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A plodding thriller. Read other books in series before this one.
on May 10, 2007
The Copper Scroll is the newest thriller by Christian author Joel Rosenberg. Before reviewing the book, I want to say that this is the first novel I have read by this author. Perhaps I did myself a disservice, because, while not completely necessary, you should read the Ezekiel Option before reading this book. The Copper Scroll is falls into the end-times genre (Left Behind series), and thus it operates in a different world under different circumstances. In this new world, Islam followers and holy sites have been destroyed everywhere. Russia and Iran have just been defeated in a war with Israel, their defeat attributed to God and prophecy from the book of Ezekiel. The events of the EZEKIEL OPTION are referenced often. I don't think it is necessary for you to have read all books before this one, but I recommend it. Previous books would probably give you a frame of reference for the world these fictional characters are operating in.
The book opens with a thrilling chase. An FBI agent spots a man on a terrorist watch list. Before the agent can catch him, the terrorists succeeds in blowing up the lobby of an elegant Washington DC hotel. The CIA thinks that the President was the target, when in reality it was an archeoligist meeting with an agent about a book. Soon another archeoligist is killed. Newlyweds Jon and Erin Bennett are soon on the case, trying to find out the reason one of their friends died. They soon discover why, and the chase is on to find the Copper Scroll. The Copper Scroll is believed to contain the hidden location of the treasures of the 2nd Jewish Temple, and possibly even the Ark of the Covenant. I won't go into any more detail. If you need to know more, then read the book. Rosenburg covers it all.
While there are various subplots, the book's primary focus is a treasure hunt. John and Erin spend days chasing down scrolls and treasures while avoiding the thugs that are hot on their tail. At this point the story somewhat bogs down. Characters often go into lenthy speeches of explanation to tell the reader the history of an artifact or why the Bible should be interpreted a certain way (shades of the Da Vinci Code). Also, any time a code was broken, John, Erin and friend Natasha, would read a Bible scripture then all agree on its obvious conclusion, when I'm thinking how did they get that out of that. (Kind of like in the movie NATIONAL TREASURE). Also, I don't know how I feel about creating a fiction novel out of so much Biblical scripture.
If you're considering this book, then I recommend you start at the beginning of the series. The characterization in this novel is poorly done. Rosenburg never tells the reader anything about John or Erin Bennett, the two main characters, and none of the minor characters receive any characterization either. I assume it was all done in earlier novels in the series.