names. Her father shares his faith with his young apprentice and urges Prissie to behave in a more-godly manner toward Ransom. The angels often remind Prissie about God's goodness and His desire for communication with His children. A demon posing as an angel appears periodically to plant doubts about God's goodness in Prissie's head. Ransom offers a rough paraphrase of the salvation message as he and Prissie talk about the Bible.
The angels Prissie knows have different roles and gifts. Some are Caretakers, some Observers and some Worshippers. Koji tells her that angels can't pray, only humans can. Prissie plays with yahavim, which her heavenly friends tell her are the lowest order of angels. They're a little like pets, and their job is to make manna, the food of the angels. (While the author takes some liberties describing angels and heavenly realms in ways not specifically validated in the Bible, her depictions are reverent.)
Other belief systems
Prissie's parents and grandparents are always pleasant and highly involved in family life. They're welcoming to all and sometimes evangelize others in town. The angel company protects and loves Prissie. They share their heavenly secrets with her and often remind her to pray.
Heck is used once.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- Why is Prissie so unfriendly toward Ransom?
How does her behavior keep her from being a good witness for Christ?
Have you or someone you know ever behaved in a way that made God or Christianity look bad? What happened?
- How were the angels in this book like, or unlike, your own mental picture of angels?
How does the Bible describe angels?
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