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Illuminated (An August Adams Adventure, #1)
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Illuminated (An August Adams Adventure #1)

3.46  ·  Rating Details  ·  364 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
August Adams has failed his family before. He's sacrificed relationships in pursuit of adventure, fame, and money. Now the very lives of those he loves depend on his ability to decipher a centuries-old puzzle encrypted in the colorful hand-painted illuminations that adorn three rare Gutenberg Bibles.

It's a secret that could yield unimaginable wealth, undermine two major re
Hardcover, 314 pages
Published August 7th 2007 by Thomas Nelson Publishers (first published 2007)
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Sarah Walker
Well this is what I get for randomly picking up a book off the library shelf. I feel like Bronleewe read a Dan Brown novel, and decided he could write one just like it overnight. This book was poorly written, weak storyline, and had contradictions. He said April was thin and would eat ice cream sandwiches for lunch without gaining weight while everyone else did, but three chapters down the line said she felt guilty for weeks for buying a pint of Haagen-daaz at the store. Um, why? At least Dan br ...more
Dec 28, 2011 Chad rated it it was ok
Illuminated is the tale of a archeobibliologist who must unravel clues found in multiple Gutenburg Bibles to discover some deep dark secret. This is your standard Dan Brown DaVinci Code or National Treasure formula book by first time author Matt Bronleewe.

The story is formulaic, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I found that I enjoyed parts of the book and came away feeling like it was okay. There were a few scenes that felt as if they were tacked on to pad out the word count and didn't relat
Dec 22, 2011 Barbara rated it did not like it
I really, really, tried to get into this book but I really couldn't. This book is to The Da Vinci Code what National Treasure is to the Indiana Jones franchise.

It just fell flat, though: characters never sprang from the pages and the plot never really caught my attention. The plot concerns archaeobibliologist August Adams, who must decipher a centuries-old puzzle found in the illustrations in three rare Gutenberg Bibles. It bears more than a passing resemblance to both "The Da Vinci Code" and t
C.J. Darlington
Matt Bronleewe is a man of many talents. He's an accomplished music producer who's worked with the likes of Rebecca St. James, Plumb, Michael W. Smith and Leeland. He's penned or co-penned a number of top-of-the-charts hits. He was a founding member and guitarist for the band Jars of Clay. Now he's written Illuminated---a blockbuster thriller that could easily place him on the best-seller lists. With a National Treasure meets The Da Vince Code style, Matt blows out of the starting gate with this ...more
Keiki Hendrix
Oct 14, 2009 Keiki Hendrix rated it it was amazing
Do you love books? Do you love the history and mystery about rare, antique books? Are you intrigued by the stories of the lives surrounding these historical books?

You will not be disappointed in Matt Bronleewe's debut novel Illuminated: An August Adams Adventure .

The story is based on the illustrative artwork printed on the borders of the Gutenberg Bible.

August Adams, an antique book dealer and expert in his field, is thrust into an adventure that threatens his life and the life of his family.
April Erwin
Nov 07, 2012 April Erwin rated it really liked it
This book blew me away. I sat down and read it straight through - until 4:30 a.m. When I set the book down, I couldn't wait to get Dad to read it.

A few years ago, when The DaVinci Code was first published, I read it and then rooked Dad into reading it as well. We both agreed, Dan Brown was a master at suspense, plot twists and adreneline rushes... but we hated what his message was all about. How can you love and hate a book at the same time?

Illuminated arrived with lots of hype that it was the n
Sep 09, 2008 Rob rated it liked it
What "National Treasure" did for the Declaration of Independence and what "Indiana Jones" did for the Ark of the Covenant, Matt Bronleewee has created a fun, brisk, adventure, centering around the notorious Gutenburg Bibles.
During a transatlantic flight from Germany to New York, archaeobibliologist "August Adams" is forced to decipher several illuminations from a recently acquisitioned Gutenburg Bible or his family will perish at the hands of a malevolent organization, whose ancient roots extend
Jul 10, 2008 shay rated it liked it
Shelves: 100books08
i have to admit i was a bit worried about this book when i got it home and noticed that all the reviews were from christian musicians and it was put out by a christian publishing company. fortunately i didn't feel like i was being preached at throughout the book. there were definitely some trite moments (like the use of "for goodness' sake) several places in the book, and the author REALLY likes similies which is highly annoying, but overall the book was okay.

the story was decent, but not well e
Laura Short
Mar 27, 2014 Laura Short rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The back of the book mentions National Treasure, and that's about the level this book is at. It's like he's trying to cash in on the Dan Brown craze. It wasn't terribly fun to read and there are too many plot holes. There are worse ways to kill an afternoon, but not inclined to pursue any of his other books.
Frederic Pierce
I almost didn't read this because I figured it was a Dan Brown copycat. Turned out it was indeed a Dan Brown copycat, but a good one. The characters were kind of adventure story stereotypes and the dialogue was clumsy at times, but it definitely held my interest and I found myself turning pages faster and faster to see what happened next. I would be a good summer read if you like the whole scientist/adventurer, hidden treasure, secret society, constant threat of death genre of novels, which I do ...more
The endorsements for this book rave about it's quality and after reading the story I must admit that I agree fully! Bringing forth an adventurous story keeping you guessing as to who is the good guy and who is bad, this is a real page turner. It is said to be a mix between 24, Indiana Jones, and the LOTR and I can see that. I'd also throw in a little Tomb Raider, National Treasure, and the Librarian for good measure. There is one scene in the book that I would not recommend for under 13, but the ...more
Jason Duncan
Jan 24, 2016 Jason Duncan rated it it was amazing
Fast paced like the T.V. series 24, adventure like Indiana Jones/National Treasure.
Had my attention till the last page - grabbed book two off the shelf without a second thought, I want to read more from this author.
Jul 31, 2010 Marliss rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
People said on the cover that this book was written like a movie, and it was. No subplot, and predictability like the female villain had an abusive father. There were things that didn't ring true, like the protagonist being given an hour to figure out things, and being chosen in the first place because he's an archeobibliologist with a photographic memory. And there were other things that happened too quickly with less controversy and contention than there should have been, like a villain turnin ...more
Nov 01, 2007 Sharon rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who liked the da vinci code
This is the first book by Jars of Clay band member Matt Bronleewe. The main thing I appreciate about this book is that it sprung entirely from an random interest by the author, and he treats it with the air of someone who admittedly hasn't studied for twenty years but who wants people to get on the research train because what can be found when we delve into the history of illuminated manuscripts, secret societies, etc. is certainly interesting and sometimes intense. The resolutions come rather q ...more
Jennifer Robb
Jan 17, 2016 Jennifer Robb rated it liked it
A Davinci Code like mystery in a Christian setting.
Jacob Brown
Jul 28, 2014 Jacob Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good
Mark A Powell
Jan 02, 2014 Mark A Powell rated it it was ok
While historical fiction usually sells well, most of it (this book included) falls into the same trap: the history ends up much more interesting than the fiction. The dialogue smacks of plot-forwarding convenience and the lead character's powers of intuition (after mere hours with the pieces of the puzzle) make you wonder how something so seemingly obvious could have remained a mystery for so many centuries. A decent first effort from an aspiring writer, but lacking.
Nick Woodall
Good mystery, fast action, good plot! You'll like it!
May 19, 2009 Keith rated it it was amazing
You absolutely can not put this book down once you get started. It is full of action and suspense and intrique. If you are weak of heart, it will not appeal to you as it contains graphic descriptions of murders taking place. However, it is one of the best action/thrillers that I have read in a long time. The sequel is out and I can't wait to read it as well.
Oct 10, 2011 Debi rated it did not like it
While reading Illuminated I just wanted to take the author and shake him and tell him this is not the way to write a book and send him back to writing class.
I found the writing in Illuminated to be extremely poor. Characters with no life, copy-cat plot, all the action told, all the explanatory stuff dry as dust.
Definitely not on my recommended list.
Aug 12, 2008 stillme rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Davinci code fans
Along the same lines as DaVinci code, but worse. Gaping holes in the plot, sketchy character development at best. Some interesting ideas, though, for those who would be interested in doing more research on Gutenberg. The only thing that didn't make it a complete waste of time was that it was such a quick read I finished it in a couple hours.
Ta N.
Aug 12, 2012 Ta N. rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Another Davinci Code, but substituted with mysterious Johannes Gutenburg and his illuminations in the bibles he made and handed among the top people of the Order of the Dragon. Fiction, and not as well plotted as The Davinci Code, but I learned a lot about history, the Orphans, and Gutenburg, so it's worth reading.
May 30, 2011 Myersorchard rated it liked it
the only reason i didn't give it 5 stars is because it is too "da vinci code"-ish. this is a book you can not put down. it is considered christian fiction, but only because the author is a christian and there is no bad language. like the da vinci code, it left me wanting to know what exactly was fact and what was fiction.
Jun 19, 2013 Evy rated it liked it
Not bad but the ending was too abrupt and too coincidental for my tastes. I may pick up other books by him in the future as I believe this was the first in the series and they might improve as they go along. Not a bad quick summer read.
Meadow Frisbie
Nov 15, 2009 Meadow Frisbie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
It was near perfect book. The writing was a little choppy on some parts and the whole cutting the guy to a million little parts was kinda weird, but overall. A very good plot, information and suspence. Good job Matt Bronleewe!
Nov 16, 2012 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Though similar in style to The Da Vinci Code, Illuminated keeps you enthralled with all the plot twits and family dynamics. A very entertaining read that will keep the pages turning.
Nov 16, 2008 Corrie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book was bad. The writing was bad, the characters were badly developed and the plot was so unbelievable that it was almost funny at times. Not a book I would recommend at all.
Brynne Trible
Just finished this book. It was a good book...entertaining. It was certainly not the greatest book I've read, but it held my attention for the duration, so that's saying something, right?
Damaris Pandora
Aug 14, 2014 Damaris Pandora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
fast-paced, light reading. lots of history and facts in the book. I enjoyed the illustrations as August was determining connections between the past and present interpretation.
Mar 07, 2011 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Had to read his second book, House of Wolves right away. Main character August Adams is Indiana Jones of the Book World. Author was lead singer from Jars of Clay.
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Matt Bronleewe is an internationally recognized producer, songwriter, and author. A former member of the band Jars of Clay, he has earned multiple Grammy nominations and numerous awards producing and co-writing albums that have sold a combined total of over 20 million copies. He currently resides in Nashville, TN, with his wife and three children. In addition to writing stories, he continues to cr ...more
More about Matt Bronleewe...

Other Books in the Series

An August Adams Adventure (3 books)
  • House of Wolves (An August Adams Adventure, #2)
  • The Deadly Hours (An August Adams Adventure, #3)

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