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Saturday, October 26, 2013

I, Saul by Jerry B. Jenkins


"An adventurous 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 as readers are transported between the stories of Augustine Knox and the man who would become the Apostle Paul.
 
I, Saul will keep readers turning pages as it offers new insight into the fiery early days of Christianity when Saul of Tarsus vowed to put an end to the new sect, whatever the cost. A fast-paced story filled with political intrigue, mystery, and rich historical detail, I, Saul is the thrilling tale of loyal friendships tested by life-or-death quests, set two millennia apart."

 I, Saul by Jerry B. Jenkins was an excellent novel that seamlessly wove together a story of modern day intrigue and the narration of both the beginning and end of Paul's journey on the earth. The chapters of this novel alternated between 3 connected story lines. The first was set in the present day and concerned Augustine Knox, a seminary professor who finds himself trying to beat the clock to save both his friends and a manuscript concerning the life of the Apostle Paul. The second storyline is set in the early years of the Christian church and is narrated by Luke, writer of the third Gospel, and is about his ministry to Paul during Paul's last days as he is imprisoned in Rome awaiting execution. The third storyline is connected to both the first and second plots, and it is about the content of Paul's memoirs, which Luke is reading over for Paul in order to correct any errors. These memoirs stretch from Paul's earliest beginnings as a young child all the way until he becomes a Christian and begins to evangelize far and wide. These three story lines alternate throughout the chapters, and they allow the reader to glimpse the importance of why Augustine Knox must save the memoirs as well as have an idea of what Paul might have gone through during his last imprisonment.

I enjoyed the three different story lines, but at times I did find the setup to detract from the overall plot as I had to mentally switch gears constantly in order to keep up with everything that was happening. I did enjoy the suspense, romance, and unexpected plot twists that occurred in the Augustine Knox storyline, and I felt like the characters were fairly well developed with various strengths and weaknesses. Augustine Knox grew significantly in his relationship with his father throughout the course of the novel, and at strategic points the author provided background information about Augustine's life, his father's life, and their past relationship so that the reader understood how much they had changed and why there were issues from the beginning. The other more minor characters also added humor, doubts, and difficult choices to the mix that helped further develop the plot and the characters. I also enjoyed learning more about what might have taken place in Paul's life before his conversion and also seeing how he related to others, especially friends such as Luke, during his last days. His desire to preach the Gospel even at his execution was very convicting for me. I felt like Jerry B. Jenkins did an excellent job researching about modern day Israel politics and especially about Saul/Paul's early life and his last days in Rome. These parts of the novel were very realistic, I could certainly see them having actually occurred in Paul's life.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel immensely, and I look forward to reading the next novel in the series, I, Paul, when it is released. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone looking to a action packed historical fiction novel that leaves you on your toes the entire time.

I received this novel for free from Worthy Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
Jerry B. Jenkins’s novels have sold more than 70 million copies, including the phenomenal mega-best-selling Left Behind series. Twenty of his books have reached the New York Times best-seller list, including seven that debuted at number one, as well as the USA TodayPublishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists. Jenkins has been featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine. Jerry and his wife, Dianna, live in Colorado.

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