I am happy to be part of the Blog Tour for the book, I, Saul today. I received a copy of the book from the publisher so I could read it and review it here*.
There are two stories told in this book - a contemporary story (August is summoned to Rome to help a desperate friend) and an historical one (The apostle, Paul, is in prison in the weeks before his execution, working with Luke on his memoir). As alternating chapters tell each story, the reader sees the relationship between Luke and Paul and gets to read some of the memoir, including a fascinating "history" of Paul's schooling and his journey to Damascus where he meets Christ. In the contemporary story, "Augie" is drawn into danger in Rome as factions conspire to frame, follow and kill in pursuit of the memoir.
The contemporary part of the story had a slow start for me. A lot of time was spent establishing Augie's role in his job and his relationship with his parents before he heads to Rome. At times, the pacing was discouraging. I was expecting something like The DaVinci Code or The Skeleton in God's Closet, with clues and chases and suspense and betrayal from start to finish, but that action didn't develop until the second half of the book. The Paul and Luke portion was more engaging and helped propel me forward until the action kicked up. The second half of the book was excellent - both stories - and I really enjoyed it. The memoir pieces were really interesting - the evolution of Saul's zealous passion for the Law, the stoning of Stephen, the road to Damascus. I also liked the description of the relationship between Paul and Luke as Luke wrestled with his loyalty to Paul and his desire to not witness the execution of his dear friend. Once things started moving in the contemporary story, there were a lot of twists and turns as Augie has to figure out who he can trust. There's a great teaser at the end that sets up a sequel.
I would encourage fans of Christian fiction, historical fiction, and Biblical fiction to check out I, Saul. If you find the beginning to be a little slow, don't quit. The end will make the read worthwhile!
4 out of 5 stars
Here's some information from the publisher, Worthy Publishing, about the book. You can check out their twitter feed at @WorthyPub to hear about more Christian reading material. If you read I, Saul, I'd love to hear what you thought of it!