Monday, February 22, 2016
THE ALEPPO CODE by Terry Brennan
Sybil Bates McCormack reviews The Aleppo Code by Terry Brennan.
Here's the Short Version:
Having chased the secret of the Cipher through a maze of treachery, death, and destruction, Tom Bohannon’s band of explorers seems to be at a dead end. But the discovery of a tenth-century scriptural text holding the final key to the ancient code hurls them right back into the fray.
Hunted by the relentless assassins of the Prophet’s Guard, Bohannon’s intrepid squad struggles to stay one step ahead of their enemies. Amidst the chaos and conspiracy engulfing the Middle East, they doggedly comb the ruins of ancient Babylon in pursuit of this crucial element of end-timers prophecy. Bohannon and his team risk everything in a desperate attempt to save the world from destruction.
Two words: Marvelous book. The Aleppo Code is the third in a series of novels Pulitzer Prize-winning author Terry Brennan refers to as “The Jerusalem Prophecies.” This reader is, admittedly, new to the Biblical adventure novel genre and expected to have quite a time “toughing it out” with a read of this ilk. You know what I mean—inspy guy’s guy fiction. It’s the polar opposite of everything I tend to enjoy—inspirational romance (whether historicals, contemporaries or suspense), legal thrillers, occasional literary fiction, and the classics.
Presuppositions aside, The Aleppo Code proves engrossing and fulfilling on multiple levels. Though epic in scale—touching upon end-time prophecy, socio-political upheaval, and wartime deceit and courage, for example—the novel provokes an undeniable emotional response in the reader. Author Terry Brennan populates the book’s pages with intricate portraits of highly-motivated, flesh-and-blood characters who—whether right or wrong in their thinking—are prepared to push themselves to their mental, physical and spiritual limits to achieve their goals. That always makes for an engaging read—particularly when the fate of the world rests in the balance. But the writer doesn’t stop there.
Throughout what unfolds as a fictional, plot-perfect, multi-national romp across the Middle East—punctuated by intermittent excursions to the U.S. and Europe—Mr. Brennan explores the topic of faith in a practical, straightforward manner. The main characters in this book aren’t merely on a quest for a secret tool or a weapon. Most are clearly on a quest for the truth. They want to believe, but they’re burdened with authentic skepticism and credible self-doubt. Even when they encounter the supernatural—and the scenes are wrought with singular, exquisite beauty—the characters question the significance of their experiences. The reader can’t help but empathize with the author’s flawed, life-like characters. They are us. We are them.
I would recommend this book wholeheartedly to anyone who would listen. I laughed. I cried. I reflected. I even meditated. And, I came out on the other side of this read an unabashed fan of Terry Brennan’s work.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you as always. Until next time …
(Disclosure Statement: I was pleased to share my honest review of this book in exchange for a complimentary copy of the novel from Kregel Publications.)
A licensed Georgia attorney since 1998, Sybil Bates McCormack now writes responses to state and Federal contract solicitations during the day while lurching haltingly toward a career as an inspirational romantic suspense author at night. She's also the crazed wife of a bi-vocational pastor and mom to two bright, talented kids. They don't call her BizzySyb for nothing! You can visit Sybil at her blog, Christian Romance/Pulsating Suspense, follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, friend her on GoodReads, connect with her on LinkedIn, and add her to your circles on Google+.