Friday, November 4, 2011

The Tehran Initiative-Joel C. Rosenberg

The Tehran Initiative is the sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Twelfth Imam, which I reviewed when it came out.  My review is veiwable hereThis book excelled in every possible way.  I could, theoretically copy and paste my review of The Twelfth Imam and simply change a few instances that were negative in the past book.  In this book there were no instances, and I can comfortably give this book a... Wait, you didn't expect me to ruin the suprise would you?

The world is on the brink of disaster and the clock is ticking. Iran has just conducted its first atomic weapons test. Millions of Muslims around the world are convinced their messiah—known as “the Twelfth Imam”—has just arrived on earth. Israeli leaders fear Tehran, under the Twelfth Imam’s spell, will soon launch a nuclear attack that could bring about a second holocaust and the annihilation of Israel. The White House fears Jerusalem will strike first, launching a preemptive attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities that could cause the entire Middle East to go up in flames, oil prices to skyrocket, and the global economy to collapse. With the stakes high and few viable options left, the president of the United States orders CIA operative David Shirazi and his team to track down and sabotage Iran’s nuclear warheads before Iran or Israel can launch a devastating first strike.
The book goes even deeper into Islamic history and background than its predecessor.  I found that aspect of the novel quite appealing as the author, Joel C. Rosenberg is one of the foremost leaders in the Judeo-Christian fight against Islam and a very reliable, Christian source for news and issues in the Middle-East regions. 
David Shirazi, the protagonist comes to grips with whether he is willing to put his life on the line to gain intelligence that the president (a man that I disagree quite strongly with on policy-even though he may not exist) is so strongly opposed to acting on at all.  Even when eight nukes are on the line.  David also struggles with what happens when he's died.  While being tortured to see if his CIA cover story could hold up he wonders what would happen after he died.  He had previously prided himself on his agnostic view, coming from a Middle-Eastern background, so he knew he wasn't going to be saved by Allah.  But he also knew that at no point in his life had he given his life to Christ.  So what would happen?  It's quite interesting the internal discussions he has which leads him to a conclusion of a sort.  Something I won't spoil.
Israel, on the other hand, is being backed into a corner.  With the U.S. President so opposed to another war in the Middle-East, the Israeli president has no backing from the U.S., and has to decide how to continue alone, without their single greatest ally.  With the Twelfth Imam's Middle-Eastern coalition (the Caliphate) rising and him gaining eight nuclear warheads attached to ballistic missles, plus every Islamic nation's military, Israel is in a tight spot.  I personally agree with what was ultimately decided to do, and the way it comes about is intriguing, but I can't spoil the story, so this is as far as I'll go with that.
All in all, Mr. Rosenberg blends expert writing craft (notice I didn't touch on that. It wasn't necessary), a very well researched setting, and deep, layered characters for a novel that I would recommend to anyone that enjoyed the first book or is interested in the Islamic world from a Christian worldview.
Five stars.

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