A wildlife biologist named Steve Benson has come to the remote mountain town of Hyde River to investigate the gruesome death of his brother. Benson tracks down and kills a grizzly, but then more people are killed and the bears are exonerated. Benson begins to listen with seriousness to the ravings of an old hermit who says that there's a dragon who lives in Saddlehorse Mountain and who lives on sin. It seems that in the 1880s, when Hyde River was a booming mining town, a fire-and-brimstone preacher was hanged, and the perpetrators then signed an oath embracing Reason as their god. In more than 100 years, their sins have grown into a monster. Steve tracks the chimerical dragon, which toys with him and lets him go. Steve is the embodiment of reason but feels the weight of sin when he begins an affair with a married woman, a local deputy named Tracy. A red mark appears over his heart, and gradually it begins to ooze black slime. Judgment Day arrives, and the dragon comes to claim its own. Steve, at last a believer, stands alone to do battle, rather like Bilbo Baggins of The Hobbit, except that Peretti writes with a grim fervor rather than playfulness. Largely because of the success of This Present Darkness (1987), Peretti's name inspires awe in the religious publishing world; The Oath is so heavily anticipated that its prepublication sales placed it fifth on the Evangelical Christian best-seller list.
A Valuable Allegory in Thriller Form| Posted May 10, 2011
This book is very complex and has a very suspenseful feel to its plot. As most of Peretti's books, The Oath is character driven and has a complex plot development, including many unexpected twists!
The characters in this book have a variety of pasts which affect how they act in their present and future. The main character Steve Benson starts out as an individual searching for answers to how and why his sister-in-law is in the hospital and why his brother is dead. What he finds out is a town who made a deal with the devil; an oath given long ago.
What makes the town special, other than the unique people in it, including Officer Tracy Ellis, Levi Cobb, and Harold Bly, is the dragon which, one-by-one, takes the lives of the sinners in the town. Peretti does a very good job of using the allegory of a dragon and ooze over the heart to represent sin and demonstrate how the wages of sin is death.
The character transformation displayed in The Oath shows that sin can corrupt and make the best of people do evil, as well as not corrupt those who look to Jesus for victory over their sin. In the end it is the love, faithfulness towards God, and God's authority and power that wins over sin.
Frank Peretti has truly done it again, in bringing the audience face to face with the reality of sin and the flesh which dwells within us all. I truly recommend this book, not only as a story, but as a good lesson and eye opener into the world of sin and love; death and life.
dragging dragon| Posted February 06, 2010
Honestly I thought this book was a drag. It took me forever to get into the book and by the time the discovering of whatever it was that was killing people was over, I was bored again. I wanted it to end. It had a good message, but it was drug out to no end.
The dragon?| Posted November 29, 2009
at the start of this book i was hesitant towards it's plot. The whole animal in the forest thing reminded me of Monster which was good, but not brilliant. This one proved to be the latter. Having a dragon in a small town causing problems and eating strangers and the ending and Levi Cobb and Tracy, made it a wonderful, thought provoking novel, that you should definitely read.
Made Me a Believer| Posted August 26, 2009
This is the book that made me believe that modern Christian writers can make it to the science fiction world of literature. Perhaps Frank Peretti has been saying it for years. But he says it better everytime.
He sure did scare me with this book, and for days I had dreamed of falling into a ditch with the black mud that smelled like a dead rat (euuwww!), and attracted a creature I could not see and would not let me rest. Made me think of the way we deal with our sins, and how the simple message of godliness is indeed taking God seriously and especially what He thinks of our sin in the same manner. And of course, that we can find rest and need not run away from a hungry dragon, and how the gift of His son broke the oath that bound us to the curse of the wages of our sins.
Frank Peretti at his best| Posted May 19, 2009
This has got to be one of my favourite Peretti books. As soon as I started this book, I could not sleep until it was finished, partly because I was so scared at times, but mainly because it is such an amazing book.
I...| Posted September 17, 2008
LOVED IT! This is one of Peretti's best books! He has so much detail he puts into his books, which makes each and every book he writes even better than any other author's.
It Makes You Think| Posted July 18, 2008
Clearly one of my top 5 best books.Ever.But it's not just some literature written by my favorite author. It's real (minus the man-eating dragon). It really makes you think. Many of us sin, shrug it off, and keep doing it. Sure, when we sin we don't have a literal dragon eat us, but our sin is the real dragon. If we live with our sin, it'll be the death of us and result in eternal suffering in hell. Thanks, Frank Peretti. For making us think.