Here is a new feature on my blog! I have the wonderful opportunity to combine two things I love: reading AND blogging. I have been added to the Blogging for Books program through Multnomah publisher's. The first book I requested and read is "The Scroll" by Grant R. Jeffrey and Alton L. Gansky.
So what did I think of this book? On a scale from "ugh" to "awesome!" I would say this book doesn't deserve an "ugh", but definitely deserves a "bleh". I chose it because it looked intriguing: a little bit Indiana Jones and a little bit Angels and Demons. My suspicions were correct: This book is about a Biblical Archaeologist (David Chambers) who has lost his faith completely and is trying to give up Biblical Archaeology completely. You find out that David Chambers is a bit of a tragic character, his mother died with his father off gallivanting in Israel, the love of his life dumped him, and he finds no happiness any more. Chambers is contacted by a long-time friend and mentor Abram Ben-Judah to briefly return to Israel for one last dig. Chambers decides to take up the offer, finding himself on a team with a frienemy (who, as it turns out, ends up just being an enemy) and his ex-finace. The dig is shrouded in mystery, and as the story unfolds you realize (along with Chambers), no one on the team has all of the details.
Without giving away too many of the details, I have two main critiques. The first is the writing style and plot twists. The story was a little bit cheesy with one liners. Aside from that, the story tried too hard to be unpredictable; there were many plot twists that were meant to take me off guard, but they all seemed forced and at times were predictable. Sometimes they were a little too unpredictable. The plot, eventually, is thick with misguided theology about the end times and some of the Old Testament prophecies. I am not prepared to say the authors are wrong, but their interpretation and bias is definitely evident in the story. My last critique of the story is that the end seemed haphazard. It was as if the authors thought to themselves, "Oh no. We're hitting our page count and have too much story left!"
My second critique is with the books character development. It's like the authors wanted to paint this tragic character in Dr. Chambers, but they simply did not give enough detail. They gave some, but it wasn't enough to make me truly feel bad for him. I mostly thought Dr. Chambers was sort of a jerk, not one really deserving of the sympathy the authors were trying to elicit. I'm also disappointed with the transformation of Dr. Chambers. It seems like it was so very anti-climatic and as if it were too little, too late.
Over all, I wouldn't say the book is absolutely horrible. Aside from the weird theological biases, it isn't a terrible story. It was entertaining at times. But this is definitely not a book I would read again. If another came out as it's sequel, I would probably pass on it.
Multnomah publishing gave me this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This review is 100% my honest opinion.