Mentoring is Theme of New Science Fantasy Novel

In his debut novel “Three Days to Darkness,” award winning screenplay writer David Gittlin explores multiple themes including mentoring relationships.  In addition to an engaging, fast-paced plot, the story offers helpful insights and life lessons to readers from ages thirteen and up.

Darius McPherson, the young African-American hero of the story, wakes up in heaven after dying in a drive-by shooting on an inner-city street corner while counseling a group of gang members.  Due to a brewing crisis, Darius has little time to cope with his new surroundings and the loss of his loved ones. The angels on the Board of Directors refer to the situation as “The Big Emergency” simply because they don’t have time to think of a better name.

The mysterious disappearance of all of the senior field operative angels forces the Board of Directors to elect Darius, an inexperienced newcomer, to intervene in a potentially cataclysmic event that threatens the evolution of human consciousness. Plezenthol, a powerful anti-depressant marketed by a giant drug corporation, promises to facilitate improved levels of happiness and personal growth.  The highest ranking angels in heaven can foresee the long-term effects of the drug: a worldwide plague of complacency—hence the need for divine intervention.  

Despite his lack of experience, the Board of Directors and the Archangel Aaron feel Darius has the “right stuff “for the mission.

After the Archangel calmly informs Darius he has three days to accomplish the mission, Darius reluctantly accepts the assignment with grave doubts, little confidence in his abilities, and even less enthusiasm.  

Aaron assures young Darius he has deep, untapped qualities.  Despite nursing his own doubts about choosing Darius for the job, Aaron infuses his protégé with self-confidence, inspiration, and words to live by.  This relationship introduces the first mentoring bond in the story.

After a terrifying ride back to Earth in a hyper-space conveyor tube, Darius ejects into the mean streets of Opa-Locka, Florida.  There, he literally collides with Javon Quincey, a seventeen year-old street hustler on the run from a botched robbery attempt. 

Darius needs a ride to the headquarters of Mamongen Pharmaceuticals, the developer of Plezenthol.  Strapped for cash, Javon offers his services as a chauffeur.  He dupes Darius into an expensive ride downtown in a stolen car.  While his chauffeur’s reckless driving attracts the attention of a motorcycle cop, Darius realizes an awful truth:  Javon is the first member of a small band of mortals destined to help him accomplish his mission.

Like Darius, Javon is initially unaware of another awful truth, this one buried deep in the recesses of his anti-social heart:  He wants to escape the lonely confines of his criminal life and become a better person.  Although the task of rehabilitating Javon seems only slightly less difficult than saving the world, Darius warms to the job as the story progresses.

More mentoring relationships develop when Darius encounters the remaining members of his team; a frustrated reporter, a guilt-ridden scientist, and a cranky Senior Operative Angel.

After a career in marketing and business communications, David Gittlin studied screenwriting and novel writing at UCLA.  His three feature length scripts: "Love Will Find You,” “Joshua’s Decision,” and "A Prescription for Happiness" have reached the finals or placed in several major screenplay competitions.  His first novel, a science fantasy thriller, “Three Days to Darkness,” was a recent nominee to the James Kirkwood Prize for creative writing.  A second novel, “Scarlet Ambrosia,” will be published in 2014.  David is also a prize-winning citizen journalist.


“Enjoyable writing and pace…”

Kirkus Discoveries Book Review


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David Gittlin

After a career in Marketing Communications, I studied screenwriting and novel writing at UCLA. My three feature-length scripts; "Love Will Find you," "Joshua's Decision," and "A Prescription for Happiness" have reached the finals or placed in major screenplay competitions. My first science fantasy novel, "Three Days to Darkness," is a recent nominee to the James Kirkwood Prize for Creative Writing. Entelligent Entertainment published my second novel, "Scarlet Ambrosia," a paranormal romance-thriller, in December, 2014.