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Riven

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4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  2,633 Ratings  ·  256 Reviews
When a condemned man with nothing to lose meets one with nothing to gain, everyone washed by the endless ripples of that encounter will forever recall the day a little bit of heaven invaded a whole lot of hell. Brady Wayne Darby and Thomas Carey could hardly have been more disparate individuals. Yet when Darby, a no-account loser raised in a dingy suburban trailer park, en ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published February 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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JonathanT
Jan 02, 2017 JonathanT rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
WELL THAT WAS SOMETHING ELSE. I'm not sure what I expected going into this??? But it was definitely not what I got, in a good way.

I think the main thing I liked was THE ENTIRE MESSAGE OF THIS THING. It's super deep and biblically sound and really good. I also really liked how it was about choices: the choices you make today do effect your future. I think this was the main reason Riven is getting four stars. For powerful, impacting themes about redemption and grace and God and life and death. (e
...more
Cait (Paper Fury)
This novel is something special. It is the sort of gripping, moving story that forces you to keep turning the pages. You have to know what happens. The story ebbs and flow with natural ease, giving the reader a break from biting their nails. But there is no permanent relief until the last page is turned and the book put down. Even then, the story will stay with you, running through your mind again and again as you ask a million questions.

The dialogue is heavily used and engaging. The characters
...more
Emily
Jul 17, 2009 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE,
Recommended to Emily by: mom

If it were within my power to force the entire population of adults / young adults in the world into reading a book, "Riven" by Jerry B. Jenkins would be the book that I would utilize this power for. Seeing as such forcing ia most unfortunately NOT within my power, I'm giving this novel a five star review, in hopes that people will take my recomendation and read this truly magnificent peice of literature.

In saying truly magnificent, I don't mean that the vocabulary is complicated, and I don;t me
...more
C.J. Darlington
When an author calls a book "the novel I have always wanted to write" I sit up and take notice. And when the author is Jerry B. Jenkins, and the novel is his 175th book, I know I'm going to read something special. Such is the case with Riven. Its premise is simple and dynamic: a condemned inmate requests his execution be in the form of crucifixion. At first we don't know why or the circumstances leading up to his death-row status, but we certainly want to. Most of the book covers the 17 years of ...more
Sir Runcible Spoon
This review comes courtesy of the actual reader, my mother, Vivian Hoy, who approaches the story from her eighty-eighth year of life.

"Riven covers a 12 year period and introduces us to two main characters:

1. Pastor Thomas a committed servant of God but one without the necessary gifts to maintain an effective ministry. He is let go from one ministry position after another because he couldn't entertain well enough. (He reminds me of so many dedicated men of God struggling without a pulpit presen
...more
Lorie
Jun 07, 2013 Lorie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book goes onto my "Important" Bookshelf, which takes some earning from me. Written from a humble, completely non-judgemental, sensitive stance, it offers the reader a chance to grow in love and empathy for folks born into poverty and pressured into drugs and crime - and yet the author does a great job of making personal responsibility clear, without any hint of preachiness. I also am deeply grateful to Mr. Jenkins for his right-on-the-mark presentation of what being a Christian truly is, th ...more
Sheri
May 16, 2009 Sheri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued by this book and the ideas that the author brought forth, but it's not an enjoyable story. A young man repeatedly gets into trouble and ends up in prison. He has a horrible excuse for a mother, no father in his life, loses his younger brother in death because of his fault.
The other character is a pastor who has a wonderful wife and is devoted to serving the Lord but nothing has ever gone right in his life. His daughter has no interest in God and every church that he pastors end
...more
Peter
Jan 13, 2009 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
"Riven" is thoroughly engaging and moving throughout, following the lives of 2 very different people: a trailer-park kid who just can't stop getting into trouble, and a struggling Pastor who keeps moving from church to church.

It gets quite confusing at first, jumping between scenes involving the separate characters, but you get used to it quite quickly. You go through highs and lows with each of the characters, until it builds to a really powerful and surprising conclusion.

I recommend the book t
...more
Tim Chavel
Feb 11, 2012 Tim Chavel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
This an excellent novel. There are two story lines that converge. The first is about a pastor that has pastored several small churches. If you know of someone like this you will relate to him. This pastor is gentle and taken advantage of in most of the churches. He eventually becomes a chaplain at a very secure prison. The other story line involves a young boy that grows up in a single parent home. He has many talents but decides to live the life of crime. Both the pastor and young boy experienc ...more
Bluelily3
There is only one word to describe how I feel after reading this book. Humbled. I am a born again Christian and have been since I was a young child. I don't know what is it like to be otherwise. Perhaps that is what compelled me to read this book. I have always been fascinated with the lives of "bad guys", wanting to suffer with them and rejoice when they are headed the right way.

This book was amazing account on a life that went wrong the 90% of the time, and right the last 10%. *spoilers ahead
...more
Philip
Jun 02, 2011 Philip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-lendable
This is the very best part of having a Kindle: finding absolutely fantastic books like this, for free.

So, this isn't a short novel, nor a particularly quick read, but I finished it in less than 24 hours; I was unable to tear myself away from it. For most of the novel, there really seems like no reason I should be so attached. The story is about two very different people, neither of which is particularly like me, yet Jenkins does such a great job making me believe these characters that I really s
...more
Donna
Apr 17, 2011 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm somewhat ambivalent about this novel. The writing was adequate, and a fair amount of the story was predictable. I was drawn to the characters, liking some, disliking some, feeling empathy for a few, and that was probably the biggest draw for me, and has kept me thinking about it for quite awhile after I finished reading. I have to admit, though, that the storyline became compelling, if somewhat fantastical, and that may be part of why I'm still thinking about it.

The novel tells the story of
...more
Jenn
Mar 16, 2011 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since I didn't read the blurb about this one and just judged it by its cover, I had no idea it was Christian literature. This became very obvious in Brady's later years. I am not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, so there many places when scripture was quoted that turned me off a bit, however, I understand how they were essential to the story.

The story begins with two very different lives moving along two very different paths in life. Brady is a young teenage boy who lives wi
...more
Carol
Apr 11, 2010 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emespre
Apr 21, 2011 Emespre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, christian
I don't have much time to review so I'll write quickly...

I love this book. I found that while the beginning third or so was really interesting, the middle was slow; however, the end was amazingly beautifully magnificent and if I had time to keep gushing superlatives I would. And it really makes you think further about...this is hard to explain without revealing anything but if you read it/have read it you'll understand. After reading it I tried to get my mother, a non-reader, to do so. She skipp
...more
Becki
Mar 10, 2011 Becki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
When I first started this book, I had great expectations. I love Jerry Jenkins' writing. However, the first part of the book seemed to go on forever. It wasn't until the two stories finally converged that it started getting really good. The end totally caught me by surprise and, yes, I cried. He painted such a good word picture.

I will say that there seemed to be some too-good-to-be-true moments and I wondered if there really are happy endings like he describes. The Christian life isn't always pr
...more
Elizabeth Gaskins
Riven was an amazing book! I had never read a Jerry B Jenkins novel before Riven & did not know what to expect but Riven blew my mind. I won't divulge anything that might be spoilers but because of some themes in the book like drugs and violence isn't suitable for all ages but any mature person should definitely read this book! I am not ashamed to say the this is the one book that caused me to weep openly as I read the dramatic conclusion! This has easily made it to my list of all time favor ...more
Brad Larsen
Thanks to this book, I finally have a rich and full understanding of the phrase "I just threw up in my mouth a little bit". Ridiculous plot, ridiculous story, characters so archetypal and two-dimensional that they could scarcely be shallower. Easily the worst book I have read in 2011.
Randy Alcorn
Jerry Jenkins writes from his heart a unique and engaging story. Riven is touching and unforgettable.
Lee Button
May 07, 2017 Lee Button rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jerry Jenkins at his best. Believable characters, dramatic and surprising finish. I thought I knew where the story was going. I'm glad I was wrong. Forget the apocalyptic stuff. Get a copy of Riven.
Elizabeth
Interesting, but not great.
Rachel Thompson
I downloaded a free copy of this for my e-reader.

This book follows the story of two different people. The first is Thomas, a preacher who has bounced from congregation to congregation. He's down on his luck, but his faith keeps him going, until he lands a job at a maximum security prison. The job isn't very fulfilling, as forms have to be filled out before a con can even speak with him, and those that bother generally want favors from him, or want to get something out of it. On the flip side is
...more
Elaine
May 18, 2009 Elaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
unabridged audio from audible.com

Brady covers up one lie with another as easy as ice cream sliding off a cone. He steals, does drugs and deals them, quits school at 16 when things don't go his way. Thinks things will be better living with a group of drinking Spanish guys who work for the same company he works for than living at home with his partying mom. She'd better not lay a hand on his little brother though, he threatens over and over.

Meanwhile Thomas accepts a position as chaplain for a ve
...more
Delia
Jun 10, 2016 Delia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure how to review this book. I really want to give it 5 stars, but there are too many things that keep it from reaching that level of excellence. The writing is unquestionably good, and the premise is interesting. That said...I normally wouldn't be able to plow through a book of this length that moves so slowly. But Jenkins made me care about the characters, and I found I wanted to know how their lives panned out. I did not find them one-dimensional cardboard cutouts, as some reviews ha ...more
Randy Tramp
Jan 16, 2015 Randy Tramp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Book
Pastor Thomas Carey's ministry was anything but what he expected. Forced to leave a church, he takes a position as chaplain at the SuperMax state penitentiary at Adamsville.

Brody Wayne Darby life was one big mistake, one after another. He was impulsive and did thoughtless acts. As he grew older, he committed more serious crimes and did time. Each time when released he vowed to "go straight." The thirty year old was on a good path until he met a woman that played him. He killed her. He p
...more
Chris
Jun 28, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book and I'd rate it about a 3.5. This was my first Christian novel. While I'm not a Christian there were still general themes and life lessons of faith, dedication, redemption, taking responsibility for your actions (especially when they are bad), that really struck chords within me. I absolutely loved the style and pacing of the novel. I felt like I was watching 2 cars racing towards each other. I didn't know when and how they'd "crash" but as I was very intrigued to see how t ...more
Desiree reilly
Aug 27, 2010 Desiree reilly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW this book was great and i really got into the story start off
with the minister and his wife and daughter trying to find chruches to
preach at and then the kid form the trailer park inter twine the kid
in the park are going to school petey and his brother brady the mom is never home and the boys have to tend for them self they are there and they get in to trouble first drug and then drink brady is out and in of jail
and then he trying to find petey after a accident and tornanado and then
it dam
...more
Eric Wright
Jul 24, 2010 Eric Wright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
The poignant story of a young man with a troubled past and a failed pastor rejected by those he wants to help. Brady and Thomas Carey. Brady from a loveless family, whose mother rejected him, triumphs in a school play only to throw it all away and quit school getting into escalating acts of petty theft, drug pushing and ultimately murder of the girl he loves who played him. …Thomas and his wonderful, supportive, singing, praying pastors’ wife is rejected by their church when he fails to give in ...more
Erin
Jan 06, 2017 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could say that I loved this book, because I really loved the ending, but I only like this book for the following reasons:
1. Lots of detail. There is so much going on to the characters and by half way through the book you understand what is going to happen to the characters and are waiting for it to happen to progress the story. I think the author wanted it this way for you to be fully invested into the characters for the end but I felt there was just too much.
2. I got frustrated by the
...more
Meadow Frisbie
Oct 23, 2009 Meadow Frisbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thomas is a Pastor feeling his age, and not feeling like he has had not made a major impact on anyone, he pleads with God to let him touch one life.



Brady is a man who has gotten into trouble since he was a teen. Crime, Jail, and Drug Dealer are just a few on his list, now Murder has been added too. And he sent to the Jail where Thomas works. Brady is sentenced to death and must choose his form of execution.



Thomas ministers to Brady who realized his life has been a waste, and excepts Jesus with
...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Riven 1 3 Feb 17, 2012 02:13PM  
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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 185 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
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