I had enjoyed reading the first two Joel Rosenberg books, The Last Jihad, and The Last Days when they came out years ago.   His next 3 books were also highly recommended but I didn’t find them on the used market and had not read them.  Last month when we were in Florida I saw all 5 books in Gus’s bookcase and was delighted when he allowed me to borrow them.

I started reading the first one last week when I visited Jenni and Charlie in Bloomington, Indiana.  In the midst of meals, laundry, cleaning, emailing, biking, shopping, and book editing I finished the last one, Dead Heat, this morning.   The books kept my interest, challenged my thinking, brought tears to my eyes more than once, and left me feeling drained yet hopeful.  I HAD to put a book down occasionally but I COULD have read and read and read.  They are very exciting, interesting, and challenging.

The books were fun reads.   I recognized ideas other authors like C. S. Lewis (Lord, lunatic or liar) and Angela Hunt (The Immortal) had explored.  The gospel explanations were clear and realistic.  The main characters of all 5 stories, Jon Bennett and Erin McCoy, were a tad bit unbelievable but then I live in a van sometimes and wealthy Wall Street whiz kids and beautiful, intelligent CIA operatives are not people I meet in Walmart parking lots!!!  $800 dinners at the top of the restaurant in Gilbralter are also WAY out of my experience!

The auxiliary characters were quite well crafted and I would have liked to know more than a few of them in real life. I especially liked Eli Mordechai, the former head of Mossad.  There were many sinister characters whose motivations were explored and judged fairly.  There were many situations that were frightening in their realism.  I don’t “like” prophecy and I usually shy away from it but these novels did a great job of exploring Biblical texts and creating fascinating scenarios.

I am a Vince Flynn fan.  I actually PAID real dollars to buy the last book when it came out in December.  Flynn’s characters are vividly drawn and exciting but usually do not ponder questions of eternal significance.  I think Rosenberg’s action scenes and insights into government and international conflict compare favorably to Flynn’s writing.  Suprising to me, I actually enjoyed Rosenberg more because he deals with the reality of eternity and truth.  For example, one of Rosenberg’s characters refuses to bend his knee to the Lordship of Jesus Christ even though he intellectually believes that the claims of Jesus are true.  He says he is not ready yet to give in.  The very next moment a bullet pierces his body and he dies.  He was THAT close to salvation and he missed it.  It was a sobering scene.

I highly recommend all 5 of these novels.  They are (in order):

The Last Jihad

The Last Days

The Ezekiel Option

The Copper Scroll

Dead Heat

All 5 are published in coordinating covers by Tyndale.

The author has a website at: http://www.joelrosenberg.com

Happy Reading!

Jan BLoom