||Ellechor Publishing House, LLC
||Aug 1, 2012
Veronika Walker's Review on Goodreads
I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy* of this book, and OH.MY. did I enjoy it! I have found a Christian author I would actually read! Dr. Munroe is a real character with real goals and troubles, doubts, and confrontations with his faith. I was so happy to find an author who can actually create real-life Christian characters, alongside his terrific authorial voice and action-packed plot. Whether I get to help with their production or not, I intend to read this series for myself, and Scott's previous novels as well.
Dr. Jonathan Munro is a paleographer (an expert in ancient writings and language) who is quite literally thrown into a quest for the autographs (original, hand-written versions) of the New Testament books. A Christian himself, Munro must also reconcile his trust in science and archaeology, which, to some, is a contradiction of faith.
As he races to find the lost scrolls, Munro and his ex-girlfriend are pursue by not one, but several mercenaries and would-be assassins, all employed by various religious groups and/or highest bidders who want the scrolls for themselves. Among their enemies are Christians and non-Christians alike, all seeking the scrolls for various personal reasons. Among them, Brother Demetr, a monk with a flare for martial arts in the service of the Eastern Orthodox Church, seeking restitution with God for his life of murder; Hamid, a one-armed terrorist who is no respecter of persons or faiths; and most dangerous of all, Sean MacNeil, an ex-IRA agent whose persistence and ingenuity could cause Munro to lose the scrolls at every turn...and who silenced his conscience long ago.
This was a fantastic, quick-paced read that I could easily see as a movie. Though we don't see much of the backstory or depth of the characters, the author is definitely setting up for that to come in the next book of the series, tentatively titled
The Elixir of Life
*I have not received any compensation for this review. These are strictly my own opinions.
Janet Dimond's Review on Christian Books Today
“The fact something has never been found does not mean it never existed.”
An edge-of-your seat page-turner that will lead you across Turkey, Syria, the U.S. and elsewhere in a cat-and-mouse search for a scroll revealing the location of the missing autographs (original manuscripts) of the New Testament. Finding them, and being able to date and compare them to other ancient copies already in existence, would prove the accuracy and authenticity of the New Testament. But there is another mystery to solve and protect – a strange artifact – a fifth gospel written in Greek on what has become known as the Egerton papyrus. The scroll holds the key to everything.
In this spy vs. spy meets James Bond meets Indiana Jones quest, Dr. Jonathan Munro is reluctantly dragged into the chase to find the scroll before a private collector, professors, monks, priests, mercenaries and police on several continents, each with their own motivation – money, fame, research, knowledge, the contentment of knowing the scrolls are with their rightful owner. Who that turns out to be will shock you.
We’re immediately hooked as we’re dropped into the midst of the race with a stabbing and a strange key. Jon’s ex-friend, archaeologist Dr. Stephen Kaufman, has been seriously injured in an attempted murder, and has sent Jon a clue and a message that he needs his help. Add Stephen’s sister (Jon’s ex-girlfriend) to the mix, and you have a recipe for adventure and issues of trust/mistrust that move the story forward at a frantic pace. Don’t rest or daydream during this one – you’ll miss key clues as you try to unravel the mystery yourself behind the location and meaning of the scroll.
Several stories intertwine in this mystery-suspense with holy and unholy alliances, twists and turns and unexpected outcomes. Intrigue grows as the story is told from several points of view, all mixed together, like viewing a movie through different cameras and angles. This makes perfect sense as the book could easily be made into a screenplay. It reads like one of those movies where you’ve bought the popcorn, but forget to eat it because you’re so wrapped up in the storyline and what’s happening in front of you.
Michael’s writing is brilliant. The facts are not handed to us on a platter. We are shown just enough evidence at the right time to link events that later make sense. And just when things seem to be calming down enough to take a breath, or rest your eyes, there is another shadow in the dark waiting to take you somewhere else. Your mind is never left idle. Characters and locations are drawn in vivid detail, and we are transported through the action without thinking much about it. We are simply “there.”
Jon Munro has devoted his life to providing evidence for the faith, even though he at times struggles with his own. It’s a refreshing honesty. And the fact he says science proves the Bible accurate, time and again, and has never been disproven, is a comfort to those seeking the Word of God as truth in their lives.
As an ancient history buff, and former translator, I was instantly drawn to the story and found it hard to put down. The Egerton papyrus really does exist, and it was interesting to think about the real-life quest that must have taken place to find and keep it. Michael has blended fact and fiction seamlessly. Well worth the read, this is fast-paced, non-stop action and intrigue at its best.
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