Customer Reviews for

The Tehran Initiative

Average Rating 4.5
( 168 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(103)

4 Star

(35)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

The exciting action-packed story line grips the audience from the onset and never slows down

In Tehran, CIA agent David Shirazi enables the Islamic Republic of Iran's highest ranking nuclear scientist Dr. Najjar Malik and his family to escape to the United States (see The Twelfth Imam). However Shirazi remains in country undercover as he continues his inquiry ...
In Tehran, CIA agent David Shirazi enables the Islamic Republic of Iran's highest ranking nuclear scientist Dr. Najjar Malik and his family to escape to the United States (see The Twelfth Imam). However Shirazi remains in country undercover as he continues his inquiry into the actions of Muhammad Ibn Hasan Ibn Ali who claims to be The Promised One Mahdi. He has told millions of euphoric Muslims that he will with Allah's blessing re-establish the Caliphate and rule the world with an iron fist in peace.

Shirazi's fears that Iran is going nuclear are affirmed when the country tests an atomic weapon. In Jerusalem, the Americans try to calm the anxiety of the Israeli leaders who fear a nuclear attack followed by a holocaust that will exceed WWII. The debate inside the Knesset is adopting the Bush Doctrine of First Strike by taking out the Iranian nuke facilities. Waiting for the anticipated attack will lead to Israeli annihilation; first strike will lead to a Holy War. Shirazi and his unit must disable the nuclear warheads that Iran possesses before either enemy takes the first strike attack.

The sequel to the frightening The Twelfth Imam continues the alarming premise that The Promised One will unite the Muslim world in a fundamentalist Caliphate that will not remain passive but take the war to the enemy infidels. The exciting action-packed story line grips the audience from the onset and never slows down as Shirazi and his team try to prevent Iran going nuclear. Although the hero's ability to avoid direct fire starting with the Malik scenario is miraculously implausible, fans will appreciate the world on the brink warning story line with a strong subplot involving Shirazi's spiritual awakening.

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on August 30, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

good political thriller

Let me begin by admitting I know little to nothing about the sects of Islam or their beliefs. I am not overly aware of Mid-East politics or policy. And, although I am Christian and have a good understanding of the Bible, I am not in any way a scriptorian. In other words...
Let me begin by admitting I know little to nothing about the sects of Islam or their beliefs. I am not overly aware of Mid-East politics or policy. And, although I am Christian and have a good understanding of the Bible, I am not in any way a scriptorian. In other words, I am likely the epitome of the readership for this novel. It is Christian Fiction and there are lots of references to Biblical prophesy throughout the book. Technically, this is a very well written book. The writing style is strong and flowing. Joel Rosenberg hooks the reader from page one and the story flows effortlessly from there. I have not read the first of this series and I did not at any time feel like I was missing out. 'The Tehran Initiative' reads well as a stand alone book. Although I am sure the character development began in the first novel of the series, there was no hesitation, on my part, in getting involved with the characters in this book. The author has included a list before the story that explains who each character is and where they fit in the intrigue. I have said it before and I'll say it again - I love it when authors do this! I had no trouble keeping up with the characters while reading but it was nice to know there was a fall back if I needed it. The main character of the novel is David Shirazi, a CIA operative working undercover in Iran. As a sub-plot, David struggles to balance his loyalty to his country and job; his devotion to his family and his desire to have a 'normal' life and family of his own. His struggle is palpable. It was heart wrenching when he had to leave his parents for the assignment which is central to the story. Although essential to the plot, the one problem I had with Mr Rosenberg's novel was the portrayal of Islam and the Islamic people as either naive followers or outright evil; the nemesis of the Christians. I am sure there are followers of both religions that feel this way but I am not one of them. It is a peeve I have with a lot of Christian fiction that the purpose of the books seems to be more to convert than to educate, enlighten and edify. I certainly felt this was true of 'The Tehran Initiative'. It would have appealed to me more if the story had been kept, while at the same time weeding out some of the 'Bible thumping'. Often the scriptures referred to in the book were interpreted in ways I was a little uncomfortable with. (again I would point out that I am NOT a scriptorian) Overall, 'The Tehran Initiative', is a strong, compelling political thriller. My husband has been chomping at the bit waiting for me to finish so that he can start. It will be interesting to get his take on it.

posted by LetsBookIt on October 20, 2011

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  • Posted October 20, 2011

    good political thriller

    Let me begin by admitting I know little to nothing about the sects of Islam or their beliefs. I am not overly aware of Mid-East politics or policy. And, although I am Christian and have a good understanding of the Bible, I am not in any way a scriptorian. In other words, I am likely the epitome of the readership for this novel. It is Christian Fiction and there are lots of references to Biblical prophesy throughout the book. Technically, this is a very well written book. The writing style is strong and flowing. Joel Rosenberg hooks the reader from page one and the story flows effortlessly from there. I have not read the first of this series and I did not at any time feel like I was missing out. 'The Tehran Initiative' reads well as a stand alone book. Although I am sure the character development began in the first novel of the series, there was no hesitation, on my part, in getting involved with the characters in this book. The author has included a list before the story that explains who each character is and where they fit in the intrigue. I have said it before and I'll say it again - I love it when authors do this! I had no trouble keeping up with the characters while reading but it was nice to know there was a fall back if I needed it. The main character of the novel is David Shirazi, a CIA operative working undercover in Iran. As a sub-plot, David struggles to balance his loyalty to his country and job; his devotion to his family and his desire to have a 'normal' life and family of his own. His struggle is palpable. It was heart wrenching when he had to leave his parents for the assignment which is central to the story. Although essential to the plot, the one problem I had with Mr Rosenberg's novel was the portrayal of Islam and the Islamic people as either naive followers or outright evil; the nemesis of the Christians. I am sure there are followers of both religions that feel this way but I am not one of them. It is a peeve I have with a lot of Christian fiction that the purpose of the books seems to be more to convert than to educate, enlighten and edify. I certainly felt this was true of 'The Tehran Initiative'. It would have appealed to me more if the story had been kept, while at the same time weeding out some of the 'Bible thumping'. Often the scriptures referred to in the book were interpreted in ways I was a little uncomfortable with. (again I would point out that I am NOT a scriptorian) Overall, 'The Tehran Initiative', is a strong, compelling political thriller. My husband has been chomping at the bit waiting for me to finish so that he can start. It will be interesting to get his take on it.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The exciting action-packed story line grips the audience from the onset and never slows down

    In Tehran, CIA agent David Shirazi enables the Islamic Republic of Iran's highest ranking nuclear scientist Dr. Najjar Malik and his family to escape to the United States (see The Twelfth Imam). However Shirazi remains in country undercover as he continues his inquiry into the actions of Muhammad Ibn Hasan Ibn Ali who claims to be The Promised One Mahdi. He has told millions of euphoric Muslims that he will with Allah's blessing re-establish the Caliphate and rule the world with an iron fist in peace.

    Shirazi's fears that Iran is going nuclear are affirmed when the country tests an atomic weapon. In Jerusalem, the Americans try to calm the anxiety of the Israeli leaders who fear a nuclear attack followed by a holocaust that will exceed WWII. The debate inside the Knesset is adopting the Bush Doctrine of First Strike by taking out the Iranian nuke facilities. Waiting for the anticipated attack will lead to Israeli annihilation; first strike will lead to a Holy War. Shirazi and his unit must disable the nuclear warheads that Iran possesses before either enemy takes the first strike attack.

    The sequel to the frightening The Twelfth Imam continues the alarming premise that The Promised One will unite the Muslim world in a fundamentalist Caliphate that will not remain passive but take the war to the enemy infidels. The exciting action-packed story line grips the audience from the onset and never slows down as Shirazi and his team try to prevent Iran going nuclear. Although the hero's ability to avoid direct fire starting with the Malik scenario is miraculously implausible, fans will appreciate the world on the brink warning story line with a strong subplot involving Shirazi's spiritual awakening.

    Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 27, 2012

    Great book- full of suspense-just like the current Iran

    Joel brilliantly mixes current events with the Word of God in this fictional story that probably could come true based on where the world is heading!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2012

    I put this book down for good after reading -- and struggling to

    I put this book down for good after reading -- and struggling to read -- about a third of it. I think a good editor could have saved it. Unfortunately it didn't get a good editor. Plot shows some promise but the writing itself reads like a rough, first draft. The fact that the jacket endorsements consist of references to interviews by broadcasters and media personalities rather than from thriller writers suggest that self-respecting thriller writers might have a hard time endorsing this book.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    Disappointing

    Unfortunately, there is a line that was crossed in this book that took away from its potentially incredible plotline, namely, the introduction of way too much religion and conversions to Christianity in too many characters. The author lost my interest by crossing that line. If I wanted preaching, I should have spent my time and money in church instead. It was way too disappointing of a distraction from the storyline. Not for me, and not for my future pocketbooks. It was a mistake to purchase.

    2 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    Must read!

    Fast-paced, interest keeping, and like reading today's headlines! Love the supernatural twist!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not As Good

    I liked the 12th Iman well enough to give it 4 stars, but this one declined as the focus on religion took precedence over writing a good story.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Recommended

    Interesting and exciting story for those who enjoy adventure and spy novels. The story line seems to parallel the current world situation.
    For me however, there appeared to be too much prophesizing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 8, 2011

    Tomorrow's News in a Novel

    This is a true thriller with excellent main plot and supporting and sensible sub plots. Read nearly 400 pages in five days after reading all of the author's previous novels in the order they were released - they, too, were excellent, exciting and although fiction, they read like non-fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Intense Action, Believable Plot, Exciting Dialogue ~ Must Read

    Do you like realistic Christian fiction? Then you will absolutely love this book. The action is fast paced, the drama is intense and the plot is believable (something I usually find lacking in Christian fiction). Set in the present, the book covers 6 days in the life of undercover agent David Shirazi as he tries to prevent the Middle East from becoming a powder keg.

    Normally, I don't read suspense/espionage books but I was immediately caught up in the story. Rosenberg creates a realistic scene where the long awaited Twelfth Imam has taken control of the Middle East and started preparing them for all out war against Israel and the United States. It's like reading a story that's been ripped from the headlines and put in novel form. Furthermore, the dialog between the characters is believable and flows naturally (sometimes trying to incorporate faith into a suspense novel can make the dialog a little stilted). Seriously, there's a little bit of everything in this book for everyone: romance, explosions, chase scenes and espionage, all from a Christian perspective without being overly preachy.

    Regardless of your religious or political beliefs, I think this novel is a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2011

    Intriguing

    The author picks up where the first book in the series (The Twelfth Imam) left off, plunging the reader back into the escalating events between Iran and Israel. The 400 pages cover an intense 7-day period between Tehran, Jerusalem and Washington. If the reader steps out of the novel into actual current events, such a week has the potential to be the most intense week in history. World leaders face decisions that could obliterate entire nations in a matter of seconds if the wrong decision would be made. Iranian ships are in the Mediterranean well within reach of Tel Aviv. Israel is surrounded by a growing hostile caliphate. There is increased activity at the Iranian nuclear sites and military airfields. This is the Tehran Initiative-the war plan to destroy Israel. In Joel Rosenberg's style, both the book and today's news parallel in an uncanny way. Throughout the book, Israel desperately tries to obtain support from its lifelong ally, the United States. The Prime Minister hopes to the last minute that the two countries would unite to stop Iran from using their already-built nuclear weapons. The Israeli Prime Minister faces a decision he hoped to not make alone. Whether acting alone or with her allies, Israel musters up all her strength to meet the challenge head on. But, in the end, was a global disaster prevented, or did the entire Middle East erupt, causing an economic and military apocalypse? Was there retaliation? My only disappointment with the book is that those questions are left unanswered until the third book is written. Or, maybe we need to step out of the novel and watch the real news headlines for the answers in the coming months.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    Excellent

    Rosenberg is great!

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  • Posted December 20, 2013

    This was a very exciting, very interesting and very informative book. I literally could not put it down. I stopped watching TV or doing anything until I finished the book. The end was particularly exciting.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who likes intrigue, mystery mixed with politics and foreign affairs. I have read several Joel Rosenberg novels and they are all very good but The Tehran Initiative was also exciting and I could not put it down. This is not a "formula" book. It moves along and keeps you interested but also gives you some perspective of how the CIA works and what is required to survive in Iran. I highly recommend this book. You'll be rivited.

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  • Posted July 25, 2013

    Fun read.

    The Tehran Initiative is the middle book of a trilogy. Each stands on it's own but I highly recmmend reading all three books. The first book is The Twelfth Imam, the third book is The Damascus Countdown. All three books involve the fast paced adventures of a CIA agent in the Middle East and revolves around current news events. It's hard to put any of these books down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Highly Recommend the entire series.

    This series will keep you on the edge of your seat. It was hard to put down. Could have been in the newspaper this morning. Highly recommend.

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  • Posted April 16, 2013

    This review is my honest opinion and I was not paid for this ser

    This review is my honest opinion and I was not paid for this service.

    The Tehran Initiative was a captivating thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This is one book that I could not put down as I had to know what was going to happen next. Reading this book like others written by Joel C Rosenberg makes you wonder if it is all possible. Many of the events that transpire in the book are also real live events going on in the world today. Although real life does not end in the way that it does in his books, they are very plausible in what could very well transpire one day.

    The Tehran Initiative continues where The Twelfth Imam left off. Mr. Rosenberg's writing style allows you to pick up and read and still know what is going on without having read any of the others in the series. I like how Mr. Rosenberg pulls you into the story as though you are really there. His descriptive writing style allows the reader to be able to picture every moment of the story. He has wonderfully developed characters that Mr. Rosenberg allows the reader to fall in love with.Mr. Rosenberg's vast religious knowledge, current event knowledge and cultural knowledge helps to make the story not only enjoyable, but believable.This book will leave you not only thinking, but wanting more.

    I recommend this book to anyone who wants not only a good read, but enjoys a fast-paced Christian thriller with tons of action.

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    Read this and needed to get the next one right away!

    Love joel's books. Very exciting and apropos for the times in which we live.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Amazing

    Absolutely amazing! History, prophecy and current events rolled into one. I can never put his books down and this one is no exception!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Slightly preachy but good

    A little close to ruining a great thriller with oddly religious bias. Good read though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Anonymous

    I loved it! Can't wait to read the damascus countdown.

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