Soon: The Beginning of The End (Underground Zealot)
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Soon: The Beginning of The End (The Underground Zealot #1)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  2,860 ratings  ·  80 reviews
2004 Christy Fiction award winner!

Paul Stepola, an agent working for the National Peacekeeping Organization (NPO), has been assigned to enforce compliance with the world government's prohibition on religion. Paul relishes his job and is good at it. He is determined to expose underground religion--flush it out, expose it, and kill it--until his life is turned upside down a

Hardcover, 347 pages
Published August 25th 2003 by Tyndale House (first published August 24th 2003)
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This is a modern retelling of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9: 1~21) that’s set in a post~Apocalyptic United States that has been reduced to seven regions which mirror the last seven churches in the book of Revelation. And much like the Christians in the early church, Christians in post~World War III America have to live and worship underground or face prosecution.

I wanted to like this book because I’m such a big fan of the Left Behind series but I couldn’t suspend my belief lo...more
Aug 21, 2009 Peter rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Shelves: faith, fiction
I greatly enjoyed Jenkin's writing in "Riven" and the "Left Behind" series, which is why I bought this novel. I definitely enjoyed it and am glad I read it. The story was interesting and exciting, and it proposed a thought-provoking idea of what the future could hold. It is almost like a Christian version of Huxley's "Brave New World" in that respect.

However, it's simply not as strong as Jenkin's other novels. It's not as gripping nor as powerful, and the characters aren't quite as engaging. The...more
Barry Martin Vass
I found the writing in this to be surprisingly dry in relation to the subject matter. Here's the basic plot: after 9/11 in 2001 and the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict escalates, prompting brutal terrorist attacks in the countries that tried to stop it. At the same time there were escalating religious stand-offs, causing skirmishes around the world, resulting in World War Three in 2008 (apparently the financial crisis in 2008 never happened). All-out nuclear war fol...more
Loved it. The storyline was solid and believable and held my attention till the last word and I'm looking forward to reading the next one in the series. The best part is I was alerted to the fact that the protagonist's world could very easily become mine very soon. I, too, could face such persecution for my faith. The question that rolled through my mind on every page was, Would I hold fast to my faith in Christ no matter what it cost? Lord help me!
Such a good novel. I was really struck with the idea of how things in the end will be a mirror of the way they were for the early church. And I literally got goosebumps at the ending...can't say what happens because of course that would give everything away, but wowwww was it ever awesome!! :P
Defiantly looking forward to the sequel...While the reviews stated that the book was preachy I didn't find it to be at all. Also it was a free nook book! Score!
As gripping as the Left Behind Series. Very well written. I couldn't put it down once I started it.
What is it about the End of the World, or God’s coming to give passing on Judgment Day? What happens when the world creates another great war, one that goes against epic proportions, much greater than the catastrophes of all wars in the past put together? What if another world war comes and changes mankind as we know it, wiping out famous landmarks across the Earth, as well as eradicating all of South East Asia and other parts of Asia and the Northern Pacific? How about erasing all forms of reli...more
Rachel Thompson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terrific writing style. Great storyline. It ended rather abruptly, which I maybe should have expected since it's part of a series. By the end it felt more like a set up for the rest of the series rather than something that could stand alone. And I don't think the story really gave much depth to Paul's marriage. It was mostly used in a shallow, representational way to convey other things. The only well explored relationship in the whole book to me was Paul friendship with Straight - I would have...more
F. Atchley
What impressed me the most about his style is how he draws you into the characters. I found myself caring about the major characters in the Left Behind series and wanting to see what happened to them. The same thing happened in Soon.

Soon is near future sci-fi set about 30 years into the future. World War III happened and as a result the practice of religion was made illegal, driving it underground. The story follows Dr. Paul Steplova who starts out trying to find and shut down the subversive cel...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Very inconsistent with the first book of the "Left Behind" series, which overall promotes a spirit of fear, worry, panic, carelessness for the stewardship God entrusted to humanity, indifference to the problems of this world, etc.. An interesting read on its own though, but I truly don't believe this will pan out as the book believes, but instead God's own agenda will instead of worrying, why not pray that God's will be done on earth as in heaven?

But the question is, what if? What...more
Stan Horst
I enjoyed this book, which is a fictional look into what the future might hold for believers. The story is one in which it is easy to identify with the main character, as the struggles he faces are common to most of mankind.
Soon, in many ways, feels like a prologue. Though the book is light on action, I got the feeling that the story will really heat up in the next two novels. Frankly, Jerry Jenkins isn't my favorite writer, but he does better than usual here. I don't agree with the whole Rapture thing, but, as with the Left Behind and Babylon Rising series, it's simply an interpretation of Scriptures that us humans can never fully understand. In short, fans of Jerry Jenkins, Tim LaHaye, or Frank Peretti will proba...more
Carrie Daws
Fast-paced and action-packed. This novel that takes place after World War III when all religion is outlawed is hard to read at times because it details a government out to destroy Christians. Yet the realism adds to the believability and urgency of the storyline. It encourages you to keep reading, praying with the believers in the book for God to show up and reclaim the ground the enemy has taken. Filled with suspense, the author places doubt over various characters throughout the book, just as...more
Kelly Boggs
Intense end of the world action. I lived the characters and was very involved with the plot as I read. Great read.
May be spoilers, but not if you have common sense.

I didn't like how quickly the main character went from rage and enormous hatred of Christians to 'oh, okay, maybe they aren't so bad.' I understand the story line of it, but there wasn't enough detail of the incident in between to when he got saved - I think it needed more depth.

It started off kind of slow and boring - I tried three times before I could get past the first few chapters. I'd say 1/3 to 1/2 way in is when it picked up, and then I co...more
Kim Weese
This is a different take on end times than we see in the Left Behind books. It is causes you to think about what the persecution would be like if Christianity became illegal now. I am enjoying the story and the characters, but at times it feels rushed. I feel somewhat lost in some of the actions scenes and would love more description to clarify what action is taking place. It is neat how the story is tied to the life of Paul the apostle, being reminded of that helped me to believe that the main...more
Maria Bailey
This was an awesome series.
You have to be careful trying to glean knowledge from a book like this but I am surprised by what you can learn as far as application of Scripture and a perspective of the rapture. This book is a nice modern day retelling of the story of Paul from the New Testament. It was interesting to see how Jenkins weaves in the Revelations churches as well. I enjoyed the book but thought the ending just kind of wrapped up too quickly, as if he realized he only had 10 pages to wrap it up and rushed it a lit...more
AWESOME! A completely awesome book that keeps you riveted. Keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the book. Here is a young man who is persecuting Christians after WWIII. What is his name? Paul. His story is very similar to the Apostle Paul from the Bible. He was struck blind after an accident. He was miraculously healed. He became a Christian. He became a big part for the Underground. I highly recommend this book as a Must Read.
I read this because I really enjoyed the Left Behind series. However, this book fell short of my expectations. A great idea that was poorly executed. And how am I supposed to take a character seriously with the name Morty Bagadonuts? I understand it's an alias but I laughed a little every time I read it.
"Less than half a century into our future, the world has become a very different place to live. Convinced that religious fundamentalism is the root cause of humanity's problems, religion has been outlawed after a shattering WWIII and Christians have been forced to move underground."

This book/series was okay. I didn't really care for it mostly because I have a different view of how the apocalypse will be. Then again, who knows.
Zacksmom Okon
hmmmm - this one took a WHILE to get into. The characters were well-developed - but took the scenic route to get there. Plot and overall story was good. Was worth the read. My only negative remark is that the ending was rushed. After closing the cover, I thought of at least 3 questions that were left unanswered. I don't mind a twist in the end, but cliff hangers? I couldn't give it more than 3 stars, unfortunately.....
I got this in one of the library book lots. Didn't look it at first, but was one of the Left Behind series or, at least, by one of the authors. Interesting premis, but abrupt ending. Predictable and very slanted.
D. Ann Vaughn
Started off a little slow, but wow! What a great book, moving on to book 2 in this series.
(I purchased this as an audio book so my review of it is a little skewed.) The story line lacked some much needed technological guidance. There were many times that Paul was in a situation that was unbelievable because current technology would not have allowed it let alone futuristic technology.... I was engaged in the story though because the narrator of my audio copy was VERY good.
It held my interest and reminded me of what is to come. Maybe not every detail but certainly Christians will face great persecution. I feel encouraged to focus on the truths of the Bible as I read this book. It was good enough to push me to buy the second in the series,"Silenced".
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Jerry Bruce Jenkins is an American novelist and biographer. He is best known as co-author of the Left Behind series of books with Tim LaHaye. Jenkins has written over 180 books, including mysteries, historical fiction, biblical fiction, cop thrillers, international spy thrillers, and children's adventures, as well as non-fiction. His works usually feature Christians as protagonists. In 2005, Jenki...more
More about Jerry B. Jenkins...
Left Behind Series Hardcover Gift Set (Left Behind, #1-6) Riven The Vanishings: Four Kids Face Earth's Last Days Together  (Left Behind: The Kids, #1) Shadowed: The Final Judgment (Underground Zealot, #3) Left Behind: The Kids: Collection 1: Volumes 1-6

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