I had the genuine pleasure of reviewing Worthy Publishing’s release of Jerry B. Jenkins’ new novel “The Valley of the Dry Bones”. Usually, I do reviews of Bibles, Study Bibles and Bible Reference and Resource material, but when I had a chance to get an early review copy of a Jerry B. Jenkins novel, I simply could not pass up the opportunity. I have read some of his other work and have really enjoyed his writing style and content.
I would give this book a 9.7 out of my normal 10 point rating scale. On a “5 star” scale that some websites use, I would give it a pretty solid 5 star rating.
Wow… how to describe this book. First let me say that I had a very hard time putting this book down. The flow of this book made for a very easy and extremely engaging read. Jenkins has proven his skills writer many times and this book is no exception. The story opens in the California area in a somewhat regional post-apocalyptic setting resulting from years of drought, earthquakes and wildfires set that region of the country uninhabitable. We become quickly familiar with a group of believers that call themselves “The Holdouts” that stay in the desolate region in a survivalist mode, passionately serving nearby Native Americans in their missionary efforts. The story develops the characters very well which includes many twists the group encounter from military to resistance from those they are reaching out to as well as the threat of a dangerous group. This book is very exciting and engaging as we learn about all the chaos and twists that The Holdouts have to endure. It really has a good balance of action vs. character development. To me, this book really feels kind of like what it would be like to combine a fairly tense post-apocalyptic movie (zombie apocalypse without any zombies if you will) and the “Woodlawn” movie in a very unique way. That may seem like an odd mixture to you, but in my opinion, Jenkins actually does an amazing job of doing just that. Highly recommended. You won’t be disappointed. I received a copy of this book in exchange for this unbiased review from Worthy Publishing and all opinions are my own.
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BOOK:
Type of Book: Novel (Christian Fiction)
Publisher: Worthy Publishing
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 978-1617950087
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this novel from is Barnes & Noble. They have it for $11.80 – suggested retail from the publisher is $16.99 but they do not sell directly from their website. See below for a breakout and links to the different prices from some major re-sellers. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges and are subject to change at the seller’s discretion.
- Patent (perfect/square back) bound
- 336 pages
- Dimensions: 6″ x 9″ x 7/8″
- Weight: 1 pound
My Favorite Part:
I really liked how Jenkins brought the Gospel message to the story and showed “life” (albeit fictional life) examples of forgiveness through the interaction between the different characters in the book. The action in this book is fairly tense and the emotional moments (yes, there were quite a few of those), had a grip on my attention. Jenkins really had a way of pulling me into the story making me feel like I was there with them. Very nicely done, Mr. Jenkins! This is a hard book to put down.
My Least Favorite Part:
I do have to admit that I did not want this book to end. But, if I were to pick any part that was my least favorite part, I would have to say the ending did feel just a hair abrupt for my personal taste. Kind of like one of those movies that you watch where they end it then give a one or two sentence recap/epilogue per character quickly summarizing what happened to the main characters after the book’s ending. Part of me would rather have read a little more of the details rather than just a summary/epilogue for the characters. But with that said, that is a very minor thing and just my personal preference. I’m not sure I would really call it negative. It’s simply how Mr. Jenkins decided to convey the ending. Who knows… maybe my preference is simply because I didn’t want the story to end.
If you are someone who has enjoyed Jerry B. Jenkins’ work before, you will not be disappointed with this one. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a very good novel where you like tense situations and trials that the characters have to persevere through and also if you enjoy good character development. As I mentioned it was very good to see how the Gospel is weaved throughout this book. Very well done!
From the publisher’s website: Worthy is led by an experienced team of executives, each with an incredible track-record in Christian book publishing. They have come together to launch Worthy, sharing the ambitious mission to help people experience the heart of God. Their vision is to partner with remarkable authors, pouring creative resources and passion into their compelling ideas.
Worthy is a privately-held, independent voice in Christian publishing, and not dependent on a New York-based parent. Its responsive team is hands-on with all phases of the process: editorial, marketing, publicity, sales and distribution. Worthy focuses on a boutique list of books that cross a broad spectrum of genres: inspiration, fiction, Bible study, current events, devotion, leadership, biography, and personal growth.
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