The 6th Seal by J. M. Emanuel is part manhunt, part biblical saga, part mystery, and part revelation of scripture’s hidden secrets. When Satan clones himself, laying the foundation for his rule on Earth, an old Priest, Father Gudino, and two of his followers must bring the secret identity of Satan’s spawn to light so that the truth of Christ’s ultimate return can be revealed. In the process, the decisive battle of good vs. evil plays out with humanity caught in the middle. It falls to Jason, Maggie, and Father Gudino to carry the banner for Christ’s second coming and uphold God’s message warning of the greatest deception to ever come upon the world. Told with foreboding and laced with the hope of faith, The 6th Seal dares to tell the often-misinterpreted story of the Apocalypse. Written with a Christian audience in mind, The 6th Seal is also a thriller that will please anyone who just loves a tale well told.
I had a difficult time getting into this book. The first 50 pages felt more like a religious text than an adventure/action story. But then it picked up, and the story really began to let loose.
If you like stories like the Left Behind series, and you are open-minded enough to be able to read other ideas without being offended or feeling that they threaten your own beliefs, give this book a chance. The writing is very good, and after the first 50 pages it becomes engaging and entertaining. It begins to build, and I found the last 100 pages were my favorite.
The characters were very well developed. I found myself especially drawn to the stoic and heroic Jason who had already endured so much in his life.
This book was educational as well as entertaining. Some of it is based on well-accepted biblical scripture, and some ideas (one idea in particular) suggest a biblical theory not accepted as "fact". Which is why I suggested that "open-minded" individuals may be interested in this story, but others who are offended by new ideas should steer clear.
One thing that I learned from this book was the origins of what is often referred to as the "Jesus fish". The book states:
"The followers of Christianity were called Pisciculi. The root of this Latin word is fish. The fish became the symbol of early Christians. It was simple to draw and was often used among Christians as a type of password during times of persecution by the Roman government. If two strangers met and were unsure whether the other was a Christian, one would draw an arc in the earth. If the other was a Christian, he or she would complete the symbol with a reverse arc, forming the outline of a fish. Today, the fish is still symbolic of Christ and Christianity..." (page 147)
Some of the book was a little bit of a stretch for me. Some of it was pulled from the annals of WWII and Hitler. I initially had a hard time with this, as it felt "fake" and contrived, and I kept having old black and white footage of concentration camps playing out in my head while I read. But I just had to convince myself that I was reading a story after all, and none of us know quite how things will be in the end times of the end days. So it could be as portrayed in this story, or it could be something quite different (I always personally envisioned something more subtle and subversive-- not so "in your face".)
All in all, an enjoyable story once you get beyond the first 50 pages or so, and it can be something of an education as well, or at least a "refresher course" on the final days and the seven seals. Well-written and pretty well developed, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in this genre.
* Publisher: BookSurge, LLC
* Pub. Date: June 2009
* ISBN-13: 9781439212776
My Rating: 6.5 out of 10