"Riven" is unlike any book I've ever read. It's also unlike any book Jerry B. Jenkins has ever written.
Is that a good thing?
Step into the shoes of a career criminal, Brady Wayne Darby. Watch as he takes a gift, a golden opportunity for success and squanders it. Watch as his selfishness wounds him time after time, and yet he doesn't learn from each selfish act. Watch as he makes decision after decision, choice after choice and heads down a path to a destiny he does not want. You'll have times when you'll want to reach into the novel and shake him until his teeth rattle.
Walk in the shoes of a lifelong minister. Called at a young age and continuing faithfully in his calling, Thomas Carey is in a faith crisis. Watch as he labors in church after church only to have power struggle after struggle. Watch as he labors to reach the men he's been assigned to minister to, only to have them use and manipulate him time and again. You'll have moments when you'll want to reach into the novel and wrap your arms around him.
When their two completely different worlds collide, the effects will resonate in heaven and echo in the deepest, darkest reaches of hell.
By the end of this massive story, you will no longer be a mere observer. You will be woven into its fabric, and it will seep into your pores and become a piece of your existence. You will go places you never wanted to go, see things you may not want to see, and feel things that will be difficult to feel.
But...you will never take another minister for granted, and you will never look at a lost soul the same way again.
Jerry says himself, "My hope is that [this story] stays with you long after the final page." Does he succeed?
Oh, most definitely. Masterfully written, "Riven" will most definitely remain a part of who you are.
And that's a very good thing.
"Riven" receives the golden bookmarks from me, and releases July 22nd from Tyndale. I'm also voting it "Best Contemporary Fiction of 2008", and "Best Contemporary Fiction of the Decade".
It's that good.