Customer Reviews for

Riven

Average Rating 4
( 96 )
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5 Star

(55)

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(19)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

dark complex contemporary fiction tale

Pastor Thomas Carey was called at an early age to spread the Word and over the course of several years he became a pastor at different places around the United States. His last calling ended in a disaster because a layman wanted to be the power behind the ministry som...
Pastor Thomas Carey was called at an early age to spread the Word and over the course of several years he became a pastor at different places around the United States. His last calling ended in a disaster because a layman wanted to be the power behind the ministry something Thomas could not accept. He takes the position as chaplain at the SuperMax state penitentiary at Adamsville. Brody Wayne Darby has spent his whole life committing one crime after another starting when he stole at the Laundromat where he worked. As he grew older, he committed increasingly more serious crimes and did time. When he was released, he vowed to go straight until a woman hurt him and he killed her. He pleaded guilty and was sent to Adamsville. --- In the years he ministered at the prison, Thomas met no sincere inmate. He feels empty until he meets Brody both come away from their encounters feeling as if God is working through them. --- Jerry B. Jenkins is one of the best Christian authors writing today. His latest work is a dark complex contemporary fiction tale driven by two seemingly opposite characters their polar differences make each even more believable and the story line plausible. RIVEN is a memorable tale starring a man who feels he is a failure and another who only has death waiting for him in three years time. They met and both feel the Lord is working through them giving each what they need. This book will move the audience in so many ways and make them feel so many things. This is a masterpiece.

posted by harstan on December 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Maybe the slowest moving book ever written

I wanted to like Riven like all the 5-star fans. I really did especially since I'm a huge Left Behind fan. But this book was a struggle to finish. And once I did I realized the boring beginning could have been cut by 300 pages and no one would have noticed. The main cha...
I wanted to like Riven like all the 5-star fans. I really did especially since I'm a huge Left Behind fan. But this book was a struggle to finish. And once I did I realized the boring beginning could have been cut by 300 pages and no one would have noticed. The main character is a pathetic loser named Brady. He's a generic greaser straight out of Grease. There was nothing fresh or original about him. This book is weak and the ending which I certainly wouldn't spoil for those patient enough to get there is just plain odd.

posted by Anonymous on August 20, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2013

    Thought provoking

    I enjoyed "Riven" and recommend it. Although Brady is predictable through most of the book the twist at the end will keep you reading past bed time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Highly recommended.

    Inspiring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2011

    Great read

    Held my interest, will definately read more of his books. A great story of life gone bad and then redemption.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2011

    Captivating!

    The story got better with each chapter. About half way through, it became nearly impossible to put down. Even if I only had a minute to read, I found myself reaching for it and inevitably reading even more.

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    Riven sticks with you

    Riven is Jerry Jenkins's "book of the heart." Having just finished it, I will agree that the story sticks with you, from Pastor Carey, who wrestles with his life disappointments and his own unreachable child, to Brady, the down and out guy on death row who has landed there due to his abysmal childhood and his own poor choices. What I really appreciated about this book is it didn't fall into the formulaic, predictable model of many other Christian books. Brady is not miraculously saved from execution; Pastor Carey's wife doesn't experience a sudden reversal of her disease. The book, like every Christian's life, is filled with hardship and difficult questions that may or may not be answered in a lifetime. Jenkins's characters are meticulously drawn and develop over the course of this hefty novel. One thing that hit me the wrong way was the improbable finish to Brady's stay on death row. (I don't want to give anything away.) It just would never happen that way and though the work is fiction, of course, the rest of it seemed so realistic that Brady's chosen method of death struck me as hard to believe. Nonetheless, this didn't detract from the overall power of the book. The back cover promises the work will be "gritty, compelling and gut wrenching" and it is. Jenkins is a masterful writer and his story will indeed stay with you after the final page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2008

    Worth the Despair

    Most of this book is depressing as you bemoan wrong choice after wrong choice made by Brady, after Jenkins makes it clear he's a bright young man who could have excelled. As a Christian, it's hard for me to believe a pastor could be in ministry most of his life without seeing any fruit at all. Surely he must have had some inability to make the gospel relevant or appealing to his congregation?? I kept waiting for that to be revealed. And his wife seemed very unrealistically saintly. No wonder their daughter moved on from the faith. It was tough emotionally to stick with the book, but the last 120 pages or so did make it worth it. It was a boost to my own faith to read about someone's reaction to the truth of Scripture, reading and understanding it for the very first time, and seeing its transforming power. That's what makes the book worth enduring the depressing parts.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2008

    Riven fails to explore a deep Christian dilemma

    Make no mistake about it, 'Riven' is basically a very enjoyable novel. It's predictable storyline - actually, the entire plot is revealed to you right on the jacket cover - is superbly told with riveting, oftentimes troubling, detail. The reader is left only to learn the particular circumstances of how a murderer and a frustrated chaplain meet each other and impact the entire world for Christ. Convicted murderer Brady Wayne Darby, on death row in a maximum security prison, realizes his execution, scheduled in three years, means he would be condemned to an eternity in hell. Wishing to learn if there was any hope whatsoever for a worthless lowlife killer such as himself, Brady enquires of the prison chaplain if God could ever forgive him. And to the eternal glory of God, the killer comes to know and accept the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Brady's growth in the Christian Faith in his remaining time on earth becomes a vehicle impacting other inmates to learn about Jesus and subsequently reaches far beyond the confines of the Supermax prison walls. Brady becomes transformed from a loser of a man living out his days on death row to an inspiring believer in Jesus Christ who dramatically touches many people. The story is a triumphant revelation of the marvels of God's Limitless Grace. What Dr. Jenkins does NOT address, however, is any feeling of remorse whatsoever by the murderer of where his VICTIM is spending eternity. Brady wants to be freed of hell himself, but he never gives an ounce of thought to his victim's destiny. Of course, Brady had no control over whether his victim ever came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ - indeed, accepting the free gift of eternal life is a completely personal decision - but quite frankly, knowing he was responsible for ushering the victim into eternity would have to overcome him with grief at some point. And Dr. Jenkins never once broaches the subject. I would have liked to see the novel address this dilemma and how the chaplain explained it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    Amazing Concept for a Novel

    Before Riven was released, Jerry told me that this was the book he had always wanted to write. After letting me know a little about the subject, I wondered if he was going to be able to pull it off make me believe that something like this could actually happen. I was pleased to discover that as I got further and further along in the story, I was able to track right along with the characters and the story line. The plot was never over my head and I found myself discussing what I thought was going to happen next with other people who were reading the book. Jerry did an amazing job of not only making me believe that something like this could take place, but making me feel like I was a part of the story. I felt like I was in the prison, witness to the revival that was taking place. I could identify with the experiences of the prisoners and the main characters and their families and found myself moved by the climax as if I had seen it happen in person.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2008

    Very good fiction

    This is a Christian bood that can be enjoyed by anyone, whether he or she believes they are a Christian. I found it a little hard to get into the main characters in the first portion of the book, but it all soon came together. The two main characters, Pastor Thomas Carey and life failure Brady Darby could be someone you know. I found it easy to relate Carey to my own pastor, and I think we have all met someone like Darby, to a degree. Their two lives finally become intertwined near the end of the book and getting there was interesting. Darby's final crime took me completely by surprise. I didn't see it coming.

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