Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Ezekiel Option

by Joel C. Rosenberg

Published by Tyndale House Publishers (2006)
432 pages

Roughly 2600 years after the prophet Ezekiel makes his cryptic prophecies regarding the end times, his words seem to be coming true. Russia is preparing for war against Israel and most nations stand with Russia. In a race against time, realizing Russia’s imminent demise, former Wall Street mogul and currently the president’s “Point Man for Peace”, Jon Bennett smuggles himself across Russian borders to rescue his fiancé, Erin McCoy (CIA operative), presumably held captive by the new Russian government. The story eerily echoes the events currently unfolding in the Middle East.

Like Rosenberg’s books leading up to The Ezekiel Option, this novel begins with instant action and is initially a page turner. Midway through the book, though, Rosenberg’s tempo makes a drastic change.

The Last Jihad and The Last Days, precursors of The Ezekiel Option, were published by a secular publishing company and the tone clearly demonstrates that. The books are geopolitical, action packed, page turners and are difficult to put down. Many readers compared the first two novels with those written by Tom Clancy.

A main difference between Rosenberg’s novels and others of the same secular genre is that you would allow your children to read them. His language is clean and there are no explicit scenes. Rosenberg proves that you can write an intense novel without the unnecessary garbage. The president is an evangelical Christian, as are several other characters, though they do not come across as proselytizing. It is merely a description of who they are.

That changes in the third book, The Ezekiel Option. The publisher changed from secular to Tyndale and the target market clearly changed as well. Where the first two books are simply political thrillers, this book is clearly written as an evangelical tool. It’s a piece of apocalyptic literature that is profoundly more complex than the Left Behind novels, but carries the same fundamental message, speaking of the end times and the impending rapture.

If you enjoy literature that explores eschatological matters, then this novel is for you but if you are looking for a book to match the first two (both of which I highly recommend), you may be disappointed.

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