Thursday, August 13, 2009

Distant Thunder Review by Norm Goldman of Book Pleasures

Norm Goldman, B.A. LL.L, is the Publisher & Editor of He is also a top 500 reviewer.
Author: Jimmy Root Jr.
ISBN: 13: 978-1-58982-553-6: 10: 1-58982-553-5

Depending on your religious beliefs, Jimmy Root Jr.’s Distant Thunder is either likely to dazzle you or affront you. It is a Christian novel with an overt Christian perspective and message. Accordingly, many readers and predominantly those of faiths other than Christianity may be totally turned off. Then again, if you can avoid becoming too enmeshed with the religious aspect of the novel, there remains a well-written chilling yarn that will make you eager to stick around and enjoy the read.

Root creates two worlds or theaters of action, one in Plattsville, Missouri, just a stone’s throw away from Kansas City, and the other in Israel.

As our story evolves, Ty Dempsey, a pastor in Plattsville has recently lost his brother in the Iraq War. Ty gets into hot water with his Board of Deacons, as they are not too pleased with his sermons and the way he is preaching to his congregants. This was in reaction to one of his sermons where he told his congregants that the Lord had revealed to him through Isaiah chapter seventeen that the world as we know it is about to come to a spectacular end.
Ty goes onto explain that nuclear material will fall into the hands of people bent on the destruction of Israel and this will emanate from Iran, through Iraq and Syria. Israel will respond swiftly and obliterate and erase Syria from the map. And what follows will replicate the prophesy of Ezekiel, who predicted the destruction of several nations located in the Middle East and Russia pursuant to their aggression against Judah (Israel).

The novel’s second principal character is Captain Moshe Eldan, an intense thirty-four year old F-161 ace Israeli pilot whose wife Tasha has similarly suffered the loss of a family member, her mother. She has turned away from Judaism and has embraced Jesus Christ and would like her husband to join her in her new found religion.

Moshe is passionate in his defense of Israel and is constantly in danger guarding his country’s borders from its hostile and devious neighbors. One night, however, his luck runs out and he and another air force pilot are shot down by Russian migs. Moshe finds himself behind enemy lines in Syria where he is about to discover something very disturbing that could have dire consequences for his country.

Mixed into the plot are Arab terrorists that are preparing a hideous attack on the USA which is tied in with plans to destroy Israel by unfriendly Arab neighbors as well as Russia. Could this be what Ezekiel prophesied? Is this scenario happening today when we read the headlines concerning Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and other Arab countries? You have to admit this does give readers reason to pause and re-examine the state of world affairs, particularly as it concerns Iran and its foreboding threat to Israel. All of this, no doubt, will intensify your fascination because much of the novel is inspired by actual events that we are reading about in the media.

Root is not afraid to assume that you will follow him down controversial and sometimes frightening paths. His writing is imaginative, although some of the conversations between Moshe and Tasha are a trifle far-fetched, especially when the security of the State of Israel is at stake. What particularly makes you willing to stick with the story, despite its obvious religious slant, is that the author impressively brings life to his two main characters who both are caught up in overwhelming struggles. On the one hand, we have a devoted pastor who has a intense belief in his teachings and spurns any attempt by others to change them. On the other hand, we have an Israeli warrior who is zealously passionate about his country and will safeguard it at all costs. We can even feel Ty and Moshe's passions and emotions wishing that all will turn out for the good in the end. There is also a little romance thrown in as Ty falls madly in love with a beautiful blond. However, don't expect any steamy love scenes! This is after all a Christian novel.

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