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70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feels like reading today's paper!
Called by some a 'modern-day Nostradamus', Joel C. Rosenberg's latest novel, The Tehran Initiative, has been making headlines even before its release. The reason? The author's almost uncanny ability to write about events that become headlines.

Recent events involving Iran, like the country's growing ability to produce nuclear weapons, and seeming involvement in...
Published on October 18, 2011 by Deborah M. Allen

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars CIA, Shia Islam Eschatology, Christianity and Pop-Corn Action
Over the past decade, author and former political consult Joel C. Rosenberg has been amassing a huge following with multiple New York Times best sellers. Drawing off his as a consult for Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky and then-former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Rosenberg's books tend to focus on Middle Eastern politics and terrorism (think CIA and...
Published on August 31, 2012 by Joshua Hopping


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70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feels like reading today's paper!, October 18, 2011
This review is from: The Tehran Initiative (Hardcover)
Called by some a 'modern-day Nostradamus', Joel C. Rosenberg's latest novel, The Tehran Initiative, has been making headlines even before its release. The reason? The author's almost uncanny ability to write about events that become headlines.

Recent events involving Iran, like the country's growing ability to produce nuclear weapons, and seeming involvement in assassination attempts are some of the issues Rosenberg addresses in The Tehran Initiative. What intrigues the media outlets is that he wrote the novel many months ago.

My review:
Rosenberg's seventh novel, like the previous ones, is fast-paced, suspenseful, and above all believable. It's easy to tell he's knowledgeable about the topics, the cultures, and the places, as the reader travels the world with the main character.

David Shirazi is an American CIA operative of Iranian descent. His looks and language allow him to penetrate the Iranian infrastructure and become friends with prominent Iranians, the most important of which is an Iranian physicist, a secret Christian. Shirazi must get the physicist out of Iran and destroy the nuclear weapons being built.

If you like gripping novels with espionage, world travel, and politics, this is the one for you.
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102 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Frightening Taste of What Could Come, October 18, 2011
This review is from: The Tehran Initiative (Hardcover)
After really getting into dystopian novels like the edgy Gods of Ruin and earlier classics, I was eager for the latest Rosenberg thriller which focuses on the conflicts in the Middle East. The dystopian aspects of this one are clear and immediately know: the mahdi from the last Rosenberg book is starting a new caliphate set to annihilate Israel and who has its sights set on attacking the U.S. down the road. Basically, it's the new cold war about to blow up into the hottest war ever because, of course, Iran just tested their very own nuclear bomb.

Rosenberg produces top-notch, fast-paced geo-political thrillers with a Christian bent (don't let his name trip you up) and his latest is a great representation of his great plots. From the description, you can tell that the author is well versed in actual international politics and the story follows almost like a documentary of actual events rather that fiction.

So, if you enjoy getting into heated topics about current events, if you like prognosticating with thoughtful pundits about the state of the world, and if you enjoy a thrill ride when you pick up a book, you'll be very happy with Tehran Initiative.
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ripped From Today's Headlines!, October 22, 2011
This review is from: The Tehran Initiative (Hardcover)
Iran has the bomb. The Twelfth Imam, Muhammad Ibn Hasan Ibn Ali has arrived and is in the process of establishing the Caliphate. American leadership is listening to the peace talk of the Twelfth Imam and Israel seems to stand alone against the rising tide. Welcome to the world of The Tehran Initiative.

With the second book of the trilogy, the first being The Twelfth Imam, Joel C. Rosenberg is showing once again why he is one of the greatest writers of Christian Political Thrillers in our time.

In The Tehran Initiative Rosenberg picks up sixty seconds after the ending of The Twelfth Imam and within the first few chapters the reader is taken on a action packed car chase in Iran, the attempted assassination of the American President, the Egyptian President and the Israeli Prime Minister, and plenty of political intrigue. If you like action and are intrigued by the inner workings of international politics, then you will love this book!

Action is not the only facet of this story however. There are very tender moments in Rosenberg's story centering on family and friendship, and there is a healthy dose of faith thrown in. This book is Christian fiction and as such there are plenty of references to the Christian faith. I personally am a follower of Christ and welcome the showing of faith in such a refreshing way by Rosenberg. There are plenty of prophecy references, not only from the Christian perspective, but also from the Muslim perspective. After reading this book, I can firmly attest that Rosenberg does not denigrate those of the Muslim faith, but instead simply tells it like it is.

Although this book can be read on its own, it is the second book of a trilogy and should be read after reading the first book, The Twelfth Imam. If you like Tom Clancy, you will love the writing of Joel C. Rosenberg. I am highly recommending this book to you.

(Disclosure: I did receive an advanced copy of this book from Tyndale to review and made no promises as to the nature of my review. The posted review is mine and mine alone.)
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars reminiscent of a Tom Clancy book, October 22, 2011
This review is from: The Tehran Initiative (Hardcover)
I haven't read a book like The Tehran Initiative for a long time,but it was an interesting book to read. Here's an exerpt from the cover of the book:

The world is on the brink of disaster and the clock is ticking. Iran has just conducted its first atomic weapons test. Millions of Muslims around the world are convinced their messiah--known as "the Twelfth Imam"--has just arrived on earth. Israeli leaders fear Tehran, under the Twelfth Imam's spell, will soon launch a nuclear attack that could bring about a second holocaust and the annihilation of Israel. The White House fears Jerusalem will strike first, launching a preemptive attack against Iran's nuclear facilities that could cause the entire Middle East to go up in flames, oil prices to skyrocket, and the global economy to collapse. With the stakes high and few viable options left, the president of the United States orders CIA operative David Shirazi and his team to track down and sabotage Iran's nuclear warheads before Iran or Israel can launch a devastating first strike.

That summary/intro gives you a feel for the tone of the book. It was an interesting read. . .kind of reminiscent of a Tom Clancy book. I enjoyed reading it. The reason I said at the start that it was not the sort of book I usually read is that as a mom I don't often read books so long and involved as this one. I used to read a lot of books of this type, and in reading it I found that I miss the type of challenging read such as this which really engages your mind. You have to read it with care, following the details, for the story to make sense to you.

I enjoyed the way the book was written, little segments in which different characters of the story are in the first person mode, in different geographical locations. Careful reading allowed the reader to follow the story line as it unfolded and brought all those segments together. It was high suspense, political intrigue, life and death situations. The story was very realistic sounding to me. The author did a great job of writing little vignettes and then drawing them all together to show the big picture of what was happening.

By the way, this book is a second in a series, and I had not read the first book. It did not hinder my enjoyment or understanding of this book.

I would certainly recommend this book. It's not a fluffy book, or a romance, but a thought-provoking read. It does take some time to read, but is very interesting! It does have a Biblical message within it, not especially strong, but a nice touch. I'll definitely pass this book on and suggest it to others!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purposes of this review and the Tyndale House blog tour for this book. I was not required to write a positive review.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tehran Initiative, November 11, 2011
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This latest novel by Joel Rosenburg did not dissapoint us as we listened to the recorded version. The reader gave much energy, emotion, & interpretation to the story. Again, we were challenged to share the love of Christ, as we see events of Scripture unfolding and another novel, making the reality of it all so believable.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Tehran Initiative weaves Bible prophecy and Islamic prophecies into a mesmerizing apocalyptic thriller.", October 24, 2011
This review is from: The Tehran Initiative (Hardcover)
If you enjoyed the The Twelfth Imam or any other books by Joel Rosenberg, you should like this one! It feels like you're reading today's headlines with all of the anxiety in the middle east.

The Muslims around the world are convinced that their messiah, the Twelfth Imam, has just arrived on earth and Iran has just conducted its first nuclear bomb test. Israel fears that Tehran will soon launch a nuclear attack that could annihilate of Israel.

The White House worries that Israel will strike first against Iran's nuclear facilities that could be devastating causing the Middle East to be unstable making oil prices rise and collapsing the world's economy.

CIA operative David Shirazi is ordered by the President of the United States to track down and sabotage Iran's nuclear warheads before Iran or Israel can launch a devastating first strike.

Patience Prence ~ Bestselling author of SCARS: An End-Times Prophecy Novel
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A When, Not if Story, November 19, 2011
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This review is from: The Tehran Initiative (Hardcover)
This is an exciting and timely story about future events that may be taking shape in the not too distant future. Events on the scale described in this book are always difficult to imagine as most of us in the United States have never experienced devastating events that would change our lives and our world forever.

The book is based on prophecies from the Bible and provides a fictionalized story based on these prophecies. The hero, a young American/Iranian named David Shirazi, has joined the CIA and is working as a field agent in Iran. This is a continuation of the story first presented in an earlier Rosenberg book, "The Twelfth Imam." This book advances the story but does not end the story; it is evident a sequel is in the works; things are really beginning to heat up when the book is over. I'm sure all of Joel Rosenberg's fans are looking forward to the next installment.

As is usual with the writer, the book sets a fast pace and never slows down; I would classify it as a page-turner and feel sure fans of Joel Rosenberg will not be disappointed with this one.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars CIA, Shia Islam Eschatology, Christianity and Pop-Corn Action, August 31, 2012
This review is from: The Tehran Initiative (Paperback)
Over the past decade, author and former political consult Joel C. Rosenberg has been amassing a huge following with multiple New York Times best sellers. Drawing off his as a consult for Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky and then-former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Rosenberg's books tend to focus on Middle Eastern politics and terrorism (think CIA and State Department thrillers).

A good chuck of Rosenberg's fame comes from his uncanny ability to `predict' real-life events within his books. For example, he wrote about kamikaze plane attack on an American city nine months before 9-11 and five months before the 2003 invasion of Iraq he wrote about a war with Saddam Hussein.

Having heard bits and pieces of this fame throughout the years, I finalize decided to give his books a try (well, that and the fact that a co-worker was pressuring me to read them!). Looking at my local library, I discovered that they had both the "The Twelfth Imam" (2010) and the sequel "The Tehran Initiative" (2011) in an audio format, which is my preferred method of `reading' non-fiction books.

As to be expected, the hero of the series is an American CIA spy named David Shirazi who must infiltrate the Iranian government and try to stop a nuclear war. What was not expected was the way in which Rosenberg incorporated both Shia Islam eschatology and Christianity into the story line. Simply put, in the books the leaders of Iran are devoted Imami Shīa Muslims who are trying to hurry the arrive of the Mahdi (the twelve successor of Prophet Mohammad who is prophesied to unite the world under Islam) via destroying Israel and the USA - i.e. ushering in the end of times.

In fact, the Mahdi does show up in the books as someone with supernatural powers and insight into the future. Jesus also makes various appearances - only Jesus tended to appear to small groups of folks while the Mahdi takes the spotlight and control of various nations. Think of them as a Frank Peretti, Tim LaHaye/Jerry Jenkins, and Tom Clancy hybrid novel. (Note that Rosenberg is a Christian believer with a family tree of Orthodox Judaism.)

An interesting thing about the books is that the longer I read them the more I kept thinking about how much the Imami Shīa Muslims leaders sounded like USA Dispensationalism Christian church and political leaders. Both groups are heavily focused on end time prophecies and use such writings to defend and/or justify their political, economic, and religious choices and behaviors. They also are both awaiting a savior who will usher in a peaceful world-wide rule via an Armageddon type war and are willing to `help' the prophecies along via their choices. If you think I'm reading too much into things, you should probably note that I'm not the only person making these comparison (see [...]).

In addition to exploring Islamic and Christian eschatology, Rosenberg explores the religious themselves with various characters converting from Islam to Christianity. While this makes sense to a certain degree within the world of the novels, it actually rubbed me wrong as each of the new converts then proceed to help the CIA and USA government (a religious/political marriage that I STONGLY disagree with). The excuse or rationality for this help was that the USA was fighting to stop a war while the Iranian leaders were trying to start one - i.e. Christianity was for peace and Islam was for war.

However that stereotype does not work for me as I know there are plenty of Muslims who long for peace and have no desire to destroy or harm the nation of Israel or the USA. They mostly just want to live life, get a good job, marry, have some kids and enjoy living - just like most Christians, Hindus, Atheists, etc. People are people. As such, I would have like the books to have included a some Muslims heroes fighting for peace from within their religion...

I guess in conclusion I am torn as to what I think about the books... on one hand there were good pop-corn reads with plenty of action coupled with some good thinking points. However, they do seem to promote a theological view and stereotype that I dislike... can I say 2 or 2.5 stars out of 5? :?
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars action-packed thriller, October 18, 2011
This review is from: The Tehran Initiative (Hardcover)
In Tehran, CIA agent David Shirazi enables the Islamic Republic of Iran's highest ranking nuclear scientist Dr. Najjar Malik and his family to escape to the United States (see The Twelfth Imam). However Shirazi remains in country undercover as he continues his inquiry into the actions of Muhammad Ibn Hasan Ibn Ali who claims to be The Promised One Mahdi. He has told millions of euphoric Muslims that he will with Allah's blessing re-establish the Caliphate and rule the world with an iron fist in peace.

Shirazi's fears that Iran is going nuclear are affirmed when the country tests an atomic weapon. In Jerusalem, the Americans try to calm the anxiety of the Israeli leaders who fear a nuclear attack followed by a holocaust that will exceed WWII. The debate inside the Knesset is adopting the Bush Doctrine of First Strike by taking out the Iranian nuke facilities. Waiting for the anticipated attack will lead to Israeli annihilation; first strike will lead to a Holy War. Shirazi and his unit must disable the nuclear warheads that Iran possesses before either enemy takes the first strike attack.

The sequel to the frightening The Twelfth Imam continues the alarming premise that The Promised One will unite the Muslim world in a fundamentalist Caliphate that will not remain passive but take the war to the enemy infidels. The exciting action-packed story line grips the audience from the onset and never slows down as Shirazi and his team try to prevent Iran going nuclear. Although the hero's ability to avoid direct fire starting with the Malik scenario is miraculously implausible, fans will appreciate the world on the brink warning story line with a strong subplot involving Shirazi's spiritual awakening.

Harriet Klausner
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now!, October 30, 2011
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samuel2013 (Tuxedo, NY, US) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tehran Initiative (Hardcover)
Having read other books by the author, I expected something very good.

THIS EXCEEDS MY WILDEST EXPECTAtions. I read it in 1 day because I couldn't put it down.
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The Tehran Initiative
The Tehran Initiative by Joel C. Rosenberg (Paperback - April 19, 2012)
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