This post was #sponsoredbyfaithwords. I was not required to give a positive review, so my review is my honest take on the book Dead Sea Rising by Jerry B. Jenkins.
I’m so thankful for the opportunity from Faithwords to read this book for free! I’ve enjoyed the other books that they’ve recommended to me as well, such as Pull it Off by Julianna Zobrist, Get Weird by CJ Casciotta, You Are Enough by Mandy Hale, and Beyond Blessed: God’s Perfect Plan for No Financial Stress by Robert Morris.
Most of us who read Christian fiction know about Jerry Jenkins through the Left Behind series. But did you know that he has also written hundred of novels, most of them bestsellers? Knowing this, when I heard about this book, I had to read it. It was a thriller, and since I’m writing Christian dystopian fiction, I was interested in how Jenkins would keep up the suspense of the novel.
His book Dead Sea Rising, the first of the Dead Sea Chronicles series, is a time slip novel that has received praise from many well-known authors. One of the authors that endorsed his book was James Scott Bell, the writer of Plot & Structure. I actually read Bell’s book for direction with my own writing, so I knew that if he said this book was good, it had to be good!
As a warning to any reader, if you set your expectations too high, you will get disappointed! That is the downfall of every great writer: he/she is expected to put out a perfectly captivating novel each and every time. To be honest, it took everything in me not to compare this book to the Left Behind series, and to what I have learned from Christian writing mentors. That is also the downfall of every great writer: he/she becomes a very critical reader. And so begins my honest review of this book.
Dead Sea Rising is a time slip novel that ties together the story of Nicole Berman, an archaeologist, and the story of Abraham. Berman is an archaeologist who is on the brink of discovering something that could change history. However, after her mother was supposedly attacked in her own home, it becomes evident that someone doesn’t want Nicole making this historic find. Meanwhile, we follow Abraham’s parents as they wrestle with faith and attempt to protect their son from King Nimrod, who has discovered that Abraham will become more powerful than him.
Truly, it was a captivating story. Time slips are difficult to accomplish, and I believe Jenkins ties all of the stories together well. He uses short chapters and quick dialogue tags to jump from character to character, keeping the quick pace of the plot throughout the entirety of the book. I also understand that he is setting up the book for a series, so he did not intend to tie the book up in a neat package. However, he does provide relief to most of the questions in the book while still leaving room for a sequel. The characters were dynamic and interesting, which, again, is difficult to accomplish. Each of their back stories was unique and captivating, and I enjoyed getting to know them!
Now, my one complaint (which was a BIG complaint) was that I felt that Jenkins left the reader hanging for too long. The synopsis included above (the part about Nicole being on the verge of discovering an important piece of information about the story of Abraham, but someone is trying to stop her) wasn’t fully recognized until page 275 of 310. The beginning of the book is pure suspense, a carrot on a stick. And while I believe that suspense has its place, I think it runs the risk of losing the reader’s interest. Basically, I think the synopsis was a little misleading.
Overall, if you like thrillers and Biblical time slips, I believe you will like it. Hopefully the second book, Dead Sea Conundrum, provides more of an exposition. More information about purchasing Dead Sea Rising is found here.