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Book Review–Thunder from Jerusaelm by Brock and Bodie Thoene (Zion Legacy series book 2)

Thunder from Jerusalem

Title:  Thunder from Jerusalem

Authors:  Brock and Bodie Thoene

Publisher:  Viking

Pages:  311

ISBN:  0670892068

Synopsis:  This novel is part two in the episodic Zion Legacy series.  In this book, the Jews of both Old City and New City Jerusalem fight for the survival of the newborn nation of Israel.  Now, however, instead of simply fighting the Arab irregular Jihad Moquades, the Zionists have to fight the entire Arab Legion.  Moshe works behind the scenes wherever needed, including going behind Arab lines to try to destroy a cannon the Arabs are using to decimate one of the Jews’ strongholds.  Moshe’s life is not only threatened by the obvious threat of death from an Arab bomb, but also by the more subtle threat of a bullet from a Nazi assassin masquerading as a simple Jewish teacher.  Moshe also continues to learn more of the spiritual secrets, the true treasure for which he fights,  of Jerusalem from Rachel’s grandfather, Rabbi Lebowitz.  Jacob Kalner also proves to be a true hero in this novel by repeatedly putting his life on the line for the survival of Jewish Jerusalem; however, his one true purpose is the safety of his wife, Lori, who works as a medic in the Old City.  Meanwhile, David Meyer and Bobby Milkin, pilots for the fledgling Israeli Airforce, find themselves on the wrong side of enemy lines. 

My Thoughts:  Although it took me around four weeks to read this novel (!), I really enjoyed it.  I think this novel had more of the human element that I enjoy than the first book in the series.  My favorite part is all of the spiritual and archaelogical information that Moshe is learning from Rabbi Lebowitz.  I cannot help but wonder if the Thoenes will eventually go back and write the Rabbi’s story since he was so instrumental in many of the archaelogical expeditions under the Old City around the turn of the twentieth century.  I love watching the relationships of the Israeli fighters develop; Peter Wallich, whom I had completely forgotten about as a character from an earlier series when he was just a boy, is much adored by the teenaged Naomi Snow.  I wonder if the Thoenes will bring this relationship to its inevitable end.  I also have enjoyed the element of the nuns of Jerusalem and their dedication of doing God’s will on Earth despite being planted in the middle of war-torn Jerusalem.  Of course, the most memorable of all stories is that of little Abe Kurtzman.  I know that his physical salvation when his whole family died in the bombing of their home will be the instrument through which Lori Kalner reclaims her faith in God.  My heart is touched over and over again by the gentle dummkopf, Alfie Halder, and his faith in the mysterious convent gardener who plants roses (with scarred hands, no less) on the graves of the children killed in the bombings.  Couple all of these human interest touches with the fact that this novel truly has a blockbuster ending, and what the Thoenes have created is definitely one of those books that makes me shed tears throughout and breathe a huge sigh when it ends.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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