Joel Rosenberg so perfectly combines the style of Tom Clancy, Dan Brown and La Haye/Jenkins that it is absolutely irresistible. The characters are so familiar and comfortable, the plot is terse and believable, and the book is great fun. He is one of the few authors (K. A. Applegate and Eoin Colfer being others) that I have trouble putting down at 2 am (no trouble at 3 am). The books are actually detrimental to my productivity!
And it’s got a tie-in to church! The Sunday after finishing the book, my pastor mentioned a teaching style of Jesus and other rabbi’s of 30 A.D. called remez. The principle is to read passages of the Old Testament in parts without explaining what was missing. It assumes that the audience of the sermon/lecture knows the Old Testament well enough to know what was missing and THAT was the thrust of the lecture/sermon. While not mentioned by name, this concept played heavily into the book and it was awesome to see such immaculate detail in Rosenberg’s research.
There were two very intriguing religious ideas that I was particularly drawn to. The first concerned the Antichrist and the End Times. Essentially, the devil doesn’t know when Jesus is coming back, so he has had an Antichrist ready to fulfill prophesy in every era (page 156). The second was a compelling heart-to-heart conversation between a Jew and a Christian about what it’s like to follow God, where if you don’t become a true follower and learn to speak His language, you’ll completely miss what he’s saying (page 288). It was just a really interesting way of putting it and I was absolutely fascinated.