Have you ever tried jumping into a new series midstream, only to find that you’ve got no idea what’s going on and you have zero background information to help you even to venture a guess? That’s how you would most likely feel if you randomly picked up Dead Heat, Joel Rosenberg’s final installment to his Last Jihad series [Including in order: The Last Jihad, The Last Days, The Ezekiel Option, The Copper Scroll]. Sure, he offers some background information here and there, but it’s tucked away inside character memories and news stories that flitter by. Without having read the first four books in this series, I image that Dead Heat i would seem to you a most miserable book indeed. But I promise you, it’s not.
Behind the melodrama, behind the darkness, behind all the incessant death is a long-running story of a world gone haywire. America continues to suffer a holocaust beyond experience. [**Spoiler Alert**] Four American cities have been nuked, the President and his cabinet are gone, and the millions who have survived the devastation must find a way to cope. Rosenberg takes us into the frantic chambers of politics, as low-level survivors search for a new leader and for the constitutional right to swear him in.
Alongside all this, Rosenberg also takes us back to the couple whom his readers have grown to admire, Jon and Erin Bennett. As we plunge into this book, we can only guess what adventures these two will cook up next, and I think I speak for all of Rosenberg’s readers when I say that he once again takes us by surprise!
One theological aspect that I found extremely interesting in this book was Rosenberg’s assessment regarding the “144,000” mentioned in John’s Revelation. Contrary to common theory—which suggests that during the Great Tribulation a huge revival occurs among the Jewish people, resulting in a full 144,000 Jews turning to Jesus as their Messiah—Joel suggests that there is in reality an even greater revival among the Jewish people, resulting in millions who turn to Christ shortly before a second Holocaust. The 144,000 then speaks of survivors, and although this includes another Holocaust (couched inside the Great Tribulation itself, of course), in the grand scheme of things this is actually a pretty optimistic way of looking at end-time prophecy!
I look forward to picking up Joel C. Rosenberg’s Auschwitz Escape and Third Target soon. They’re loaded into my Kindle already, so I’m just waiting for the next time I’m allowed to burn a day or two on straight fiction, because usually when I pick up one of his books, I don’t want to put it down.