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368 pages
Jul 2004
Tyndale House Publishers


by Jerry B. Jenkins

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Silenced by Jerry Jenkins is book two of the Soon Trilogy. This futuristic thriller combines biblical prophecy with speculative fiction. In a world where government and the NPO (National Peace Organization) ban the practice of religion, believers are forced to hide their religious values or suffer the consequences. Double-agent Dr. Paul Stepola, a new, but secret believer, is an educated advisor on religious studies and works for the NPO. When Paris, Rome and London are attacked by terrorists, the NPO sends Stepola to Europe to infiltrate the Christian underground, thinking the terrorist is among them.

Readers who haven’t read the first book of this series will appreciate Jenkins brief, but thorough book one synopsis written as a precursor to the story. Jenkins weaves in and out of his character’s lives, and the minds of Dr. Stepola and his wife Jae. The book is a quick read and difficult to put down, as each character’s struggles are revealed and then left hanging from chapter to chapter. The conflicts are real enough to make the story plausible. Dr. Stepola not only needs to find the terrorist, he must also stop the government from enforcing a law that will make citizens sign a document renouncing their faith. Failure to sign the decree will result in death or imprisonment. Conflict surrounds him as he attempts to do the right thing, yet hide his religious convictions. Jae, a nonbeliever, doesn’t understand the change she notices in her husband. In an effort to understand him better, she secretly listens to his CD’s of the New Testament. Will this change her? Will she convert in the process?

As the plot evolves, Stepola is forced to choose faith over his family. He puts his family in God’s hands. He prays that they will be drawn to Him through his example. As he works with underground believers, he faces the possibility of exposure. Will his wife leave him if she finds out he is a spy? Will he be accused of treason? Will Jae’s ruthless father, an NPO leader, who becomes suspicious of Stepola’s loyalties, turn Jae against her husband? How will Stepola bring down the terrorist?

There are moments when dialogue between characters is somewhat unrealistic and stilted. Dr. Stepola seems flawless. Does that type of person really exist? Physical descriptions are almost non-existent, which makes it difficult to visualize and bond with the main characters. Was Jae short, tall, blonde, or brunette? Did she wear jewelry and dress in skirts or slacks? This may be trivial to Jenkins, whose main goal is to convey his character’s inner thoughts and conflicts with religion—which he does. It’s possible that his intent is to draw his audience into Jae’s doubt of Christianity with hopes readers will experience conversion.

This book is recommended for readers who don’t have a problem with fictionalizing biblical truths. Some of Jenkins’ ideas are far-fetched and disconcerting, but a government ban on religion for some is conceivable. Would a loving God be angry enough to slay firstborn males of unbelievers throughout the world? Readers will need to read book three to find out! -- Michelle Weidenbenner, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

“…by signing this document and having it on public record, thus: ‘Under penalty of life imprisonment, or death in extreme cases, I hereby pledge that I personally support the global ban on the practice of religion.’”

In the name of peace, the world is forced to take sides.

National Peace Organization operative Paul Stepola walks a dangerous tightrope as a double agent—a new believer assigned to enforce the ban on religion. Three major cities have been attacked by terrorists and thousands have died, all in the name of God. Paul must somehow find a way to expose the source of the terrorism without endangering fellow believers. And with his unbelieving wife’s powerful connections, Paul faces danger on every front.

In the face of persecution the seeds of faith grow stronger. The underground church prays for a miracle of global proportions—not seen since the time of Moses.

In a world where madmen rule... The voice of God will not be SILENCED.