Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Brady is a young man full of potential. But even considering the broken home and underprivileged background he comes from, he proves to be his own worst enemy. And he’ll one day cross paths with Thomas, a chaplain who feels he’s got very little good to show for all of his years of ministry.

Author Jerry B. Jenkins says that Riven is his life’s work, the novel he’s always wanted to write. So I approached this novel all the more seriously.

Although it’s darker and a lot more depressing than my usual reading preference, and I found much of it to be predictable, the story still kept me interested through most of its 500+ pages. I’ll admit I didn’t always find the characters or the plot to be the most convincing, and the way the story rushes over some crucial years is unfortunate. There are also key areas of the story that I couldn’t get with—theologically, politically (though I almost hate to use that word, due to its tendency to minimize critical matters affecting humanity), and just as a reader of fiction.

Nonetheless, I have to applaud the intense and risky route the author takes to get an earnest message across, and the way he does it is ultimately powerful. I do think a reader has to be good with highly evangelistic, Christian material to enjoy this book, so if you have an appreciation for “the greatest story ever told,” this novel may very well hit you where you live.


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