Saturday, June 20, 2015

Secret Societies and the search for an Ancient Artifact

In the second book of the Church Builder series, Bethany Barkley is on the run from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in the US. With the help of Ray Fuentes, an ex-CIA agent, she escapes to London where she tries to follow Annabelle's clues to discover the Pilate's Stone. Annabelle, her best friend, is now dead, and Bethany is searching for the clues because the Wilderness, an atheistic organization that is trying to discredit the church, has captured Janice, a brilliant young friend of Bethany's. To save Janice, Bethany must find the stone.

The Pilate's Stone is supposedly a stone on which Pilate recorded his recollections of Jesus. The Wilderness and the Garden, a society dedicated to protecting the church, want the stone for different reasons. The Wilderness wants to erase the stone in order to disprove Christ's existence. The Garden wants it to prove that Christ was who he claimed to be.

The novel is a chase scene with Bethany always on the verge of being caught, not knowing who to trust. Many characters are introduced in the process of the chase. Sometimes it's hard to remember who they are and how they fit into the overall story.

I found Bethany a rather shallow character. As is typical in chase scenes, we hear more about Bethany's actions trying to escape than about her character. She seems tentative, unsure of what she's dong. While this may be realistic, it gets tedious. She wants to find the stone, save Janice, and redeem Annabelle's memory, but I didn't feel that we got to know Bethany well.

The book is a sequel. I recommend reading the first book, The Church Builder, first. The second book starts immediately with Bethany on the run, but without the first book you miss the reason why she's being pursued by so many law enforcement agencies.

I reviewed this book for BookLook Bloggers.