Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Book Review - Valley of the Dry Bones by Jerry Jenkins
In The Valley of the Dry Bones, Jerry B. Jenkins overlays the ancient End Times prophecies of Ezekiel onto the landscape of modern California. After a 17-year drought, multiple earthquakes, and uncontrollable wildfires, the state is desolate. The United States President declares the state uninhabitable and irreparable, directing California's 39 million citizens to relocate. From the air, California looks like a vast abandoned sand box, but to a few groups of people, it's their home. With less than 1% of the population remaining in California at their own risk, the holdouts encounter a clash of cultures, ethnicities, religions, and politics that pits friend against friend with the future of California at stake.
Jerry B. Jenkins’s books have sold more than 70 million copies. Twenty-one of his titles have reached the New York Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. The phenomenally best-selling Left Behind series inspired a movie starring Nicolas Cage. Jenkins has been featured on the cover of Newsweek and his writing has appeared in Time, Guideposts, Parade and dozens of other periodicals. He and his wife, Dianna, have three grown children and eight grandchildren and live in Colorado.
From the start of this book, it felt very much like the "Left Behind" books that Mr. Jenkins wrote with Tim LaHaye. It didn't make this book bad, exactly, it was just so similar it was hard to get past.
After California is hit with drought, wildfires and earthquakes, the state virtually becomes inhabitable and the government pulls it's protection and tells people they must move out. However, there is a small faction that decide to stay and one of them is Zeke, his wife and daughter. The book starts with the tragic story of Zeke's son and, at first, I wasn't sure of the connection of this story and the rest of the book, but it does become clear.
Like the "Left Behind" books, we follow along as this small group tries to survive in a hostile environment. Christianity plays an important role in this story as well as some of the character's lives, which was the positive part but, again, it was all rather predictable in style and fashion.
I also had a lot of questions that were never really answered in this book. For instance,why was only California having issues with the heat of the sun and no where else? It seemed implausible to me that California would be the only place where these issues were taking place. I also was left questioning some of the characters motives and with no answers, it left me wanting more information.
I did really like some of the characters and their motivation for wanting to stay behind and try to make a difference for others. They felt they were being led by God and I respect that. Jenkins seems to always have great character development and that's true for this book, too. It's just the story itself that left me rolling my eyes and feeling like I'd read it before, as I said.
Unfortunately, I cannot really recommend this book. I would much more recommend his "Left Behind" books if you're looking for end times fiction. Reading this book ended up feeling like a chore and I was relieved when I got to the last page. Never a good thing. Out of 5 stars, I'm giving this book 2 stars.
*This book was provided to me for my honest review by Worthy Publishing through their First Look Program
Blessings - Julie