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The Secret Chapel (God's Lions #1)

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  1,083 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews
Summoned to Rome by an old friend, a Jesuit scholar finds himself using a code discovered in the Bible to find an ancient, hidden chapel in the catacombs under the city. When a rogue force of Vatican security officials are alerted to his discovery, the priest flees to the Holy Land with a clue . . . a clue that will lead him and a team of Israeli Christians to a much large ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published November 24th 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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I received an autographed copy of the novel. All I can say is that it was Absolutely Amazing. I loved everything about this novel! It was a fast-paced thrill ride that made me hold my breath til the end. Phenomenal. I think what I enjoyed most about this novel was it seemed that a lot of research was put into the writing. Also I liked how science and religion were mixed together. I loved all of the characters, and was super shocked and on the edge of my seat towards the end of the book. I can no ...more
Matt Lehman
The story had some promise but there were things that just annoyed the hell out of me. The plot is over the top - Left Behind Series times two - but that's not what bugged me. For a bunch of priests, archeologists and ex military folks, there wasn't a moment when they weren't in a opulent villa or yacht or private jet or Blackhawk helicopter all staffed with personal chefs and servants. It was ridiculous. It was a rigerous schedule of confront the devil and then break for a lovely seaside picni ...more
Jun 16, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it
God's Lions was a wonderful spiritual thriller and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I finished it last night. It left me wanting a sequel! :o) I loved the characters and the unity, love and compassion that was always evident under the surface; and how the transcendence across the different religions and working together as a whole to overcome evil. Fast paced + page-turning = a great read!!

Brian K.
Jun 29, 2011 Brian K. rated it really liked it
My Lyman has hit a home run. His research into name and their meanings, along with historical data weaves this tale into a great weekend read.

I'll read more novels by this author.

Aug 30, 2012 Meg rated it did not like it
I so much wanted to love this book, but now that I've finished... I don't feel it even deserves one star.

Set in our present time, God's Lions - The Secret Chapel, follows the journey of a Jesuit priest - Father Leo. Leo has arrived in Rome on the summons of his best friend from seminary, Father Anthony Morelli - the Vatican's head of archeology. Upon arriving, Leo is immediately drawn into Morelli's latest project - finding a secret chapel under St. Peter's Basilica - a chapel mentioned in a sec
Evangeline Han
When John Lyman sent me the the book pitch, what caught my attention was that this book contained the theme of codes in the Torah. Intrigued, I couldn't turn down this book. What I liked about this book was the vivid portrayal of some scenes, especially the scenes involving spiritual encounters. I could easily picture those scenes and I shuddered at just thought of them. I also liked the way this book reinforces that Scripture is God-breathed and everything happens for a reason. However, this bo ...more
Uncle  Dave Avis
Sep 09, 2011 Uncle Dave Avis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading this book and thought it was one of the best thrillers I've read this year. Mr. Lyman has done a masterful job of wordcrafting, developing characters, and planning and plotting ahead. He's very much of the caliber of Dan Brown in his writing style.
I've been a pastor for almost 30 years, and don't share his concepts of angels or demons, but just put the theology aside and enjoy the story. In the first part of the story, the author rants on the failings of American culture
Nov 18, 2011 Windy rated it it was ok
What's with all the yachts and villas? Escaping from evil is a bit easy when you have the millions to afford a few convenient helicopters...
Aug 25, 2013 Cjdraeger rated it it was amazing
This was a heart-pounding thriller with some twists and turns that kept me on my toes! I just downloaded book 2 of the series and am anxious to get reading! Have to charge my Kindle first!!
Thomas Steele
Mar 28, 2011 Thomas Steele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book and I loved the ending.The action was moved at a great pace which made this book flow from start to finish.
Jul 11, 2011 Vikki rated it it was amazing
What an incredible hidden gem! One of the most fast paced, well written books I've read. Can't wait for the sequel. You must read this book!
Aug 22, 2012 Aaron rated it liked it

A decent serial adventure with Biblical archeology themes, but the book's main driver--the mysterious Bible Code--is never sufficiently explained or articulated.
Apr 26, 2011 Piotr rated it did not like it
Very bad:( Didn't even finish it.....
Hans Bronkhorst Bronkhorst
Jul 10, 2015 Hans Bronkhorst Bronkhorst rated it really liked it
First of all, Id like to give a thumbs up to John Lyman on writing a book that is not only well written, but that integrates history, archeology, biblical prophecy and what more. The Secret Chapel is entirely based on Michael Drosnins bestselling book The Bible Code from 1997, which claims that secret messages are hidden in the Torah. Drosnins book was based on the work of the internationally renowned Israeli mathematician Eliyahu Rips, who published an article in an international magazine on st ...more
Pamela Hegarty
Dec 19, 2011 Pamela Hegarty rated it really liked it
I bought this book because it was one of the titles listed under my thriller listing on Amazon as "people also bought." Usually, I'd be skeptical of a story with a priest as its action hero. Not that I would have had the choice. In the traditional publishing world, this book may never have been published. This is why I'm so thankful of the publishing revolution that opens a new gateway between writers and readers. God's Lions kept me "turning pages." I found myself finding time to read what happ ...more
Nov 07, 2012 Martin rated it really liked it
I just finished God's Lions-The Secret Chapel by John Lyman. Lyman self-published this book, and I picked up the beautiful trade paperback copy through Amazon after a glowing recommendation from my mother-in-law (imagine that, taking a recommendation from a mother-in-law). The e-book is also available for a steal at just 99 cents.

A mysterious summons from the Vatican brings an American priest to Rome where he's clued into a the discovery of a hidden code in the Bible. Nonstop adventure and acti
Mar 19, 2012 Donald rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading God's Lions: The Secret Chapel by John Lyman. I had not heard of Mr. Lyman before but a friend of mine recommended the book. I'm very glad he did. The book is based around the idea that there are hidden codes within the bible and that God uses these codes to direct a group of people that He has chosen. This chosen group is tasked to find a hidden chapel underneath the Vadican along with an ancient artifact in the desert and then bring said artifact back to the chapel.
Allison Prewitt
Aug 17, 2013 Allison Prewitt rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you are a religious nut, you will enjoy this book. It started off decently enough. A little mystery shrouded by religious secrets. Then it goes way off base. They are transported from Rome to Israel and into the hands of apparently the world's richest most well connected man. He has fighter helicopters, yacths, private jets, staff for every need, a mansion... need i go on? The extravagance is beyond belief. But what is worse than the unbelievable nature of the toys and luxuries are the relati ...more
Oct 29, 2013 matteo rated it it was ok
Shelves: series
Sometimes it is a great thing when a book can be self-published, because it brings to light some books that otherwise would never make it. Other times... well, this book is bad. The writing is bad, the characters are bad, and the book is a train wreck. Some of the language is hilariously forced and could probably wind up in some "Worst Writing of the Year" lists. Bad metaphors, repetition, needlessly and overly descriptive text... the author really tries to bang you over the head to make sure yo ...more
Hans Kerrinckx
Oct 05, 2016 Hans Kerrinckx rated it really liked it
In this first part of the five-part series "God's Lions', John Lyman develops a number of interesting characters from all over the world and all kind of religions (archaeologists, mathematicians, computers freaks, secret agents and military). They try to prevent the Armageddon. It's a real roller coaster thriller. Lyman skillfully blends scientific facts and religious mythology to propel the reader to a startling conclusion.
It's been a while since I read an archaeological, mystery book. The good
Teresa Smith
Dec 15, 2011 Teresa Smith rated it did not like it
This book was terrible. Chasing secret Bible Code (like that has never been thought of before). Our heros spend all of their time dining in fancy villas and living the cushy life while trying to uncover what the code is trying to tell the "super chosen friends" what to do next. As the code is revealed they discern they need to fight legions of demons to gain the artifact (I won't reveal that surprise).

This book doesn't endear you to the characters - they all seem a little hollow and the over the
Mar 11, 2012 Forrest rated it did not like it
I gave this book a one-star rating. This is one of the shallowest books I have read. It has undeveloped characters who do not offer any attributes or interest to the reader; and its non-sensical plot does not have any connection to reality (I know it is a fiction book, but let's have at least a thread of reality). The writer rambles through a "loosey-goosey" set of events as the band of players are transported to each event by black-hawk helicopters, private jets, expensive sport cars and / or a ...more
Gin Hunt
Apr 07, 2015 Gin Hunt rated it it was amazing

This book gets 5*'s for its entertainment alone! This was one of those books you start reading and quickly become one with both the characters and the story itself. It's an original take on the fight of good against evil-full of action, joy, edge of your seat excitement and that's the first chapter! :) I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more by this author although he doesn't try to force you to read his books by leaving you hanging at the end of the story. It is a stand alone
Linda O
Jan 07, 2012 Linda O rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012
I got this book under the premise "if you liked the Davinci Code." What a disappointment. The story was clearly secondary to the really sappy religious push. If angels show up to fight off demons, they aren't going to give their history in the middle of battle. The characters were undeveloped (and all portrayed as perfect, absolutely flawless people). Every once in awhile, the book would get exciting for a few pages, but it would very quickly go back to the monotony of the primary story. It's a ...more
Jan 22, 2013 Leanne rated it really liked it
Nicely paced narrative, loved the meaningful character names, so much easier to remember characters especially when there are so many of them . I'm familiar with the God code theory, so this was an interesting precept to develop, the fact that this story managed to challenge my concepts without radically challenging them was welcome, I'm more likely to proceed reading if I'm not feeling cautious. I think older action heroes are welcome, Father Leo is solid, capable and interesting, he's a priest ...more
Gary B
Apr 15, 2015 Gary B rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, read-2015
Fast-paced and entertaining enough, but some of the lead characters were drawn a little thinly and the plot was too far-fetched. A few twists and turns that kept it interesting, though.

(view spoiler)
Paula Howard
Sep 30, 2012 Paula Howard rated it it was amazing
God's Lions-The Secret Chapel is a end of time novel based on the concept of the Book of Revelations. It is not at all like the Left Behind Series, though.

In God's Lions, there is a code that is found in the Torah. The code can only be found with a computer program and and in the original Hebrew. The team is a mixture of Catholics and Jews and Jews who have converted to Christianity living in Israel. The story takes place in Israel and in Rome under the Vatican.

There is a lot of action and Chri
Juile Amundson
Jan 05, 2015 Juile Amundson rated it really liked it
Ok, I absolutely love the premise of this book. God performing miracles on Earth today, in our time, Him calling on His followers to help rid the world of Satan's evil. And, I truly wanted to love the characters. Father Leo had such potential. But, the cast of characters seemed to move through the book like paper dolls blowing around in a breeze. They had no depth, no definition. It was like they only did things because the author said so. I probably won't read the next book in the series. So di ...more
Jaimie Hall
Mar 06, 2014 Jaimie Hall rated it it was amazing
While not my usual type of mystery/thriller, I was enthralled with this series. I read the first on Kindle, then purchased the next 3. Leo Amodeo, a Jesuit scholar, is called to Rome by a Jesuit friend close to the Pope to help solve a mystery. Using the "God code," an actual code that has been discovered in the first 5 books of the Old Testament, and help from friends, he has to work quickly to fight the force of evil. Lots of plot twists and turns and plenty of action.

I also loved GOD'S LIONS
Aug 31, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
Does not being able to put a book down mean that it's really good? I think sometimes but not always. This book was a page turner, but I think it was because I just was so curious as to what was going to come next. The plot was something new and not terribly predictable, but also a bit unbelieveable at the same time. There were Dan Brown moments but it wasn't a "Da Vinci Code" copy cat book. There was adventure and excitement but then there was downtime that seemed a bit too long and awkward. How ...more
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John Lyman is the bestselling author of the "God's Lions" series of books. He describes his novels as "spiritural thrillers" for the times we live in. John is currently at work on the third book in the series, "God's Lions - The Dark Ruin".
More about John Lyman...

Other Books in the Series

God's Lions (4 books)
  • House of Acerbi (God's Lions, #2)
  • God's Lions - The Dark Ruin
  • God's Lions - Realm of Evil

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“As long as we’re alive, there’s always hope.” 1 likes
“In the wake of the country’s newfound wealth, a religion of consumerism had spurred a mindless pursuit for greater corporate profits. This greed-fueled race eventually led to companies sending millions of manufacturing jobs overseas, resulting in the decline of the cherished middle class who made their living making things. For the first time, America’s children were looking at a lower standard of living than their parents. Corporate profit and material possessions were the new idolatry, shoving God’s message of ‘love thy neighbor’ into a dusty corner.” 1 likes
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