Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Twelfth Imam-Joel C Rosenberg

For those that are more conservative with their reading, this book does contain one or two instances of mature suggestions.  Nothing actually happens, but the suggestion and implication is there.

As the apocalyptic leaders of Iran call for annihilation of Israel and the U.S., CIA operative David Shirazi is sent to Tehran with one objective; use all means necessary to disrupt Iran's nuclear weapons program, without leaving American fingerprints and without triggering a regional war.  At extreme personal risk, Shirazi executes his plan.  A native Farsi speaker whose family escaped from Iran in 1979, he couldn't be better prepared for the mission.  But none of his training has prepared Shirazi for what will happen next.  An obscure religious cleric is suddenly hailed throughout the region as the Islamic messiah known as the Mahdi or the Twelfth Imam.  News of his miracles, healings, signs, and wonders spread like wildfire, as do rumors of a new and horrific war.
With the prophecy of the Twelfth Imam seemingly fulfilled, Iran's military prepares to strike Israel and bring about the End of days.  Shirazi must take action to save his country and the world, but the clock is ticking.

While the description deals mostly with the problems surrounding Iran and Iraq, I find that I was actually most drawn to the more domestic issues, so to speak.  I found the protagonist relationship with a girl that seems to have dropped off the grid more intriguing than when the CIA operative is fighting to prevent the utter destruction of two nations.  I think that's more of my personal draw than the author's fault, if it's even a fault at all.
The plot as a whole is fascinating.  It takes place all over the Middle East to various parts of North America.  It really delves deep into the culture of Iran and Iraq and the differences and the beautiful and also disastrous culture that the Iranian and Iraqi culture harbors.

The author of this book could not have done much better with the characters.  The main character is clearly defined, yet I also felt my passion in some of the side-characters who are fighting as hard as the protagonist, just for different things.
The transformation of several characters was utterly beautiful and I loved watching them grow.
All this said however, I felt my heart was more with one character that does not even appear for most of the book then any other character, save possibly the protagonist.  Perhaps this was because of the protagonist's deep feelings for her, or maybe it was just me.  You be the judge.

Writing Quality:
Nope.  Nothing to say here.  Writing was excellent and polished except for minor incidences with my copy which was an ARC but that is to be expected.

I learned more in this book then any other fictional book I've ever read.  Yet, it didn't feel like I was reading some boring attempt to intertwine fact and fiction.  It felt smooth and natural.  It flowed-and I loved the outcome.  While this book was fantastic, I cannot give it a full five stars(pens).  I think it was great, but I just don't think it will be one that resonates with me for the rest of my life.  But don't take that as a negative for this book-go and get the book, you won't regret it.

My Rating:  4.5 Pens
Purchase here.