Sunday, August 21, 2005

Book Review: The Last Days by Joel C. Rosenberg

Book ReviewI have spent a good portion of the past month reading The Last Days by Joel C. Rosenberg. It is the second of what is currently a trilogy that is practically living itself out in the headlines today. I reviewed book one, The Last Jihad, in July, and will be doing book three, The Ezekiel Option, in September.

In The Last Days, Israeli Prime Minister Doron (a fictional character, of course), is in secret U.S.-led negotiations with Palestinian Prime Minister Ibrahim Sa’id to return land to the Palestinians as well as broker a joint-rights deal to oil that has been discovered deep beneath the Middle East. In the headlines today, Israeli soldiers are forcing Israeli settlers out of the Gaza Strip in preparation to turn the land back over to the Palestinians. Eerily similar.

Joel C. Rosenberg has had a knack for writing what some consider pre-history. Much of what he has written in his books was written before similar events became a part of history. In The Last Jihad, U.S.-led coalition forces have already found and destroyed Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein has been eliminated and Iraq has become a democracy.

Much of what you will read in this series of books has already come true, and much more of it is already in progress. Where did Mr. Rosenberg get his inspiration for such prophetic subjects? You’d have to ask him that, but he does mention that a great deal of his insight came from the Bible, specifically chapters 38 and 39 in the book of Ezekiel. While these books do not read like Christian fiction (in fact, the first two books in the series were published by mainstream publishers, not Christian publishing houses), they do appear to closely follow Biblical prophecy.

As a very avid reader, I am very rarely NOT in the middle of at least one book. Most books take me less than a week to read, and that’s with a full work schedule and family life. This book took me just a little longer to read than most. I found there to be a great deal of groundwork that had to be laid out for the story to come and some serious back-story as well. Throughout the middle of the book I found myself at times tempted to put the book down and go do something else. I don’t give up easily when reading a book, however, and in this case it paid off. The last five chapters were riveting. I found it difficult to put the book down in the closing pages and am now looking forward to The Ezekiel Option, which is sitting on my desk waiting anxiously for me, as well.

But I feel it is my duty to first read and review the latest in the Harry Potter saga (a little behind the times on this one, but I’m going to forge ahead with it anyway).

Bottom line, if you follow the news closely, you should read these books. If you are concerned with what is happening in Israel today, you should read these books. If you are an avid reader of the Bible, you should read these books. If you’re interested in action, suspense, and intrigue, you should read these books. If you can (and do) read any book this year, you should read these books. You won’t be disappointed.

Drop me a line when you’re done and let me know what you think.


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