Thursday, September 3, 2015

Acts of Faith series - Janette Oke and Davis Bunn: Book Review

A few weeks ago I went away from the city for three days and that meant taking my Kindle along. Those three days proved to be lazy as any holidays should be. I got to rest (re: sleep a lot) and read a lot. For a while now a cousin of mine recommended me the Acts of Faith series. It's a Christian trilogy written by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn. As a whole, I liked the trilogy. I liked the first two better, but that was probably due to the great amount of free time I had (I read the first two during my three day vacation), while the third one was read while real life tried to get the better of me and all was bleak, therefore I had a bit of difficulty getting the feel of the book. This series was the first in a long time that I read without having to write a review for, which was a nice break, although look at me writing a review for the series!

The books deal with events that happened after Jesus's resurrection. It was nice to see Bible character get more "image" and to be given more details, although imagined, about the lives of the first Christians. The characters are mostly constant, although the main focus is on different characters in each book. The books are rather predictable, especially the romantic aspect, but it's not overwhelmingly cheesy. Some very wise lines exchanged by the characters drew my attention, and that was a nice surprise. 

The first book in the series - The Centurion's Wife - dealt with two main characters - Alban and Leah - who were assigned by their masters - Pontius Pilate and his wife (nice, isn't it?) -  to investigate what the whole commotion raised by "this Jesus" was all about. Alban and Leah become followers of Jesus, they get married and behold a happy ending for this first book.
The second one - The Hidden Flame - is focused on Abigail, a bit on Alban, Linux, and Stephen (as in the martyr Stephen). Abigail and Stephen are married when Stephen is killed by the mob. This book dealt more with the Christian's persecution, with Peter and John's gatherings in various Christians' homes. It was a nice read, but not as nice as the first one.
The third and last book in the series - The Damascus Way - announces through its title Paul's repentance, although that only happens towards the very end of the book. The book focuses more on Abigail, who is now a widow with a child, on her brother, Jacob, and on Julia, a young girl with a Greek father and Judean mother. Linux is present a lot in this book, and in the end he marries Abigail, while Jacob marry Julia. This book dealt more with the characters' trust in God, as well with their everyday life - the threats coming from the Zealots, the attacks upon the caravans traveling from one city to another, the hard life of a merchant of any kind. I wish there was more about Paul, but maybe the point was to create a lot of intensity leading to his conversion. 

All in all, the series was a nice read, it's recommended to those who enjoy a Christian historical novel.

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