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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  2,058 ratings  ·  218 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
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Published July 22nd 2008 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published February 1st 2003)
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Cait Grace
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
Jul 22, 2009 Emily rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Jan 13, 2009 Peter rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Shelves: faith, fiction, favorites

Without doubt, one of the greatest novels I have ever read -- I could hardly put it down. "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 cha
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Chavel
Feb 22, 2012 Tim Chavel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
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
Mar 13, 2011 Becki rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
Randy Tramp
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
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.
Lisa Alexa
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
unabridged audio from

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
Desiree reilly
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
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
Another free kindle download.

I found this book to be very slow at first setting up the lives of the two main characters and how they meet. Frankly I was bored with the minister and his life but found the realism of Brady's life compelling. Once the minister started to work in the prison system was I more interested in his life. Maybe because my husband works in a prison I found this to be interesting.

As much as I enjoyed the book I am very ambivalent about the ending. Yes it made me weep but som
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
Sabrina Robinson
Reminds me of my father-in-law. The story of a pastor who faithfully and diligently ministers, regardless of the appreciation or lack of response. He ends up as a chaplain in a high security prison facility, with all of his material troubles over, able to participate and serve in a church out of joy and not duty - but works full time wondering when and how all his life's work will pay off. Jerry Jenkins tells us, but it is a long journey, form following story. Worth the read! I was so glad to pi ...more
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
Katie Sargent
While this story was interesting enough to keep my attention until I finished the book, I do not care too much for Jenkins's style of writing; I find it rather pedestrian. He did a fair job of developing the characters while telling a story that was true-to-life, even though at times I was frustrated by the starkness of one of the main character's old-fashionedness - and I thought I was old-fashioned. I say that the story was true-to-life, and I think that is true until the last several chapters ...more
Eric Wright
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
Teresa Hobby
I read this book a few years back. I am an avid Christian fiction fan. However, I wasn't too keen on the ending of this book as the main character's decision. Christians are not bound to certain things because Jesus paid it all for us. I don't want to get into detail in case someone who hasn't read it yet reads my review. Please share what you thought of the ending. I'd like to see if I'm tracking with other believers. God bless!
What a great story about two lives coming together. One a pastor, who has been faithful but has not see the fruit of his faithfulness but trusts that God is faithful. He goes thru depression and all the feelings of how long Lord! The other is about Brady all thru his teenage years he has been a goof off, only doing what he wants to do. His mother is a single mother who has her own problems and pretty much leaves her two sons to fend for themselves. Both of these characters were well developed in ...more
This fictional work engages topics as varied as the death penalty, children wandering from their parent's faith, poverty and the cycle of violence, prison ministry, criminal justice, burnout, disappointment, faithfulness and redemption.

The only difficulty I had was the way the novel was packaged. The flap summary and introduction lead me to believe the crime would occur at the BEGINNING of the work, but Jenkins has something far more intricate to depict. Rather than being about a single event, t
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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...
Soon: The Beginning of the End (Underground Zealot, #1) Left Behind Series Hardcover Gift Set (Left Behind, #1-6) 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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