Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Risen by Angela Hunt

Risen is also the name of a movie being released this month. The subtitle for this book is "The Novelization of the Major Motion Picture." Book and movie are based on a story by Paul Aiello and screenplay by Kevin Reynolds and Paul Aiello. Usually the book comes out first, and the movie follows if the book is popular. In this case, the book and movie released about the same time. Interesting marketing move.

The story takes place during the week of Jesus' crucifixion. It revolves around two characters. Clavius is a Roman tribune, who was present when Jesus died. Rachel is a Jewish widow who supports herself by baking bread for the community. Clavius reports to Pontius Pilate, and he is charged with finding Jesus' body when it goes missing. There's an illicit romance between Rachel and Clavius, I suppose to add spice. Rachel has heard that Jesus (Yeshua) is the long-awaited Messiah, but she does not know whether she believes it or not. As Clavius investigates the disappearance of the body, he must speak with Jesus' followers as well as his enemies. As the promotional material says, Clavius does not realize that this experience will change him (and Rachel) forever.

In the beginning, I was a little distracted by the romance between Clavius and Rachel. I wanted to get on with the story. That's a problem with using Biblical events for fictional stories. The reader knows how events unfold, but he or she won't know how the fictional characters are affected. Author Angela Hunt has a master's degree in Biblical Studies and a PhD in theology. She writes Biblical fiction that makes you feel like you're there with the characters. She takes some liberties with the story, but she explains why in the book's notes. I don't know if I will see the movie or not. I'm a bookworm, not a movie-goer. I wonder how many people will see the movie because they loved the book, though.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Image Source: Angela Hunt website

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