It began as a search for the truth about her best friend’s death. Now Bethany Barclay is caught in the ultimate struggle to keep faith alive.
The Wilderness, an ancient cabal bent on destroying Christianity, has murdered Bethany’s best friend, framed her for acts of terrorism, and captured the brilliant teen hacker she vowed to protect. To ransom the girl, Bethany must traverse England and Europe to find the Pilate Stone—a mysterious first-century artifact that might not even exist.
She’s not the only one who wants the stone. The Garden, a powerful group of intellectuals sworn to save the Church and help Bethany, is willing to betray her to achieve their higher goals. And a mysterious third faction lurks in the shadows, waiting for her to stumble.
Alone and on the run in this international landscape of double and triple agents, Bethany’s quest becomes an ever more complex and dangerous contest against players who don’t play fair.
In this riveting sequel to The Church Builder, many of A. L. Shield’s cunning characters are ruthlessly devoted to preserving a world where faith is possible. Others aim to brutally, and finally, undermine belief.
First of all, I was a little surprised to read that this was being promoted as a sequel to The Church Builder, whereas the first book was billed as the start of a series. To me, a series implies a three book minimum, but a sequel indicates that there are just two. Secondly, I definitely recommending reading The Church Builder before you start on Wilderness Rising. The action starts immediately, and there’s little exposition.
Bethany’s is in a race against time. At first her sole motive is to save the life of teenager, Janice. Over time, however, she’s asked if there isn’t another motive. Is she searching for the Pilate Stone to use as a bargaining tool or to develop her faith? Her trail takes her to the ancient places of Europe, with clues that maybe only a genius can decipher, and she’s shadowed by three different organizations that have their own agendas. We, the readers, know (or at least we think we know) who’s of which side. Consequently, I gasped when it looked like someone on one side could jeopardize everything because she doesn’t know the identities of those who oppose her.
The Church Builder and Wilderness Rising combined form a pacy, two part series that keeps the reader engaged until the very end. The battle between good and evil will continue – we’re left in no doubt about that – but it looks like Bethany’s part in it is done.
Thank you to BookLookBloggers and Zondervan for my complimentary copy of Wilderness Rising, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read Wilderness Rising? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Zondervan (a division of Harper Collins)
Publication Date: 14 April 2015
Page Count: 352
Read more on: Zondervan’s Website