Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Seraph Seal

Summary: An epic tale of good and evil based on the four horsemen of the Apocalypse found in the book of Revelation.
Using the four horsemen of the Apocalypse to symbolize the four Gospels, four transcendentals, and four forces of the universe (air, water, earth, and fire), Sweet and Wagner weave a fast-paced, end-times tale of good vs. evil and the promise of a new dawn for humanity.
Set in 2048, when planet Earth is suffering from the damaging effects of years of misuse and abuse, cultural history professor Paul Binder receives a mysterious letter that leads him to examine a lost 2nd-century Diatessaron manuscript. Ancient prophecies, cryptic letters, and strange events set him on a course to uncover the missing clues that could lead humanity into a new age. Each character embodies elements of the four horsemen in a race to save the world from total destruction. Layered with forgotten symbolism from the ancient Jewish and Christian traditions, the book is a story in which the main character's journal serves as a guide to the reader in interpreting clues and understanding the conclusion.

My Take: I thought this sounded like a good concept. The thing was that it focused so much on the nonfiction that I felt like I was getting a theology and philosophy lesson instead of reading a piece of fiction.

It starts off with a huge introduction about their beliefs and ideas when they wrote the book. I read my book on Kindle so I don't know how long it was exactly, but I got so bored and frustrated with it that I skimmed over it after having to turn three pages or more. I kept wondering when the actual book was going to start. Then the book ended at around the 70% mark in order to accommodate all their notes and references, most of which were reprints from the illustrations and information already shown inside the book.

I was put off a little by the very brief sections and chapters. They once introduced a character and killed her in two paragraphs. That bothered me. I didn't know why I needed to know a name just to establish that an earthquake wiped out that place. After those two paragraphs they switched to an entirely different location and problem. That kind of switching and popping around in the story was commonplace and unsettling.

They also added sections to Scripture that don't exist. It was kind of obvious because the existing Scripture sounded like it was pulled from the King James or some other older version while what they added sounded  modern. The blurb also claimed that the tale would be based on the book of Revelation but they actually seemed to use clues found from philosophers throughout history, the Kibbalah ... art, all sorts of things besides the book of Revelation. I was surprised how little actual Scripture was used.

In the end I wish more emphasis had been placed on the actual story, the characters and the Scripture. It still was a fast-paced story with an interesting ending that I didn't see coming. I want to thank Book Sneeze for providing my copy in exchange for my honest review. 


Angie said...

I've seen this book around...doesn't sound like something I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing. Hope your feeling better.

Margaret Metz said...

Angie - I hate writing a review that is in any way negative, but I have to be honest. This one had good points but it wasn't something I'd read again. I finally gave in and went to urgent care last night. I was ... thoroughly chastised and they put me on three medications to help me kick this thing for good. :o)

Cathy said...

Thanks for your honest review. I've always felt Leonard Sweet's theology was a little off.

Angie said...

I hate writing negative reviews too but like ya said you have to be honest. Hope that medicine helps you. Sounds like you needed to go to urgent care. ((hugs))