Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Book Review: Scared by Tom Davis

Scared (David C. Cook, 2009) is Tom Davis’ debut novel and the first book in his A Novel on the Edge of the World series. A powerful and intense story that will stay in your mind long after you read the last page.

Stuart Daniels is a washed up photojournalist who receives a prestigious award for a photograph he took on assignment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo nine years earlier. His experiences in the Congo still haunt him, he’s dissatisfied with his life in New York, and his marriage is in trouble. To save his career, he returns to Africa to cover the Aids epidemic in Swaziland.

Adanna is a twelve year old girl living in extreme poverty in Swaziland. She has a dream where she is visited by an illuminated man and given a special gift. She lives in a small tribal community who are scared by the disease ravaging their people, and her family is suffering from malnutrition and often have no food to eat.

The story follows the faith journeys of Stuart and Adanna, and the supernatural element is an organic part of the story. Stuart questions his beliefs and values as he is challenged by the harsh reality of life for the villagers. Adanna’s faith is tested as she endures unspeakable horrors, and life becomes more difficult for her as the story progresses.

If you’re looking for a nice story with a happy ending, then Scared is not the book for you. The story is based on real life experiences, and the desperation and heartache of the local people is not watered down. The ending is both satisfying and tragic. After reading Scared, you can’t help but feel emotional and wonder what you can do to help other children in the world like Adanna.

I recommend Scared to those looking for a gritty and compelling story with a strong take away value. Scared was a 2010 Christy Award nominee and the sequel, Priceless, was released in 2010. To learn more about Scared, please visit Tom Davis’ website www.scaredthebook.com

Narelle Atkins writes contemporary inspirational romance. She resides in Canberra, Australia with her husband and children. To learn more about Narelle, please visit her website.


  1. This sounds like a good read. Reality is good when one is dealing with people's needs.

  2. Heckety, thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll have the opportunity to read Scared :)

  3. Many thanks for your review, Narelle. Scared is on my "want-to-read list" and after reading that it has a satisfying ending I'm even more keen to read it, even though it isn't a "cozy read"