Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review: I, Saul


From multi-million copy best-selling novelist Jerry Jenkins comes a compelling international thriller that conveys you from present-day Texas to a dank Roman dungeon in A.D. 67, then down the dusty roads of ancient Israel, Asia, and back to Rome.

A young seminary professor, Augustine Knox, is drawn into a deadly race to save priceless parchments from antiquities thieves and discovers a two-thousand-year old connection with another who faced death for the sake of the truth. I, Saul consists of two riveting adventures in one, transporting you between the stories of Augustine Knox and Saul of Tarsus.

Filled with political intrigue, romance, and rich historical detail, I, Saul is a thrilling tale of loyal friendships tested by life-or-death quests, set two millennia apart, told by a master storyteller.

My thoughts

I, Saul (Worthy Publishing) is an imaginative and entertaining tale of "what if" - What if the apostle Paul had written his personal memoir and it remained hidden in the walls of his Roman prison cell all these years? The narrative weaves back and forth between Paul's dungeon cell in first-century Rome and modern times as seminary professor Augie Knox is drawn into the drama and suspense of the hunt for the document.

While the novel is primarily plot driven, I thought characterization was done well. Augie made for an interesting, compassionate character who had a strained relationship with his father. "Growing up, had it not been for the oasis of his mother's gentle spirit, he would have died of thirst in the desert of his father's indifference." And Roger, his tour guide for Holy Land trips, was my favorite. Roger had a respect for all religions, while claiming none. "I'm just a Zionist from South Africa who lives in Rome and loves history, especially the so-called sacred sites. . . . I'll bet I know more about your faith and the Bible than you do."

I'm not a big suspense fan, but I really enjoyed the sections with Paul and Luke. It was a time of persecution, and Jerry does a good job conveying the emotions of that time and Paul's uplifting spirit. Paul needed Luke's help to keep his memoirs safe, for he had named names. "Much of the church would be exposed if they fell into the wrong hands. . . . The brothers I have mentioned must be allowed to choose for themselves whether they are willing to die for the cause of Christ."

The alternating time periods between historical and modern slowed the pace down, which I liked. Readers will enjoy Paul's fictional memoirs that detail his growing up years and conversion. I, Saul will appeal to those who like both biblical fiction and suspense. The sequel, I, Paul, is coming in 2014.

Jerry B. Jenkins

Jerry B. Jenkins is a New York Times best-selling novelist (Left Behind Series) and biographer (Billy Graham, Hank Aaron, Walter Payton, Orel Hershiser, Nolan Ryan, Joe Gibbs and many more), with over 70 million books sold. His writing has appeared in Time, Reader's Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and he has been featured on the cover of Newsweek.

For more information, see the previous FIRST Wid Card Tour post.

This book was provided by FIRST Wild Card and Worthy Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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