Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review: Thunder of Heaven

I call it Ezekiel's thunder.
~Pastor Peter Campbell in Thunder of Heaven, 2011, in reference to Ezekiel Chapters 38-39

From the very first page, I was completely enthralled with Thunder of Heaven. I just could not put this book down once I started it! It is the second in The End Series by Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall. It is set in the very near future, almost too near for comfort as we watch course of present day government policies work towards their obvious, but frightening, conclusions.

As I was given this book in exchange of an honest review, it was the first one I had read from the series and I was impressed that it read well as a stand-alone, so that is how I will write the first part of my review. However, I decided not to post my review on this book until I have read the first book of the series, Edge of Apocalypse, for comparison between the two and the flow of one to the other. I must admit from this one alone that I am anxious to read all books in this series.

It is like a menagerie with elements of the past, the present, and the prophetic future, a modern version of King Arthur's tales of knights having a code of honor and patriotism, but with our technological advances in weaponry, along with familiar age-old conflicts between good and evil yet building to the prophetic conclusion written in the Bible. The style is action-packed with conspiracies on many levels and a small band of dedicated people, the Roundtable, of varied expertise willing to use their influence to obtain information vital to the country's security as well as sacrificing money, liberty, and even their lives, when necessary, to protect the United States against its own leaders with globalizing agendas. The latest American polices seeming to promote global tolerance with past enemies while ignoring the constant threat against Israel were incarnated in such a believable way that it is quite chilling.

As described in Ezekiel, Israel is to be hopelessly surrounded, outnumbered, outgunned, and attacked from all sides...well, if you know your Bible, you also know the outcome of that. If not, you should know that this very thing is prophesied and the miraculous preservation of Israel is so wonderfully illustrated within the pages of this book that it took my breath away.

Even with all seemingly falling apart in the world, the God-given gifts of love and hope were not lost in the rubble of events. I liked that there were believable and strong Christian characters: a Christian woman struggling with her feelings for an unbeliever; a man befriending a disfigured Christian while in an Iranian prison; and the desire to do what is right even in fear of retribution from the White House itself.

Lastly, the message of God's authoritative superiority, control over the elements, perfect timing, and protection of Israel was portrayed powerfully. It truly was Thunder of Heaven.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Now that I have read the first book of the series, I will conclude this review. Edge of Apocalypse quite suspenseful, even as the first book of the series when one is introduced to and becomes acquainted with the characters. Having read the second book before the first, I expected the first to detail, perhaps even in a dull fashion, the who's who and how the Roundtable came about. I was pleasantly surprised that it did not, as the clandestine group was apparently established at a prior time.

Reading the first book did give more insight to some references in Thunder of Heaven but it was not necessary to read the previous book to get the gist of what had happened as it is covered well enough. However, one thing in particular I will say is that the first book created a strong foundation for flowing into the second by expounding the main character, Joshua Jordan, and his personal struggles, particularly with the awakening of his spiritual understanding. This builds up in the Thunder of Heaven much better if the books are read in order. So, I do recommend reading Edge of Apocalypse, but if you start with Thunder of Heaven, as I did, you will not feel as if you were missing something intangible while reading it.

~ My Lord, please bless all the people involved with the writing and publishing of these books as well as all the readers. May these stories help lost souls find You. ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.