Saturday, May 30, 2015

Wilderness Rising by A.L. Shields

From A. L. Shields pseudonym for New York Times best-selling author Stephen L. Carter comes the thrilling sequel to The Church Builder.

An age-old struggle between the enemies of God and the champions of faith.

A rumored relic that could prove Christ performed miracles or declare him a fraud.

A woman on the run from international authorities.

Bethany Barclay is fighting to outwit the Wilderness, an ancient and powerful cabal bent on destroying Christianity. Its members murdered her best friend, framed her for acts of terrorism, and captured the brilliant teen hacker she vowed to protect. To ransom the girl, Bethany must find the Pilate Stone a mysterious first-century artifact that might not even exist.

But she s not the only one looking for the stone. In an international landscape of double agents, Bethany finds it impossible to tell friend from foe. The Garden, a secret group of powerful intellectuals sworn to save the Church and help Bethany, is collapsing under the rising power of the Wilderness. And an ocean separates her from her only proven ally the lone wolf Ray Fuentes, who has battles of his own to fight.

A sparse trail of breadcrumbs takes Bethany across Europe into a labyrinth of academics, art historians, and followers of a reclusive monastic order. As her quest transforms into an ever more complex and dangerous game, unlikely actors in the drama emerge. Some are ruthlessly devoted to preserving a world where faith is possible. Others aim to brutally, and finally, undermine belief.

Including her own.

My review:

  I have one complaint about this book: It came out too long after the book it follows. It was a year and a half ago that I read and reviewed the first book, and I remembered that I liked it a lot, but could not remember much about it. A lot of it came back as I read this one, but they should have released them closer together.

  The idea of two secret organizations existing, one which does all it can to discredit Christians and Christianity and destroy them, and the other that does all it can to preserve and protect Christianity and Christians is a very interesting idea. And it made for two great novels.

  This novel takes up right where the first took of, and launches right into non-stop action and suspense. Once I started remembering who was who and what was going on, I got into the book and couldn't put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and read it through in one evening.... I could not put it down. The action and suspense were top notch, it had great likable - and non-likable characters, and the whole book revolved around faith and Christianity.

  I was hoping there was a third book, but this was just a two-book series. I consider the author's foray into Christian fiction a great one, and hope he writes more on the Christian market. I highly recommend this series.

About the author:

A. L. Shields is a pseudonym for Stephen L. Carter, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale, where he has taught for thirty years. He is also the author of seven acclaimed works of nonfiction and five bestselling novels. His first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park (2002), spent eleven weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. 

Wilderness Rising is available from Zondervan Publishing.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.