Thursday, June 2, 2016

THE VALLEY OF DRY BONES An End Times Novel by Jerry B. Jenkins

ISBN:  978-1617950087
About the book: In The Valley of the Dry Bones, Jerry B. Jenkins overlays the ancient End Times prophecies of Ezekiel onto the landscape of modern California. After a 17-year drought, multiple earthquakes, and uncontrollable wildfires, the state is desolate. The United States President declares the state uninhabitable and irreparable, directing California's 39 million citizens to relocate. From the air, California looks like a vast abandoned sand box, but to a few groups of people, it's their home. With less than 1% of the population remaining in California at their own risk, the holdouts encounter a clash of cultures, ethnicities, religions, and politics that pits friend against friend with the future of California at stake.

My thoughts: The unthinkable has happened. California is no longer part of the United States (or rather those living there do not have protections and benefits of citizens of the US). Why? Because following unprecedented earthquakes and subsequent fires, and unbearable heat, the area is virtually unlivable.

It is in this setting that Jenkins has placed a band of sixteen individuals who have each answered their pastor's invitation or call to remain in the devastated area to minister spiritually to the remaining 1% of California's prior populace.

The book is written in mostly in dialogue between the sixteen and others in the area. The sixteen primary characters in the book are encamped in a disguised underground site that is secret from outsiders who remain in the area. There is extreme shortage of water and food. Trips are made to areas outside the California land for medicines, mail, and other items. It is not a safe place to be. Danger and deception create situations that only God's mercy. guidance, and protection can overcome.

Their survival skills are surprising. They convert salt water to fresh. They grow food using aqua-phobics. I couldn't figure out how they grew food underground and where their lights came from. But underground they existed with everything they needed. They had two hydro-engineers, a medical doctor, a pastor, etc. 

The book is definitely a Christian book with large amounts of quotes from the Scriptures. These are, after all, Christians living in a desperate land and doing it solely to be able to minister to people.

This book did not quite satisfy as former Jerry B. Jenkins stories has done. The character driven story and strong conversational text had me a bit addled at times trying to keep up with who was saying just what to whom. While the main male character, Ezekiel or "Zeke" was growing into what seems to be his "call" of prophet where God was speaking through him with Scripture, I don't see this as an End Times Novel. I see it as a story of a bereft people in a savaged land who are seeking to minister to others in the same plight.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review from the Worthy Publishing company's First Look Review Program. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated.

1 comment:

  1. 16 main characters would be totally confusing to me! Thanks so much for sharing this post and link-up at Booknificent Thursday on this week! Great to have you!


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