Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Last Disciple by Sigmund Brouwer and Hank Hanegraaff

Download first chapter: Here
First-century Rome is a perilous city as Nero stalks the political circles and huddled groups of believers. To be safe, Christians must remain invisible.

Gallus Sergius Vitas is the only man within Nero’s trusted circle willing to do what it takes to keep the empire together. He struggles to lessen Nero’s monstrosities against the people of Rome—especially the Christians. But as three Greek letters are scrawled as graffiti throughout the city, Nero’s anger grows.

As the early church begins to experience the turbulence Christ prophesied as the beginning of the last days, an enemy seeks to find John’s letter, Revelation, and destroy it. Meanwhile the early Christians must decipher it and cling to the hope it provides as they face the greatest of all persecutions.

The Last Disciple was an exciting and eye-opening novel that clearly revealed what it was like to be a Christian in Rome during Nero's reign. The plot line was well written and varied between a couple of different people's perspectives, allowing the reader to understand what was really going on. There were several instances of suspense and unexpected twists that added to the feeling of uncertainty that the characters felt in those times of persecution. The idea that Rome was out to destroy John's letter was interesting, and these authors do not hesitate to throw their own spin on areas in history where not a lot is known. It was incredibly interesting to see their perspectives and opinions about certain historical events after their own research. I did not completely agree with their view of Revelation, but I was able to completely enjoy the book despite my disagreements.

The characters were well developed and easy to identify with, despite the span of several centuries since that era. I enjoyed seeing Vitas' growth as he wrestled with Nero's actions and as he learned more about John and why his letter of Revelation was so important. The other more minor characters also developed over the story and allowed the reader to begin to understand more why they were included in the story. The background and the Roman culture were also researched and developed well throughout the novel, and it really helped me become immersed in the story and the time period.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel, and I would highly recommend it and its sequel, the Last Sacrifice.

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