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Review: I, Saul
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Review: I, Saul

07 Sep Posted by in Reviews | Comments Off on Review: I, Saul
Review:  I, Saul

I, Saul by Jerry B. Jenkins and James MacDonald
Reviewed by Kaci Hill
Genre: Christian, Adventure, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Worthy
Publication Date: August 27, 2013 

 

Synopsis (from Amazon.com)
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.

Review:

I, Saul alternates between the modern-era story of Augie Knox, the physician Luke, and Luke’s reading of the Apostle Paul’s memoir. It begins with an scene worthy of any archeological treasure hunt: seminary professor Augie Knox receives a cryptic emergency call from a friend whose life in endangered in Rome.  His friend then hangs up and ditches the phone. Repeatedly. He can’t figure out what’s going, why, or how he’s getting to Rome, much less finding his friend.

Cut scene to an old Greek doctor named Luke gone to visit his old friend Paul the Apostle on death row, in a rank, dark pit without so much as a blanket and barely enough food to keep him half alive.  Paul is emphatic on two things: He needs some cryptically worded “parchments” he’s kept guarded and hidden for a very undetermined amount of time and  a cloak to sleep on. To Luke, Timothy, and John Mark, he has one request: Watch his beheading.  Luke is also given the additional task of helping Paul finish this mysterious set of parchments, and we’re allowed to read over Luke’s shoulder as he reviews it.

I’m a little conflicted. On the one hand, the concept; the characters; Jenkins’ attention to all the details we just don’t think about; and the Indiana Jones/National Treasure feel of this adventure make for a wonderful adventure.  On the other, I felt a little too teased about the length of time it took Augie to actually get to Rome;  and occasionally sections felt a little forced.  However, that aside, among my favorites are the twists within Augie’s own family and that of his future in-laws, the very, very young Saul and the tragic aspects of his life, and his remorse over completely missing out on love, friendship, and wise counsel.  In truth, that’s the first I’d ever considered that his ‘thorn in the flesh’ might well have been that lingering niggle of painful regret over his own spiritual blindness back then.  And his actual execution is completely heart-wrenching.  I also enjoyed the thematic juxtaposition of Augie’s father and young Saul.  Both stories end wonderfully.

I, Saul is available to purchase from Amazon.com.

Note: I received this book as part of the I, Saul blog tour from Fiction Addict. I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes. 

 

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