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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson The Seraph Seal

Thomas Nelson The Seraph Seal

By 2048, the earth has suffered years of abuse and misuse. That's when cultural history professor Paul Binder makes an astounding discovery---a lost second-century Diatessaron manuscript that's layered with forgotten symbolism from ancient Jewish and Christian traditions about the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Could the cryptic clues blaze the way for a new age? 384 pages, softcover from Nelson.
Average Customer Rating:
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3.4
 out of 
5
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21 out of 3070%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for The Seraph Seal
Review 1 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Disappointing

Date:December 15, 2013
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ruthhill74
Location:Yelm, WA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
I am not usually one that goes for apocalyptic books of any kind (I did get into the Left Behind series a litttle at one time). However, I decided that I would take my chances with this book. I have been studying the book of Revelation in the Bible, and this seemed to fit perfectly.
Almost from the beginning of the book, I was terribly intrigued. It was almost scary to read the first part of the book and then hear something on the news that was similar to what was happening. It made me realize that things can get a whole lot worse than they are now--and they will! And all I can say is that if half the things in this book were to happen, I can only hope and pray I would not be around to see them!
The book was very skillfully written, and I applaud the authors' research and fantastic imagination. I had never thought of the four horsemen of Revleation in just quite this way. And I will say that I could not read this book at night because I was seriously afriad of nightmares! In fact, as I read that part about an unexplained disease wiping out large sections of the population, the television news was just reporting about the strange ecoli breakout in Europe! Talk about realistic fiction!
Now to my reasons for the 3-star rating. Biblically speaking, I believe that the authors' interpration of Scripture was somewhat skewed. While I am not an eschatologist in any sense of the word, I have studied it. I struggle with a book being written about the last days and yet there is no appearance of Christ. I struggle with extra-Biblical prophecies and writings being used to back up end times prophecies not covered in the Bible. And the epilogue of the book confused me even more. It would seem that the authors have a very divergent view of the space and time continuum that I question whether it is solidly based on Biblical truths. I do not call the authors' faith into question--there seems to be no doubt that they are strong in their faith. However, I would have like to have seen some more Biblical quotations and prophecies being explicated in the book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. 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.”
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Review 2 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Intelligent apocalyptic fiction

Date:March 9, 2012
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Booklover21
Location:Gresham, OR
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
So, I have to admit that I am still slightly perplexed that I chose this book to read and review. Usually I like to read either historical or modern day fiction. I have never once in my entire life ever read any apocalyptic literature, nor have I ever had any interest in doing so. Yet, for reasons practically unbeknownst to me, I chose this book. Needless to say, it has sat on my shelf for many, many months- until a few days ago when all of a sudden I randomly decided I wanted to read it. Well, all I can say is that it hooked me right from the start and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
The Seraph Seal, written by Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner, begins in the year 2012 where an ancient prophecy begins to unfold. Fast forward to the year 2048. The world is fast accelerating into massive chaos. New discoveries are constantly being made in different scientific fields, and those in power are fighting to rise to the top. Add to that rising political tensions throughout the nations, mass pandemics, and escalating natural disasters, and the question arises- how much longer can the earth survive at this rate of speed? Amidst the turmoil arises a key player: Paul Binder, a historian at the University of Virginia, who one day receives a strange and cryptic message. From there he is led down a path that leads him to London. Once there he meets manuscript specialist Angela Krall, whom he teams with to decipher an ancient Syrian manuscript. Together they begin to slowly unravel clues that lead them down a mysterious path, and along the way they begin to discover that perhaps there is more to life than that which they can see and understand.
I read a review on this book recently where it was said that this book is not for the faint of heart, and I have to say that I agree. As I said, I really enjoyed this book and I found it very fascinating. However, you can in no way breeze through this book, for it is rather heavy, physically and mentally. The book itself is over 500 pages, which I believe in itself could scare some people off. Then there is the actual written text itself. There are quite a few characters to keep track of, as well as events. Everything is subtly woven together, and you really need to pay very close attention so that you do not miss a single miniscule detail. There is also a lot of what I am going to call “smart speak” in this book- meaning that things are not explained simply. Rather, it is written in very intellectual terms that I think could very easily confuse people. I know there were a few parts that I had to read over to fully grasp certain concepts.
Putting all of that aside though, I think this book was put together very well. The story was engaging, and I felt that there were a lot of events of the future that were very plausible, and could very well happen. So, if you are of stout heart and would like a very intelligent apocalyptic read, then this book is for you. I know that I will definitely be revisiting this book later on.
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Review 3 for The Seraph Seal
This review is fromThe Seraph Seal - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

This was more work than enjoyment

Date:December 31, 2011
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Phileo
Location:Tallahassee, FL
Age:35-44
Gender:male
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
The Seraph Seal was a challenge to read for me, as it was different than any other book I had read before. I've spent the past several years focusing more on non-fiction works, so to jump back into a work of fiction was a more daunting task then it turned out to be.
I really didn't have any expectations of this book, but it sort of reminds me of the Left Behind series of books, where it deals with the book of Revelation, and end times prophecy. I can tell you that the way a book grabs my attention has a lot to do with how good or bad a book turns out in my opinion. The Seraph Seal was a legitimate struggle for me to read through. It never caught my attention, and I found this book more of a chore to read, than actually enjoyable. And I suppose that if I was not tasked with reviewing it for Thomas Nelson, then I probably would not have forced myself to read the entire book.
The source of my struggle with this book are characters that were too impersonal and unknown, a story line that never stays in one direction, and a premise that honestly was too much to believe in. The best way to describe this book is I felt the author was trying to fit three or four books of information into one novel, hoping that their one attempt at fiction writing would stick, and this book would be their defining legacy.
While I'm quite sure the authors put much work and research into this book, I just felt I was forced into reading a story that went in a thousand different directions, and took way too long to finally go in a direction that made sense and easy to follow. Fiction is supposed to be an enjoyable endeavor. The Seraph Seal did not accomplish this purpose.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com [http://BookSneeze®.com] book review bloggers program. 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 [http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html] : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 4 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Amazing Story Line!

Date:September 26, 2011
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pastordan4
Location:Kimberly, ID
Age:25-34
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I recently reviewed a book through Thomas Nelson Publishing called The Seraph Seal by Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner. To be honest I really had a hard time getting past the introduction. It seemed confusing and quite dry. I decided to push through and found that this book is full of excitement, suspense and brilliant character development.
The story takes place in the future and the lead character Paul Binder is a cultural history professor at a nearby University. He seems like your normal guy, with a normal life. Paul witnesses a car accident and runs over to help. He finds that the driver is dead but notices a note neatly set on the dash-board of the wrecked vehicle. On the note was his name.
I don't want to give anymore away so you will just have to read it! If you like history and mystery this is the book for you. Sweet and Wagner have done their research and have created a fiction master piece that is very believable! There are clues from Paul's lost journal that lead you to understanding the conclusion of the book. This is the first time I have read any book like this and I hope it isn't the last!
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Review 5 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

The Seraph Seal: Worth Time, Not Five Stars

Date:August 27, 2011
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Hope
Location:Dayton, Ohio
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
My expectation of this book was that it would be non-fiction and extremely technical. I probably would never pick this book on my own, but there was nothing else available, so I reluctantly picked this one. However, this book wasn't as complicated as I thought and it was fiction. But, I would only say this book was good, not amazing.
I would only recommend this book to certain people because this isn't one of those sit-down-and-read-it-in-five-hours kind of books. This book will only appeal to a very specific audience. It's like "The Hunger Games" versus "Twilight". Or "Harry Potter" versus "The Chronicles Of Narnia". It's not a vampire novel that several teens would want to read or a magical world anyone would want to enter. This book is definitely for fans of technical, apocalyptic books.
This story read like a one third-fantasy, one third-apocalyptic, one third-science fiction. It reminded me of the "Harry Potter" series (although I've never read or watched a HP movie/book, I know my stuff). Matthew Serafino was the anti-Christ, so he'd make a perfect Draco Malfoy. Angela Krall would be a great Hermione. And Paul, well, he'd be Harry. So if you're a fan of that series, I think you'd really like this. If you like the "Left Behind" series, you'll like this. If you loooooovvvvvveeeedddd "Inception", you're really gonna like this.
As for me, the book was alright. Not a waste of time, but not something I'd read again either. It had its share of interesting parts, so much that I was crossing the street in Phoenix traffic reading this book. It took talent--- no lie!
My complaints? The book was a little big for my comfort, both mentally and physically. Looking at the book, it seemed impossible to finish--- more than 527 pages... that was a serious mental block! And sometimes, just holding the heavy book made my thumbs ache terribly. Also, the book had its boring times. I admit to sometimes skimming. The book got confusing, and even though it told you where it was, like it would usually say "Washington, DC" when referring to Matthew Serafino, but it would only say the place, so it leaves you like "Who is this?" And the dialogue sometimes was a little too fast-paced. Plus, it sometimes got the tenses messed up, like it would go from past tense to present tense and ti was very noticeable and unprofessional. Maybe it wasn't that obvious, but I'm a Language Arts junky, so I know my stuff. And sometimes, the plot moved a little too slow (maybe that's why the book is so big?). Yeah. I'm a little disappointed with the book.
Three stars, no doubt about it. I still think you might wanna check it out, but DON'T BUY IT. Rent it from the library, but do not purchase it. I think it would have been an awesome movie and if this was made into a movie, I would rush to the theater. But as of being a book? Not reading it again.
Note: Special thanks to Thomas Nelson publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book.
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Review 6 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

It Would Make a Great Movie

Date:August 5, 2011
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I chose this book because it appeared to be somewhat of a Christian sci-fi novel, my two favorites in one. The plot was intricate and the book was a well written interweaving of present day facts and anxieties spiraling download frighteningly into a futuristic worldwide apocalypse in 2048, with a singular hope of finding salvation through clues left throughout the ages.
The plot was excellent, however the execution could have been better. Each chapter was divided by hops to several locations all over the world. These sections were subtitled for easy identification, but seemed disjointed particularly in the beginning and I would have preferred dates and times to give more coherence. Each location had its own set of characters, some of which where only mentioned once or twice, so it was difficult to recognize the key characters in the beginning. However, I believe this style also added to the mystery and suspense as it did not dwell on any unnecessary details. Everything had relevance in pulling the plot together.
Once I felt more familiarity with the characters, the suspense intensified as a handful of chosen people race against time with great urgency as disasters of various kinds increase in frequency and devastation hampered their final journey to the foreordained destination. True to any good sci-fi, it accelerated in an intensifying spiral towards the "end of the world as we know it" and I could barely tear myself away.
This would be a great movie and would probably pass Hollywood's standards because the historical religion symbolism, technology, and mysticism far exceeded any substantial Biblical or Christian reference. In fact, I was rather disappointed that a relationship with God was not developed with the main characters, when it was believed they were chosen by God. There was some watered down references to faith and love that could have gone more in depth. I remember only one of the characters praying and even then it was merely mentioned that he prayed. The one baptism suggested the ritual, but was not described, and it served mostly as a means to introduce one key character to another, as it did not seem to add any real spiritual significance in the story.
Overall, like most "end of the world" themes, men were not seeking spiritual enlightenment but focused on finding their own way to save the world, seemingly without seeking any divine intervention outside of the mysterious symbols, codes, and bits of scripture. The book was as devoid of a spirit-filled heart as the future it described, where all religion was basically dead. It was as if God was a faraway spectator of the events for which He had set the stage long ago, not really involved with any of the characters nor they with Him. God's roll was limited to providing a way through chosen individuals and symbols for some people to be moved to the New Earth and what faith was mentioned rested on that. There is no reference to Satan, only a vague force counterbalancing that which is good, so no angelic war. Instead, this entertaining fiction of the End Times intermingled a few Biblical references with Kabbalistic mysticism, Mayan prophecy, artistic renderings of the Four Horsemen, music, science and that soon-to-come-to-an-end theme of good versus evil.
Also, the book contains over a hundred pages of appendices in the form of journal notes and footnotes I felt are worth reading to understand how today's facts were woven into the fictitious future, on which this book really excelled. I would have liked to more of these notes incorporated in the story. I believe this story could have been enhanced between the journal notes and spirituality to nearly double its size and would have been a better read for it.
Despite its shortcomings as a Christian novel, I enjoyed the sci-fi aspects very much and would recommend the book to those who enjoy futuristic fantasies with some very profound truths of man's spiritual condition sprinkled throughout.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. 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.”
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Review 7 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Not worth a penny for this POOR writing.

Date:August 5, 2011
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momlovesbooks
Location:Lancaster, ON
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
I was sent the book The Seraph Seal as an epub file to review. I requested it. And I've read it... but it was slow going. So now, finally, I'm going to give you my honest opinion of this book by Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner.
Although research is VERY important for any realistic type of writing project, it is of utmost importance that the writer of a fiction novel create characters that the reader will care about and connect with so that all that research doesn't just sound like showing off or random thoughts. Unfortunately, the characters in this novel aren't just unrealistic, but the story jumps all over the place so quickly that on top of not connecting, the reader is left not even CARING about what happens to the characters. Definitely a wrong turn in the journey.
This is the story of Paul Binder. Born on December 21, 2011 at 9pm. Apparently one of the Eight that share his birthday in the world, and who are part of God's Plan to save humanity. A seemingly random car accident outside his home leads him on a international adventure when he finds a cryptic note addressed to him in the wreckage. The roller coaster of his life takes off as he travels across the ocean to meet with Angela Kroll who works with ancient manuscripts. They'd discovered the Diatessaron - a harmonization of the gospels - apparently lost and preserved in the marshes of Bagdad.
The demon-esque Matt Serafino, President of the United States, (who also shares Paul's birthday) becomes the "Leader of the Opposition" - with the ability to holographically travel the world at a moment's notice. Along with a cast of other (also unmemorable) characters, the world is headed for certain disaster, unless Paul can save the day. A very unexpected twist at the end of the novel is probably it's most interesting part, which I won't spoil for you if you are brave enough to read it yourself.
With dozens and dozens of "terms" defined in the back of the book, the authors gives the impressions of a young child saying, "SEE... Lookit all the stuff I know about!" rather than giving the reader the shared passion for the topic by writing quality fiction which would in turn inspire research into the subject matter. In fact, it seems like the writers spent too much time trying to fit in every little possible bit of random research into their story, to the point of overloading it.
That being said, it was interesting from a learning manual standpoint... there were a couple of terms I have heard since reading the book and have a loose grasp of the meaning behind the words, and that's nice for me. I can't say the story itself is written well enough (back to character credibility and development) to inspire me to recommend it for the story's sake alone.
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Review 8 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Apocalyptic read that inspires

Date:August 4, 2011
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Amber
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Mr. Sweet writes a letter at the beginning of the book and makes a statement that encouraged me to read this book to the end. “We invite you now to stretch your imagination, to ponder the possibilities suggested by our vision, and to prepare yourself for a future that may seem stranger than fiction.” This story is about the end of the world, focusing on the “Signs of the Times” and Biblical prophecies to bring about what the authors call “engaged fiction.”
The Seraph Seal is a good book once you get through the first part. The first part reminds me of the TV show “24” where the story is just getting interesting and then it breaks off into another character, but if you can endure the first part you will understand why there are so many characters involved. I enjoyed the storyline. It sometimes left me in suspense to what was going to happen as it once again broke off and worked on another part of the story. There were a few areas where one of the main characters needed more development but by the end of the story it is well tied together. It even comes to be a bit tense as good and evil struggle to the end. The possibility of such a future does make one ponder on things and although I don’t entirely agree with everything in this book, I would gladly recommend it to anyone interested in the apocalypse. I truly enjoyed this “engaged fiction”.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 9 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:August 2, 2011
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swh013
The Seraph Seal by Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner is an end-times novel that takes place in a not-too-distant future. A future when most of the world has determined that there is no longer a need for God and few are believers. The book is well written and has a good storyline, but I was a little disappointed, that when the main group of characters realized that they were on a divine mission from God, at how little impact it appeared to have on their lives. As they sought to solve a problem that would decide the outcome of the ultimate battle of good versus evil, I don't recall any prayer for guidance, and very little faith or reverence. That being said, if you're looking for a decent story, and are not too concerned about theology, I would recommend this book. Otherwise I would pass on this one.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review blogger's program. 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 10 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

This book was disappointing

Date:July 21, 2011
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bookblogger
Location:Western Michigan
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
The Seraph Seal by Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner
In this apocalyptic novel, Paul Binder, a historian, has been chosen from birth for a special calling. He receives an unusual message, which launches him on a search for an ancient manuscript. Along the way he finds others who help him piece together ancient wisdom and prophecies to escape the end of the world.
I didn't enjoy this book for several reasons. It was very confusing. It was too difficult to follow the plot. The authors took little time for any character development, perhaps because there were so many main characters. Because of the worldwide scope of the setting, the story continually jumped around. The authors left unanswered some questions regarding the plight of several main characters.
If a reader enjoys a book where The DaVinci Code meets Left Behind, he might appreciate this one. However, I would not recommend it, even though I learned some interesting tidbits along the way. Booksneeze provided me with a complimentary copy of this book and this is my honest opinion.
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Review 11 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Don't let the subject scare you!

Date:July 19, 2011
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fragrantroses
Location:Missouri
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I was prepared to hate this book. In fact, I was prepared to not even finish the book. I'm not much on Apocalypic tales. They scare me. I expected to be horrified well beyond the end of the book. It's quite the bulky book, some 500 pages. I wasn't certain what to expect.
I started the Prologue and I was hooked. I really enjoyed this book despite my expectations. This book does deal with the Apocalypse heralded by the breaking of the seven seals and the release of the the Four Horsemen. But the tale is woven in such a way that it's not your typical movie style storyline. I found myself drawn in. Even though the year is 2048, I found myself reflecting on the similarities between the earth in 2048 and earth 2011. It wasn't pretty.
Faith is woven through the storyline but it is not a exact Bible descriptive version of the end of the earth or the apocalyse. It is not what you've seen in movies, or your Bible story versions of Revelations. It was different perspective on what all could be. I caution you if you expect a Bible study version of the end of times, this is not your book. This is fiction and the writer's idea of what could possibly happen. The enduring message of the Love of God, and the sacrifice of Christ is paramount to the message of the book.
The story begins with the birth of 8 infants and their impact upon the world. In the year 2048, the eight are now grown and 36 years of age. The prophesy has come to fruition and earth is dying. You may recall I mentioned the Four Horsemen, but we have Eight in this storyline. It is a classic, good vs evil power struggle. Paul Binder finds himself surrounded by events that he can not explain with mathematics or science. Something or someone seems to be directing his path, taking him on a journey into the past and into the future. He meets other people who are drawn to each other for unexplaned reasons. It was amusing to see elements of OUR time mentioned as antiques or primitive technology compared to 2048. Much of the technology in the book made me question "do we have this technology now or are we close to it? Or is this just his creative thinking about how technology could progress?"
I can't give away the ending. It was not the Evangelical Christ riding down on a white stallion, striking down those who oppose him. World War III isn't even part of the book, which is typically how the apocalypse is depicted. You will be disappointed if you are expecting a truly evangelical, true to the Bible theology. But at the end of this book, I sat back and said "Wow." It ended in such a way that kind of boggled my mind but also made me happy.
I was happy with the book and am glad for having read it. It is NOT an easy laid back flowing read. It's not written for the 6th grade education. There is a lot of jumping around, and at times I felt like I needed a notebook to keep track. I perserved and came to love it. I do recommend it to anyone who is willing sit down and chew on it for a bit. I have already loaned the book out.
**This book was sent free to for the purpose of review. I have not been paid for my review and I was not instructed to write a review reflecting any opinion but my own. This review reflects my opinion and none other.**
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Review 12 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Seraph Seal

Date:July 6, 2011
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Mommybugg
Location:SE Wisconsin
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
"The Seraph Seal" is an end times, apocolyptic book set in 2048. It centers around the four horsemen of the apocolypse talked about in Revelation. It centers around the main character of Paul Binder who is chosen to lead mankind at the end of the earth. It was a little hard for me to get into. It is anything but easy reading. And I have to admit that I recently re-read the "Left Behind" series which is very character centered. "The Seraph Seal" is much more document and history centered; lots of details about the artifacts discussed and less about the people.
The author calls it "engaged" fiction allowing the reader to take the information and interpret as he or she chooses. There is no right or wrong to the ending and we can take from it what we choose. If a book can engage my thinking and entertain me at the same time as this one did, then it is high on my recommendation list.
The book involves multiple characters and locations and in the beginning it can be a little confusing but as the plot goes on, it is all pulled together. After all, this is the end of the world we are reading about. Of course it will involve multiple people and countries and their reactions to the happenings around them.
The book contains a section at the end with the main character's notes and a glossary of related terms to allow the reader to draw some conclusions. The book held my interest throughout and the closer to the end I read, the harder it was for me to stop reading. If you are looking for great fiction, then this is the book for you. If you are looking for some definite answers, then I would recommend searching elsewhere.
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Review 13 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An Intriguing Read

Date:July 4, 2011
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An Avid Reader
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
If you're looking for a summer read that will keep you guessing, read The Seraph Seal by Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner. It is a fascinating work of apocalyptic fiction. Using intriguing symbolism and based on the four horseman of the apocalypse, this is a unique read.
The year is 2048, his name is Paul Binder, he is a historian, and he lives in Virginia. He has lived a normal life. Then he receives a mysterious note beckoning him to London to examine a newly discovered ancient manuscript. When the manuscript is found to contain a prophecy which mentions Paul by name and calls him to take up the work that he is meant to do, his world suddenly feels like it is spinning out of control. As he and manuscript specialist Angela begin following mysterious clues, Paul finds out that his life has far more significance than he ever thought possible.
At the same time, catastrophic events begin occurring all over the earth. Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis. Parts of the world are disappearing or being reshaped. It soon becomes evident that Earth is nearing its end. The sun slowly is growing hotter, getting larger, and becoming unstable.
In a race against time, Paul must find and bring together four people in order to bring into being the good new heavens and new earth. The problem: to each good person there is an evil counterpart. And if the evil come together first, then all is lost.
As Paul and Angela work to complete their strange quest, they find a few things along the way: faith and love.
I would like to remind you all that this is a work of fiction and not to be taken as prophetic truth. Even Christ does not know the day or the hour that the end of the world will come, so how could human beings know?
I also want to mention that several things about this book really disappointed me. What I am about to tell you may be spoilers, but I think you need to know it before you pick up this book. First, I did not like the idea that God had left it up to man to determine by the coming together of the four good or the four evil persons whether the new heavens and the new earth would be good or evil. I find that completely un-Biblical. And second, in the book, when the world ends, Christ does not return, nor is anyone judged. What happens to the bad people, I don't know. But the good simply move on into a renewed world. But it is not the new earth described in the Bible. The first thing one of the characters does when she reaches the new earth is cry tears of sorrow. Isn't this supposed to be a world without sin? If so, how can there be sadness? As I said, that spoils part of the ending. But I believe that everyone deserves fair warning.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Booksneeze.com book review bloggers program. 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."
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Review 14 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Disappointing and Un-engaging

Date:June 25, 2011
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Vanessa of HHCreations
Location:Pennsylvania
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
“An epic tale of good and evil based on the four horsemen of the Apocalypse found in 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. Layered with forgotten symbolism from the ancient, Jewish, and Christian traditions, the novel is a type of engaged fiction in which the main character’s lost journal serves as a guide to the reader in interpreting clues and understanding the novel’s conclusion.”
I was very disappointed with this book. I was hoping it would have been engaging like something from Dan Brown, but unfortunately I found it to be everything but. The authors of The Seraph Seal, Leonard Sweet and Lori Wagner, considered their book to be “engaging fiction”. I found it extremely hard to get into, even as the plot eventually tied together all of the different settings, characters, and such from the beginning of the book. Sure, there’s a lot of detail involving the clues and such that the characters use to figure out how to “save the world” from the end of times, but I found them to be a bit redundant and drawn out. If you can get past the beginning of the book with the way it constantly jumps around between characters, plots and settings and you can manage to follow it all until the main story plot ties them all together, then you deserve a medal!! I usual like books filled with mystery, problem solving, and the like (such as The Da Vinci Code), but this particular book is definitely on my “I’m not going to read this again” list.
If you would like to add this book to your reading list, then by all means I wish you luck and hope you enjoy it. I, unfortunately, found The Seraph Seal unenjoyable and disappointing.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. 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.”
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Review 15 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Exciting fictional view of the Apocalypse

Date:June 22, 2011
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Wynd
Location:Saskatchewan Canada
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Wow, excellent story. On December 21, 2012 at 21:00 hours, only 9 babies are born in the whole world. These are the children of the prophecies, the ones that will decide the fate of the people of the earth, the horsemen of the Apocalypse, four good, four evil and one to organize and lead them. The main story opens in 2048 when these children are 31 and have established themselves as adults. None know of their spiritual destiny except one who surmises that he can rule the world by following and using a spell and ritual. Although a work of fiction it does follow the prophecies quite closely and uses them freely to help explain what is happening at that time to the atmosphere, the people, the world, and the sun. The story flows from West Virginia to the Hills of Bashan as four of the people learn about religious history in a time when churches are merely museums and "real" Christians are forces to hide their faith underground as science and New Selfers (I like that term) have taken over society. The book is full of historical instruction and yet it is so much a part of the story that the reader hardly even realizes that the content teaches. The back of the book contains a glossery of words that would help a reader who wasn't religiously schooled in the end-of-time terms.
Thank you to BookSneeze for providing a copy for review. I was not instructed to provide a favourable review.
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Review 16 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Average

Date:June 18, 2011
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Patricia
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Madeleine L'Engle is the preeminent interpreter of the Christian journey as it pertains to these words of the Apostle Paul, "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Philippians 4:8). Ms. L'Engle invites the reader to focus on that which is great, greater and greatest, in a world that all too often settles for what is dishonorable, unjust, impure, ugly, discourteous, shoddy and worthy of condemnation. In both her fiction and non-fiction writings, she helps the thinking Christian look at the world through the eyes of faith.
Ms. L'Engle takes as the theme of the book, Jesus' invitation to Peter to come to Christ walking on the water. For a brief moment, Peter did just that. Ms. L'Engle states that is how we were created to be, and even when we sink, and cry for help, that Jesus will pull us up. She says, "The impossible still happens to us, often during the work, sometimes when we are so tired that inadvertently we let down all the barriers we have built up. (Page 238).
Ms. L'Engle views the creative process as a successive letting down of barriers. Of opening to God. When one responds to the urge to create, one is one more than holy ground-one walks on water-since God is the Creator and God's creative energies are limitless and surprising. God's very unpredictability and joy become the same creative force in musicians and artists of all kinds. Ms. L'Engle speaks of the freedom to laugh at ourselves as one of the prerequisites for bringing about that which is worthwhile.
Lest we mistakenly think that Ms. L'Engle's approach is sweetly sentimental, listen to what she says about the rigors of faithful creativity, "Complicated creatures we are, aware of only the smallest fragment of ourselves; seeking good and yet far too often unable to tell the difference between right and wrong; misunderstanding each other and so blundering into the tragedies of warring nations, horrendous discrepancies between rich and poor, and the idiocy of a divided Christendom." (Page 153).
This would be an outstanding book to give or receive for a special occasion such as graduation or confirmation. For Christians of any stage in life, "Walking on Water" is a call to live expectantly and trustingly.
If you find this review helpful you might want to read some of my other reviews, including those on subjects ranging from biography to architecture, as well as religion and fiction
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Review 17 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

The End Is Coming

Date:June 8, 2011
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shortcake
Location:Florida
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
This is a fictional book about the end of the world. However, as I write this on the 8th day of June, 2011, I wake to the worst solar flares to hit earth in 5 years-the major force of destruction in the book. E-coli outbreaks in Europe-a major disease wipes out towns in the book. The most fantastic picture of a volcano eruption I have ever seen-which is how the sky on earth is described for the last third or so of the book. Earthquakes, war, famine; it is all in there.
The story takes place in the year 2048 with the destruction of earth happening on December 12th of that year. Being set in the future there is quite a bit of “techno talk”. At first I felt like Sheriff Carter standing in the middle of Eureka trying to figure what all the brilliant scientists were talking about. But it is easy to get used to and only used sporadically throughout the book. The story is extremely interesting and easy to read. It moves at a good pace and really starts to pick up at the end. I definitely couldn’t wait to finish the last 50 pages or so. The very end was a big surprise.
I am not sure I would categorize this as Christian fiction. The book relies heavily on mysticism, the Mayan prophecy concerning 2012, and science in regards to the end of the world. In my opinion they are more prevalent in the story than the Word of God. Kabbalah is a big player in all that is going on.
I have to admit that it has been a while since I have done an end of times study of the Bible. But I don’t think The Seraph Seal holds true to the Biblical account of end times. However, it does make me want to find a good study guide and do a bit of research on the subject.
All in all it is an entertaining and easy book to read. However, if you dislike anything that deviates from Scripture, this probably isn’t for you.
This book was provided free of charge by Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze program in exchange for an unbiased review.
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Review 18 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A great entertaining book

Date:June 6, 2011
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britluver20021
Location:Arnold, CA
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This book was really good and I enjoyed reading it. I couldn't put it down and read all 400 pages in about a week. This book dealt with the signs of the last days in the bible and how the world was going to end. The didn't get every detail right but it was entertaining to read and that's the best a book can do. The bible clearly states what will happen in the last days such as nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, there will be food shortages, there will be great earthquakes, there will be pestilences, etc. And what makes it so powerful today is that all these are happening more and more rapidly and more and more powerful. We are seeing horrible earthquakes all over the earth of great magnitude more then ever before. That's why its important to be close to GOD and have him on your side when the end of the world comes. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading and being entertained.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. 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.”
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Review 19 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

Not for Me

Date:June 6, 2011
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Lisareadstoomuch
Location:Michigan
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
This is a fictional tale of the end times. As a fan of the Left Behind series, I thought I would enjoy this one too; however, I have only gotten through a little less than half of the book, and I can’t force myself to finish it. There are multiple characters and multiple story lines going on at the same time. There are constant shifts in these story lines and their settings within each chapter, which is very confusing and feels choppy. In one chapter, I counted seven different scenes.
I’m sure there are many people who enjoyed this book very much, but unfortunately, I am not one of them, and I could not recommend it to others.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. 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 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 20 for The Seraph Seal
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

The question is: Are you ready for what's to come?

Date:June 3, 2011
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Robin Prater
Location:Missouri
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I don't know where to begin. First, I really enjoyed this book. For me to explain why? I am not really sure. It is an Apocalyptic thriller/suspense. At least it was for me. It is a page turner for sure. Once I began reading, I couldn't stop. I love how this book is put together. As you open the pages you find a forward from Leonard Sweet describing the book and setting ground for you to understand the writings you are about to inhale. Sweet and Wagner together are fabulous. I believe we will see this book on the big screen one day soon. They give us a key into understanding the signs and times. Believe me, this key helps, along with the description of all the words throughout this book. Now, this book does skip around a lot and it was hard for me to relate to any of the characters. You just don't get a closeness to any character, but each character plays a vital role in this story. And a story it is.
This story builds from eight main characters who are set across the world, each living a life for self in this new age of time. Each character has a clue or a missing piece of the puzzle. Put them all together and we ourselves a prophesy fulfilled. I thought is was fascinating how much as time went on people were more and more filled with self and less of faith. For me, I can see that happening now.
So, what is this book all about? Good verses evil. The end is coming. The Apocalypse that has been foretold is now prevalent. The year is 2048. Good has gone underground as evil is rising above. The characters are complex and there are many. But, they all play an important role in the tale being told. Each one holds a key into the future. This book held my attention from the beginning to the end.
As I pick up every book I look for a nugget to take away. Something for me to grasp hold of as a treasure. In, "The Seraph Seal", I can walk away with a greater desire to study the book of Revelation. I have a deeper desire to search for the truth of what is to come and know without a doubt that whatever it is, God is in total control. There is some fact to this book, but mostly fiction. No doubt, we all like to think at some point we have control over what happens in life, but we do not. The only control we have is the control over our thinking and our actions. As you will see in this book, evil takes hold of the earth and has many searching for answers as to why. As evil is lurking through these pages, you also find good. The good that God has planned for those who believe.
If your searching for a fun read for the summer and enjoy fantasy mixed with intrigue, this is one you will enjoy. It just might set your heart to pick up the bible, God's Word, and search for the truth to come.
This book was a gift from Thomas Nelson for it's review.
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