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Posted December 9, 2008
exciting historical thriller
Once Vitas was part of Nero¿s inner circle until at a feast he tried to choke the emperor because the ruler planned to have his way with his wife Sophia, a follower of Christos. He was supposed to be sent to the arena to die but a group of powerful Romans set in motion a plan that would have someone else take his place while he was sent to Alexandria, with John, THE LAST DISCIPLE who wrote the letter of revelation on Patmos. --- The people who saved Vitas believe he has a chance of killing Nero once he gathers the puzzle pieces that they sent to various people in the empire and deciphers them. Vitas doesn¿t know that his Sophia mourns his death, not even receiving comfort from her belief in Christos. Damian, Vitas¿ brother and a slave hunter is looking for John to return him to Rome but Vilas convinces him to help him on his journey to Caesarea and Jerusalem to find out just what his saviors hope he can accomplish to rid the empire of an insane monarch. --- This second book in The Last Disciple¿s series is an exciting thriller as Vitas tries to stay one step ahead of his enemies while trying to figure out what role he is to play in toppling Nero from the throne. The authors have done such a good job of historical research that the audience will feel like they actually witness the events that occur in the novel. Thus readers will find this book so educational and entertaining they will finish it in one sitting. --- Harriet Klausner
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 9, 2013
Posted August 30, 2012
Overwhelming Violence Made this Distasteful
Giving a summary of this novel is difficult. None of the plot threads begun in the first novel were developed enough in the second to give the feeling of a story, a continuation of a story, or anything other than a long, drawn out coda. Almost all of the characters end this novel where they started. Vitas, the gladiator, still has no idea what he thinks or where his wife is. His brother is still doing the slave-hunter thing, tracking down John and his brother. Sophia, Vitas' wife, still thinks her husband is dead and is on the run. John, the apostle, spends most of his time below decks on a ship. Nero is still a psychopathic sociopath (or is that a sociopathic psychopath?). Maglorious is still searching for his children in Jerusalem, which is still on the brink of war. In short: The bad guys are still bad, and the good guys are still around - though they aren't doing much.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Nothing significant enough happens to justify the nearly four-hundred pages this book consists of.
Regardless of that, I waded past all the Roman, Greek, and Jewish names, muddled my way through the authors' usage of the Roman days of the week, the Jewish monthly calendar, and the Latin hours of the day, and found myself at the end of this novel with nothing but a bad taste in my mouth.
I don't enjoy gore or bloodlust. Everyone and everything is fair game for violence and torture in this novel: pregnant women, children, animals, the handicapped, you name it. Scene after scene with disembowelments, mutilations, murders, and then the descriptions of the corpses left behind. The majority of these scenes have nothing to do with plot or character development. Of the presumably justifiable scenes, many were unnecessarily disturbing. Early in the novel, a scene depicting how Nero had a young boy castrated so that Nero could marry the boy while another boy was drowned in the garden pond made me ill. Reading about how parents are threatened by receiving an ear cut off the head of their recently kidnapped children, how can a scene like that do anything other than encourage me to put this novel down? I hung in there to the end and have nothing to show for it thanks to weak plot development. If this book were filmed, it would receive an R rating, and maybe an X rating as well if you included the scenes between the prostitutes and the various Romans. If the authors wanted to convince me the ancient Roman empire was steeped in evil, then they've done that with aplomb. However, if they had tempered their zeal, it would have made for a much more enjoyable novel. Sharp contrast makes for a good point, not excess; I don't need to be clubbed over the head with peril for me to understand that the characters are in danger.
The reasoning for the whole series is included in the Afterword. The authors support an interpretation of The Book of Revelation which states that all the events described therein occurred within one-hundred years of Christ's death, rather than still to happen in the future. If this book was supposed to convince me of the validity of this interpretation, then it failed utterly.
I don't recommend this series, or the individual novels. There was so much blood in these pages, all I am left with is the hope that the actual roman empire wasn't as bad as Brouwer and Hanegraaff have described it to be.
Posted August 19, 2012
The is the second book to the The Last Disciple which I didn't l
The is the second book to the The Last Disciple which I didn't like. IWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
didn't like this one any better. It's still the horrible details of
Rome. I also thought that by the end of this book we'd have closure of
Vitas and Sophia. But we don't. They plan to drag it out for one more book.
Posted August 14, 2012
Helius, Nero's right hand man holds onto a lot of hate for Vitas, and has conspired to have him sent to the arena. We begin 'The Last Sacrifice' with "Vitas" being in the arena (but it's not him! someone has taken his place), and the real Vitas is smuggled onto a ship with John. Later, Helius discovers the switch and is desperate to have Vitas found and killed before Nero discovers his failure. He also figures out that Sophia, who was invited to suicide by Nero, has actually faked her demise and escaped as well. More plotting. Nero's madness increases. Vitas' brother Damian continues to follow the clues to find his brother. Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, the rebellion increases and we catch up with Valeria, Quintus, and Maglorious again. Annas the Younger is as evil as ever and is making moves to regain his position as high priest. John & Vitas arrive in Patmos and the plot thickens.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This book was so complicated to me. I had a hard time keeping all the plotlines straight. Some obscure storylines from the first book appear - and sometimes for a few pages only - in this one. I know this won't be a popular opinion -and maybe I was just mentally tired- but trying to keep up with it all, and keeping straight who was plotting against who was exhausting. I can't say it wasn't interesting, just challenging. I felt like this book was a transition to get us to the final book in this series.
Posted August 6, 2012
Like The Last Disciple, The Last Sacrifice is a suspenseful read
Like The Last Disciple, The Last Sacrifice is a suspenseful read that spurs readers toward a bolder faith. It continues to offer insight into a more preterist interpretation of Revelation (although the authors are careful to note in the Afterword that they do not hold to a "hyper-preterist" view). It is easier to follow than the first book in the series because most of the characters (there are many!) have already been introduced. I recommend this book because it is well-written and engaging while providing insight into early Christianity and fuel for a stronger faith. However, be warned that it is not intended to be read as a stand-alone novel. It will really only make sense after reading the first book (The Last Disciple), and plenty of questions are left hanging for the third book (The Last Temple). Also, this book continues the horrific descriptions of life under Nero's regime and is potentially even darker than the first. I found that when I woke up in the night after reading parts of this book, I had trouble putting aside some of the images from what I had read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 26, 2012
This 2nd installment of the series is well-written. I am eagerly awaiting publication of #3.A book about the early Christians and their many problems with the Ceasars (Nero) By itself it wouldn't be too good a choice for group discussion as it needs the 1st volume to introduce characters and situations. #3 will add to the excitement, I'm sure.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 21, 2012
The Last Sacrifice sees the return of Gallus Sergius Vitas, who
The Last Sacrifice sees the return of Gallus Sergius Vitas, who had been sentenced to death by Emperor Nero and his most trusted adviser, Helius. While Nero waits in the arena stadium to watch a man he believes to be Vitas die at the hands of a gladiator, little does he know that Vitas has already been spirited away out of Rome after having been tossed onto a ship along with the Apostle John. Along with his freedom, Vitas has been given a scroll written in Hebrew and filled with symbolism he has been told to unravel to find the answers he's seeking. The scroll contains portions of the letter of Revelation, a letter that Helius is also seeking to understand, for it portends the death of Emperor Nero, information Helius will seek to keep from Nero at any cost. When Helius realizes that Vitas is still alive, he sets into motion a plot to kill Vitas in order to protect the power that Nero has shared with him, a power that he and Nero are bent on using to wipe out every last Christian in the empire.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I greatly enjoyed this follow-up to the story begun in The Last Disciple. Hanegraaf and Brouwer make a dynamic writing team, and the scenes crackle with action and tension and suspense. The book is written at an unstoppable pace, making it difficult to step away from it for any length of time. I love being able to watch Vitas on his journey, from moments of hopelessness to growing ever nearer to choosing to follow the Christos whose name seems to follow him no matter where he is. Some of the scenes involving Nero are so realistically written that I felt utter revulsion at reading about an Emperor who was so entirely twisted and perverted, especially the scene where he has a boy castrated and then seeks to marry him. How bizarre that the Roman world embraced this as normal! The scenes set in Jerusalem are very powerful ones, and serve as a cautionary tale of how far off course it is possible for God's seemingly devoted followers to go. Men of power, such as the temple priests, were seen serving God with devotion and yet easily willing to kill anyone in their way, in order to defend their position of power. Likewise, the scenes set in Rome, where men and woman did as they pleased, satisfying any desires of the flesh without any regard for how it impacted others, made me contemplate how very similar our own culture is today.
The Last Sacrifice is a very worthy follow up to the first book in the series, and serves to advance the story of Vitas and his wife, as well as the story of the survivors in Jersulam, while leaving me craving the conclusion to this powerful series. I award this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. I'm certainly glad that the wait is almost over for book 3, The Last Temple, which I will be reviewing in August 2012.
Book has been provided by the publisher, Tyndale, for the purposes of this unbiased review.
Posted June 12, 2012
Helius, Nero’s most trusted adviser, anticipates the death of his sworn enemy, the legendary warrior Gallus Sergius Vitas, scheduled to die a gruesome death in the arena. However, the badly beaten man who appears in the amphitheater is not who he seems. Rescued by a stranger and given a mysterious scroll, Vitas is told he must decipher this letter to find the answers he needs—a letter that Helius is also determined to decipher and to keep hidden from Nero. As Nero’s reign of terror grows, so does his circle of enemies.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The Last Sacrifice was an excellent sequel to the Last Disciple. This novel finds Vitas waiting to die, as well as reveals the devastation that awaits Jews and Christians alike as Nero becomes more and more insane. The plot line of this novel picks up right where the first novel left off and continues at a quick and exciting pace. The plot is filled with mysterious characters, unexpected betrayals, and unforeseen twists. It ends with a cliff hanger that leaves the reader on the edge of their seat for the next book (out on August 1st, 2012). The tone of the novel varies as the book alternates between the perspectives of different characters.
The characters continued to be developed even more from the first novel, and some additional characters were added as well. These new characters and some of the old ones revealed new strengths and weaknesses and allegiances. Vitas and his wife continued in their growth as characters and as new Christians. It was neat to see their developing relationships with God and with other characters as a result.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Last Sacrifice. I would highly recommend this novel, but only after reading the Last Disciple.
Posted April 29, 2012
Posted January 11, 2009
The second book in the series, The Last Sacrifice is an excellent story. You must read the first to understand the characters and how the story develops. The descriptions of First Century Christians and what they went through was amazing. The authors weave the story into a mystery with cliffhangers that keep you on the edge of your seat! The only problem I encountered was the wait between finishing the first book and waiting for the second to be released. There are so many characters and storylines that it was hard to remember it all by the time I opened the second book. It's been so long since the second was released I'm beginning to wonder if there will ever be a third book....Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 29, 2012
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Posted June 21, 2013
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Posted August 19, 2013
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Posted June 30, 2013
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