5 Star Reviews:
"Ms. Funke has written a good story, and she has written it well. Shrouded in biblical prophecy, soul redemption, hope and glory of God, The World at War is a story that reads like a thriller, but offers spiritual solutions for its characters. Not for the New Age reader, but a Born Again Christian would very much enjoy this fiction." --Karen
"General Alexander Ludlow and the Group think that they are going to save the world and bring peace. But the Group is led by Nicolaitanes Balac and he has his own agenda. He has, through the Group, struck out at countries of the world with new weaponry so that in the end the countries that were attacked will retaliate against a perceived threat. There are so many missiles in the air against various countries its a wonder anyone is left alive. A lot of things are blamed on the Christians. There are pockets of Christians that are staying true to the word of God, but many of them have to go into hiding and many of them are martyred. What is Nicolaitanes Balac's ulterior motive for these various actions? What will happen to the rest of the Christians that are still alive? This second part of this series is even more suspenseful than the first part. The characters are well drawn with their separate and interrelated story lines. The author has written this story using her understanding of the Bible and has researched biological weaponry as well. The story flows nicely from story line to story line. I really want to thank the author for allowing me to read this story. It has reinforced my understanding of the Bible. I highly recommend this and the previous story in this series. I received this from the author for an honest review." --Sandra
Moving! A fast-paced and very exciting Christian fiction! Well developed characters with their own feelings and thoughts. A mixture of action, love, sadness and hope. It reads like a thriller and what is the most valuable of the story is that offers spiritual enlightenment! Thanks Pam for many lessons that you share through your writing! --Christian
'The World at War' takes place in the relatively near future, in a world filled with chaos and uncertainty. This is the second book in the series and continues the story of world turmoil where book one, 'Operation Dark Angel', ends. It is well written and easy to read thereby keeping the readers interest throughout the entire story. It is very thought provoking and, in many ways, downright scary. So many ideas included in the story make one wonder what would happen to humanity if the world proceeded to go in the direction in which Funke suggests. I have enjoyed reading both books and I highly recommend them to everyone who enjoys mysteries and war stories. I am eagerly awaiting the continuation of the story in the next book.--RoDorsey
What would happen if one man had the power to manipulate the world powers so they would go to war against one another? This book is a look at what could happen. Since it is a Christian novel, it is thought provoking. The reader may want to ask himself/herself what the family of god's response should be to this sort of thing. I had to give this book a five star review because it is well written. I felt like I was listening to newsreels during the first part of it. --Allison
4 Star Reviews:
Disclosure statement: I received a free PDF of this book for this review. I have tried to be as honest as I could be in this review.
Nicolaitanes, President of Italy, tricks many nations into thinking that their allies are attacking them. Since they are already afraid due to the previous missile attacks, they immediately retaliate. So, the world is at war. Insiders are working on starting a one world religion which blames Christians for the current chaos in their world.
This book was fast-paced and very exciting. Some salvation scenes felt a little too long. However, the scenes were necessary to slow the pace at times and remind the reader that God is in control even when evil seems to be all around us. The PDF version that I read had not received a final edit. So I will not evaluate the spelling and grammar like I usually do. As I stated in my review of the first book in the series, I enjoyed the evil character, Nicolaitanes, and the way the mystery man (probably an angel) the most. I also liked how she described the rapture. The glorious light was comforting to Christian but guilt inducing to non-Christians. --Tracy
This novel is absolutely scary in its possibilities yet also enlightening in the same manner. Funke has taken the battle of good vs evil, of God vs Satan and put in in a modern day perspective with such realism that you can't help but shudder at the consequences.
I noticed a marked change in the author's writing style, as compared to the first novel in the series. Funke has a very clear and straightforward writing style that lays out everything for the audience's perusal. This flows very well with the subject matter and storyline of the novel. The news articles that Funke works into the novel make everything seem all the more real. They also add a layer of clarity with respect to the things that occur both in the main storyline and behind the scenes. I also enjoy that the intertwining story lines are coming closer and closer together with this installment. Although you could see the connections in the first novel of the series, with this one you can feel them.
Funke has created some extremely well developed characters. Those that were present in the first novel in the series become even further developed here and the new ones take on a life of their own, working their way into your heart and soul. As a reader you get to know the characters so well that you develop a real love/hate relationship with some of them. Through these remarkable characters Funke makes the weird and offbeat seem real and possible. It's a thrilling ride.
Overall this is a very hard hitting story. It builds on the events of the first novel in the series and becomes even more superimposed on reality as we know it, so much so that even those without strong religious beliefs will enjoy this novel, and the series as a whole.
Please note that I received this novel free of charge from the author in exchange for an honest review. --Jonel
The previous book in the Apocalypse Series, Operation Dark Angel ended with nation declaring war upon nation, the result of a plan set in motion by Nicolaitanes Balac, whose "miracle" birth started that book. This second book in the series picks up where the first left off, an international slug-fest with the drums of war beating loudly in the ears of the world. This book, as was the first, is a fictional retelling of the events prophesied in The Revelation of Jesus Christ, written nearly two thousand years ago by St John while exiled to the Greek island of Patmos. This is not the first book written along those lines, and since we do seem to be living in apocalyptic times it will likely not be the last, but unlike other attempts which focused on small stories within a larger framework, Pam Funke tackles the epic nature of the events head-on while at the same time weaving in the lives and concerns of ordinary people coping with extraordinary times. The result is an incredibly complex tale with a dizzying number of characters, but related in a linear fashion that makes it relatively easy for the reader, whether approaching the book as a cautionary tale of the near future, a source of inspiration in these tough times, or simply as an adventure story with a message.
However, it is the linear nature of the narrative and the way it is approached as a literary process by the author that keeps the book from rising from "very good" to "great" for me. Far too many sections (and there are a lot of them within chapters) start off with "Meanwhile..." or "Back at..." or "Meanwhile, back at..." It's a not-too-subtle form of author intrusion into the narrative, a reminder it is only a story controlled by the author rather than a story told by the characters. Also unsettling to the discriminating reader will be the incorrect use of ellipses...while they can be effective in indicating a pause, an omission, or a trail off to silence, they grate upon the sensibilities when composed of more than the three standard dots. Though these are of course technicalities, and will probably not affect many modern readers (who have had a much more laissez-faire education in grammar) but those raised with grammar books and editorial style guides will find them a distracting element.
Grammatical and stylistic quibbles aside, we are left with the story, and as Samuel Sidney McClure so rightly pointed out, "The story is the thing." So what about Pam Funke's story? It's based on The Revelation of Jesus Christ, so she is given something of a framework, but since the Biblical book can be (and is by so very many) interpreted in myriad ways, the story is her own, not St John's. There are many layers to her book -- the epic, the mundane, the masses, the individual, God and the Adversary. The story is both engrossing and engaging; though it is a very long book, the narrative flow makes the journey seem relatively short. As mentioned earlier, it will appeal to different sorts of readers whether looking for a "good read," a source of inspiration, some insight into the often baffling imagery of Revelation, or assurance that there is some sort of plan at work, even if we lack the necessary point of view to understand or appreciate it.
We all want to know the plan. We all want to know the hour. We all want to know when the thief will come in the night. Pam Funke's book will tell you none of those things, but if you believe that truly inspired fiction serves a purpose in life, then what you will obtain from this book (along with entertainment) is the sense that there is a plan, that the hour will strike, and that the thief will come in the night.--Ralph
3 Star Reviews:
I wish I didn't have to rate this work by stars. Because although this is an interesting work, it's just not my personal favorite style of storytelling. This is a book full of poignant short stories, weaved into one big whole. The author is good at showing the widespread effects of the cataclysms and personal devastation of her worldwide scenario. There's a LOT of characters, but it's hard to keep straight all their individual storylines and how they relate to each other. I don't agree with the author about some theological stuff, like the timing of the rapture and all that, but since this is fiction instead of a theological treatise, that doesn't take away from the story too much.
A few highlights:
The air battle between the Koreans and the British was neatly done.
The way the bad guy general has a wife with Alzheimer's that he tenderly cares for is a neat dynamic.
And the romance between the Chinese soldier and the Israeli woman is sweet.--Jessiqua