It was the weekend before Thanksgiving. More than 100,000 fans were jammed inside Michigan Stadium, on their feet, to witness a heated football rivalry that had spanned more than 100 years. As the football was kicked into the snow-filled sky, they were about to get the shock of their lives, as long-foretold Bible prophecy came to pass before their very eyes, causing many to vanish into thin air without a trace.
But what they soon realized was that it reached far beyond Michigan Stadium. Chaos of unimaginable proportions ensued worldwide. Shock, fear, and panic filled each heart and mind. It was just the beginning of things to come, as life as humanity had known it was forever changed in the blink of an eye…
The next two installments are now available. The fourth installment will be available late Spring, 2016.
Patrick Higgins is the author of “The Pelican Trees”, “Coffee In Manila” and “The Unannounced Christmas Visitor.” Be sure to check them out…
This is the first writing from this author I have read. I am very impressed with the way this author writes and how he has constructed this novella (82 pages). It is just long enough to set the scene for the rest of the series and whet our appetite for what is to come. It is a real cliff-hanger having the Rapture occur at the 3/4 mark and leave you hanging at the end wondering what is to come and what happens to the characters that this short sets up. It is constructed so well, that I would suggest any reader to make sure that they have the next book in their possession to read immediately as they will not want to delay finding out what happens next.
One thing that struck me reading this novella is the research and application of same that Higgins so masterfully includes and portrays. I have always found that whether you are young or older, learning is always better achieved if it is delivered in a fun way or in such a manner that the participant (in this case, the reader) picks it up easily and therefore its retention is far much more guaranteed than under less fun or favourable conditions. Higgins shines here. His knowledge of American football is superb and is cleverly delivered as a backdrop to this story pre-Rapture and also unifies the relationship between three of the main characters. I know nothing about this particular sport (I live in Australia), but the way Higgins has integrated this into the story as the background setting and as part of the relationship between Justin, Brian and Graig is very enjoyable and I found myself getting interested in this sport!!
For a novella, Higgins has created his characters to be very relatable. I found myself very attached to all of them and interested to see how the rapture affects them, (of those that are left behind) and this adds to the cliff-hanger ending I mentioned before. I am intrigued to see how these character’s plot lines intersect in the remaining installments of the series. There has been some basic intersection of one character with two others in this installment and I can see that this intersection of characters will add to and strengthen the plot in the remainder of the series.
This novella is very biblically based. Higgins outlines his “stand” on eschatology in the “Foreword” (Titled For Your Consideration) and provides a convincing account of why he has taken this stand. I must confess that there are elements in this account that I had not considered before or read elsewhere. He has obviously researched this extensively to arrive at his conclusions and I look forward to seeing these integrated in the rest of the series. Stating whether you are a Pre-Tribulation, Mid-tribulation or Post-Tribulation adherent can be risky as this whole topic of eschatology and specifically the Tribulation period, is one very hot potato within Christian circles. I admire Higgins for outlining his stand in this Foreward and basing his fiction series around this.
I found it very refreshing having an evangelistic theme woven into the plot through the character of Justin, being the only witnessing Christian in this story. Other Christian novels either have this type of theme weakly constructed or somewhere in the background and not very obvious, but Higgins is up front with this. This shows what we as professing Christians need to be like if we are following in the footsteps of Jesus and His Great Commission. Even in real life, Christians who are like Justin can become unrelatable and super-spiritual but Higgins has depicted Justin and his wife as genuine and sincere and very relatable. Listening to Justin and his wife, Heather, discuss how to talk to others about the Gospel shows us how to witness to our friends and family without being preachy, self-righteous and pious and without them feeling they are condemned and judged to hell without any hope at all. I appreciated Higgins showing this through Justin’s behavior towards Brain, which reinforces that we are to be doers of the Word and not just hearers of same. I loved the Spirit having the occasional words of caution and encouragement when Justin was discerning when and how to talk to Brian about Jesus.
I am always intrigued how Christian authors portray the Rapture. Do they have a gradual build up then just as suddenly as we expect it to happen in real life, it occurs and catches the reader off guard, or is it too predictable? In this novel, I knew it was to happen during the football game as outlined in the book description so I was on tenterhooks reading the game-play description and yes, I was caught off guard, which pleased me immensely as this is just how I like it. Higgins’ description of the First Family’s confusion, shock, horror, panic, despair, grief at losing some members of their family and the same of the population in and around the football stadium and of those in New York where Tamika is situated, is very realistic and emotion provoking. Definitely adds to the action and suspense of this scenario. Higgins has constructed this well and I am looking forward to seeing this continue in the next installment.
I am glad Patrick Higgins submitted this book to me for review. Despite him offering to send me a PDF copy, I did not mind spending the $0.99 cents to buy it. More than money well spent. I have been spiritually encouraged, challenged and entertained immensely in this novella. I do look forward to reading the rest of this series and his other novels. I applaud him for making his fiction spiritually and biblically based and not afraid to show the Gospel of Christ in his plot and characters.
World building 5/5
Spiritual level 5/5
Spiritual Enemy Level N/A
Average Rating: 5/5
Peter Younghusband has been an avid reader from as early as he can remember. Since becoming a Christian in his early 20s, his passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on his blog. He loves reading new author’s novels or authors who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.