" I started out really loving this book, but I slowly ended up getting frustrated with it. I haven't read the prequel and didn't really know much about the author before getting into this, but a lot would have made more sense if I had. Rosenberg is basically an evangelical who is on a recruitment drive. You can see it in the plot itself. Now, I have to say, this book is great on a spy thriller level. The action is great and the intrigue is even better. The geopolitical backdrop of the Iran-Israel conflict is fascinating (something that I take a real-world interest in), especially when you add a character like the 12th Imam in there. The Mahdi angle is great. From those standpoints, the book really is a pageturner. However, as you read further in, you notice some odd things. Such as religious eschatology. The book gets very preachy. And you can see Rosenberg's bias clearly. In this world, the Judeo-Christian West wants peace and is presented as the clear good guy, whereas the Islamic world is portrayed as a cunning and warmongering player. It just felt too black and white, good vs evil for me. This is because the real issue of the current West vs Iran problem is much more complicated than the whitewashed version Rosenberg presents. Having studied the issue, the way it is presented here seems clumsy and disingenuous. The weird supernatural stuff that happens just left me scratching my head. And don't get me started on the preaching. The author makes it seem like all Muslims are either A) pure evil or B) closet Christians. It seemed way too ridiculous for me. The segments with characters like Marseille and Malik had me rolling my eyes and I would often have to skim past their pontificating parts. I really liked the main character, David, especially since Rosenberg decides to use an actual Iranian-American, but he too gets bitten by the preaching bug, which is a damn shame considering that his segments are really exciting to read. I'm giving this book 3 stars only because of the interesting backdrop and the pageturning suspense, but the overly simplistic view of the issue and the tedious sermons prevent it from being a 5 star read. "
— Sean, 1/25/2014