Sunday, July 31, 2011

Forsaken by James David Jordan

book cover

by James David Jordan

ISBN-13: 9780805447491
Trade Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: B&H Books
Released: October 1, 2008

Source: Bought from

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
When Simon Mason, the world’s best-known televangelist, receives threats from Muslim terrorists, he hires Taylor Pasbury, a former Secret Service agent, to take charge of his security. Taylor is thrilled to receive the high-profile assignment.

When the terrorists strike, they kidnap Simon's daughter and demand Simon publicly deny his faith in Christ if he wants her back alive. He's torn: surely God will forgive the denial, like He did Peter's, but Abraham was commended for loving and trusting God so much that he was willing to give up his son. He feels that either decision will destroy him inside, but he has to choose one or the other. Afterward, as he deals with the fallout and the guilt he feels from his decision, Taylor learns of flaws in his past, including a mistake he made that touches her present in a surprising way.

My Review:
Forsaken is a Christian general fiction novel with some suspense. It wasn't really what I expected. Though I fully agree that some things are worth dying for, I felt like the characters missed why Christ is worth dying for. The ending didn't inspire me like I think it was meant to.

The characters were varied, complex, and dealt with realistic struggles (alcoholism, adultery, kidnapping, etc.) in realistic ways. I think a lot of Christians would sympathize with the "human side" of this "great preacher." However, I didn't agree with his view that Peter and Paul (of the Bible) were so willing to suffer and die for Jesus because of profound guilt they felt over denying Jesus/persecuting Christians earlier. The preacher said he understood grace, but I don't think he really did. He had noble ideas, but he did them for the wrong reason (in my opinion, and--it seemed--the opinion of some of the characters in the book), and I found that sad.

The suspense was created mainly by physical danger to the main characters. The descriptions were vivid though not highly detailed.

Most of the characters were Christians, though some were more nominal and others more devout. The Christian faith was a major theme of the story, but the main character (and the reader) were never "preached" at. There were no sex scenes. There was a very minor amount of fake bad language. Overall, it was an interesting, well-written book.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from Chapter One
Even in high school I didn't mind sleeping on the ground. When your father is a retired Special Forces officer, you pick up things that most girls don't learn. As the years passed, I slept in lots of places a good girl shouldn't sleep. It's a part of my past I don't brag about, like ugly wallpaper that won't come unstuck. No matter how hard I scrape, it just hangs on in big, obscene blotches. I'm twenty-nine years old now, and I've done my best to paint over it. But it's still there under the surface, making everything rougher, less presentable than it should be, though I want more than anything to be smooth and fresh and clean.

Sometimes I wonder what will happen if the paint begins to fade. Will the wallpaper show? I thought so for a long time. But I have hope now that it won't.

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