The Firstborn: They See What Others Cannot. But None Can See the Evil They Will Face from Within

( 11 )


Three supernatural gifts. Two thousand years of division. One moment of truth.

Hannah’s head hung, long brown hair in her eyes. Her face felt pasty with cold and fatigue and pain. Arms behind her back, she sat in a chair, wrists and ankles tied to the wooden frame, chair ...

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The Firstborn: They See What Others Cannot. But None Can See the Evil They Will Face from Within.

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Three supernatural gifts. Two thousand years of division. One moment of truth.

Hannah’s head hung, long brown hair in her eyes. Her face felt pasty with cold and fatigue and pain. Arms behind her back, she sat in a chair, wrists and ankles tied to the wooden frame, chair legs bolted to the floor.

A cold car.
A gun.
Horror. Pain. Grief. Screaming.
A windshield blistering with holes.

It all came over her like a flood. A pouring out of pictures in her mind. But then there was one more thing. Not an image, but a feeling--that half a continent away someone else had felt it all happening too.

The Firstborn--three ancient religious orders gifted with the ability to see past, present, and future--have been divided since the death of Christ. But today, in an era of terrorism and globalization, it has become clear there is an atrocity coming that they must unite to prevent because it is one of them who will perpetrate it.

Savage intrigue and a violent power struggle set the stage for three members of the Firstborn as they race against time through a labyrinth of deception and danger to save the lives of hundreds...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Author prodigy Brown is one to watch after this roaring entrance into Christian suspense fiction. Three prophetic Christian orders called "The Firstborn" must set aside their differences to thwart a terrorist plot. The Firstborn are descendants of a great resurrection that happened after the resurrection of Jesus. Each of the three main characters has a different gift: one enjoys foresight, another has hindsight, and the third, insight. Dialogue and action drive the story in settings that leapfrog across the United States. The dialogue sermonizes but does so in a zingy way ("And yet your God hates all the same people as you," John replied gravely. "How convenient"). Tension is generated by hostage situations, chases and shootouts intended to stop a terrorist bombing. The author gives readers a huge cast to sort out and religious and political world views to wrestle with throughout. Christian suspense thriller readers will cheer for the Firstborn and for this new voice on the scene. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599796079
  • Publisher: Charisma Media
  • Publication date: 4/22/2009
  • Series: The Firstborn, #1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 924,043
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Conlan Brown holds a master's degree in communication and lives on Colorado's Front Range. He enjoys video editing, listening to film scores, and developing high-octane, thought-provoking fiction that turns pages and excites the senses.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Page-Turning Thriller

    Conlan Brown hit a definite homerun with his debut supernatural thrill The Firstborn. From the first page, when Conlan Brown opened with heart-pounding action as the main character, Devin Bathurst, fights for his life while trying to save the life of an unnamed girl who is in mortal danger, I was hooked. The premise of the story is that the firstborn have been gifted with the ability to see the past, present, and the future. Instead of using their God-given gifts to help their fellow man, they're torn by infighting, power struggles, and mistrust. If they can set their differences aside and serve God by using the abilities He's given them, they may be able to stop the slaughter of innocent lives. Through gripping storytelling, Conlan does an excellent job of drawing the reader in and making the plot unfold in a way that makes the reader unsure about what will happen next.

    While all the characters were interesting, I especially liked the complexity of Devin Bathurst and John Temple. Their combination of strength and sensitivity made both the characters believable as well as likeable. I can't wait to read the next book in the series!

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Loved this totally unique premise

    The Firstborn starts out with a rescue mission. Devin Bathurst is having visions of a kidnapped woman. He uses this sight to try and rescue her before she is killed. The scenes volley back and forth between Devin, the woman, and the kidnappers. Then we discover that the woman, Hannah, has a similar gift. She can see where a man has been, his past deeds. This leads us to the clever premise of the Firstborn, descentents of those who were rasised from the dead when Christ died on the cross. The Firstborn fall into three orders: Prima, Ora, and Domani. Those that can see the past, present, and future.

    But the Firstborn has grown paranoid over the years, each order fearing the other, and one man is trying to take over. Can Devin manage to follow God's will or his own to fight against what lies ahead?

    I thought this premise was brilliant. It's like, what if there were Christian mobsters? How would they act? What choices might they make? The story is fast-paced, action-packed, and gripping. The writing style was a bit jolting at first. Brown uses sentence fragments a lot and jumps from one point of view to another. But once it got going, I was hooked. I really liked Brown's characters, especially the play between Devin and John. If you're looking for a new suspense read, look no further. I'm excited to see what Conlan Brown comes up with next.

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  • Posted September 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Intrigue Suspense Supernatural Thriller

    Intrigue Suspense Supernatural Thriller

    Conlan Brown has intertwined creative imagination and a complex plot and unexpected twists that keep the reader turning pages at a breakneck speed right up to the final scene in "The Firstborn."

    The Prima, the Ora, and Domani, three distinct ancient religious orders make up the Firstborn. Individuals within the order have been empowered by God with the ability to use hindsight, insight, or foresight to intervene in crisis situations. The members originally were bonded together and dedicated to the purpose of using these gifts as agents of God. The order dates back to the cross of Christ. Duplicity, suspicion, internal strife, and manipulation caused disagreement and division. The Firstborn became an organization of warring factions doomed to destruction.

    Faced with the facts of a planned terrorist plot of retribution after the murder of a religious leader the Firstborn recognize their need to become a united front, elect an overseer to prevent this planned bloodbath which includes the shedding blood of the innocent including children.

    Brown's characters are wide-ranging and authentic, fanatical in their commitment to opposing systems of belief. Brown creates stereotypes of the extreme Evangelical Christian and radical fundamentalist Muslims, portraying bigotry, hatred, and dissension among people who claim to be serving God's purposes.

    I particularly appreciated the way Brown developed growth, understanding and maturing among his key characters as they evolved from shallow self centered individuals to mature dedicated purposeful Christians as they teamed together in trust and unity to thwart evil and to work toward the good of others.

    "First Born" a fast paced a novel of action, building a crescendo of mounting tension throughout engaging the reader in this suspense filled dramatic story of good and evil.

    As reviewed for Christian Books.

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  • Posted June 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Incredible debut novel with impact.

    Conlan has crafted a compelling story along the lines of such talent as Bronleewe, Dekker and Parrish. I am truly impressed. The creativity of this story combined with a believable plot that twists around world problems in existence today is profound. This story breathes life and truth rather than destruction. Seriously. Don't let the creepy cover fool you.

    Yeah, there are dark people in this story, but there is also light and self-sacrifice. Serving God rather than ourselves is a major theme, and showing just how misguided people can be when they think they know best rather than consulting God can be disastrous. This novel really makes you think. It's scary, bloody and a bit gross, but not without purpose. It's a man's man book, yet this wuss enjoyed it, too. Why? Because I enjoy an intelligent book with symbolism and truth interspersed throughout the plot.

    I didn't see false doctrine or new age teaching, just a storyworld with clearly fabricated spiritual gifts (this is fiction) that conveyed a real life lesson Christians need to read about and hopefully allow into their hearts. The end doesn't always justify the means, but following the God of Love is crucial. Conlan did a great job showing these things without distorting the heart of the Scriptures. Bravo!

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    Debut author ratchets up the action and suspense

    The Firstborn by Conlan Brown is what appears to be the first in a series of gifted individuals trying to do God's will here on earth. Devin Bathurst is a member of the Domani, one of three groups who view the world in a unique way. The Domani can see the future, the Ora the present, and the Prima the past. Devin races against time to rescue a young woman who has been kidnapped. Once she's safe, he discovers that the woman, Hannah Rice, is the granddaughter of the patriarch of the Prima . The two of them are soon on their way to a meeting of the three sects who normally never intermingle, but threats from the outside are causing some of them to want an Overseer to be in charge of all three groups. Devin, Hannah, along with rogue Ora John Temple are pressed hard to stop several terrorist plots while trying to figure out who is their enemy and who is a friend. I had a hard time at first getting into this debut novel. There are a few places that would have been served by a bit more polish, but once the action started, I literally could not turn the pages fast enough! Brown provides a great deal of insight into the point of view of each of the three groups, and those perceptions transfer to reality as well. Those who are focused on the future tend not to worry as much about immediate needs. Present minded people tend to live for the moment without worrying about consequences, and those living in the past can become depressed and apathetic. The action is brutal and well-written. I could see it all playing out in front of me. The characters are interesting and definitely worth following into future entries in the series.

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  • Posted June 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Solid Debut Thriller

    "The Firstborn-three ancient religious orders gifted with the ability to see past, present, and future-have been divided since the death of Christ. But today, in an era of terrorism and globalization, it has become clear there is an atrocity coming that they must unite to prevent-because it is one of them who will perpetrate it."

    This is Conlan Brown's debut novel. It is an exciting, action-oriented story with a strong message. Yet when I read a novel, I am evaluating elements from a technical viewpoint. These elements are not always pertinent with some readers. Thus, I want to point out, if you avoid FIRSTBORN strictly because of my criticism, you will be missing out on a good story with a good theme.

    The story is imaginative and intelligent, but the writing is unimaginative. Nevertheless, Conlan Brown fans, before you come at me with pitchforks, let me explain. From a technical perspective, the writing itself is not creative. Bland description and characterization are prominent throughout. The novel feels like it was written in a hurry. There are several instances in which Brown uses the same word or phrase to describe an action or emotion. A few examples: Characters "expertly" do something with high frequency. When they are angry, they "clench fists." When they are scared, they "shake" or "quiver." When there is confrontation requiring communication, they state "We need to talk." When a character gets hit in the mid-section, he falls to the ground with "air escaping his lungs." Again, I am reading from a technical perspective. Many readers will overlook this repetition.

    Some of the fight scenes are confusing, as it's not always easy to discern which character is doing what, or what exactly is happening. In one scene, I am led to believe a gun is knocked away from a character, only to be fired several times by that same character a few seconds later, without having been retrieved. There are other examples, but it is not the goal of this review to be negative.

    The story is predictable, but I do not necessarily consider this a negative with FIRSTBORN, because the storyline itself lends to predictability due to the nature of the plot. It is largely a rapid description of events, chronicling the struggle of religious groups with supernatural abilities to thwart terrorism in America.

    It is interesting to experience the hypocrisy among the characters, as they strive to create peace in the world, each believing their way is the right way, yet commit horrific acts of violence to promote that peace. I admired observing how characters dealt with conflicting desires and overcoming obstacles such as selfishness and pride. Even as disparate as some individuals (or groups) are, there are times when people need to act together, despite those differences, to accomplish a common purpose. FIRSTBORN is a wonderful story exemplifying this message.

    Brown provides tension on every page, creating a blistering pace. Action lovers will enjoy this novel.

    If you like novel-related videos, I suggest you visit Brown's website, He is also a talented video editor.

    [Rating: 1-5 Stars]
    Plot: 3
    Character: 3
    Dialog: 3
    Setting: 3
    Theme: 4

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  • Posted June 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    New premise for me

    I have not read many Christian thrillers so was delighted to have a new idea presented. You may have come across this idea before but I haven't so bear with me. The idea ~ that those who were raised from the dead by Jesus after the crucifixion (Matthew 27:52) continue with their life on earth but because they have seen paradise, they continue to experience time out of time. This gift they pass on to their descendants who gradually divide into three groups, called the Firstborn. Some see the future, some what is going on right now, and some see the past. Because of their differences they gradually break apart and stop trusting each other but all continue to think that their purpose in life is to keep the world safe. It's the present time and Palestinian terrorists are threatening the children of America. Three members of the Firstborn plus one new member must stop the terrorists and at the same time keep the Firstborn from disintegrating and destroying themselves. The book moves quickly from one character to the next which helps to increase the tension of the story. Their characteristics are well developed and continue to develop throughout the story which I like, a growing character adds tension and interest. Little twists and turns help to keep the suspense building but I must admit that I didn't care for some of the very graphic torture details. Adjectives and adverbs abound in this thriller making it all the more exciting to read. I read this book through in one afternoon, constantly waiting for the next twist. Definitely a sign of a good book. I am giving this 4 stars.

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    Posted May 22, 2010

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    Posted December 13, 2010

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