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The First Hostage (J. B. Collins #2)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  3,541 Ratings  ·  393 Reviews
“The president of the United States . . . is missing.”

With these words, New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, Jordan’s king is fighting for his life, and the U.S. president is missing and p

Hardcover, 430 pages
Published December 29th 2015 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
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Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent read!! Very fast moving and exciting, although frightening to know that the things that happened in Joel's book could very well happen in our world today!! Love his writing and can't wait for the next one coming out next month!!
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
HONESTLY. My thoughts consist mostly of: how on earth are these characters still alive?? But other than that, this book was basically the same deal as its predecessor. Same annoying romance, except with more screen time. (CALLED IT.) Same bland side characters. But also the same excellent pacing! And the same compelling plot! Not sure if I’m invested enough to read the final book, though? If nothing else, I do want J. B. to find the peace he’s looking for. So maybe I’ll pick up the conclusion to ...more
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, audiobook
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Joel C. Rosenberg, and Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.

Picking up where the previous novel ended, panic is at its height as ISIS has turned a Middle East Peace Summit into a bloodbath. Amidst the chaos, the President of the United States (POTUS) is missing and no one can reach anyone in the security detail. New York Times Foreign Correspondent, J.B. Collins, is
Mar 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
I was hoping for a good, well researched thriller. Unfortunately, despite plenty of action, disbelief was my main reaction throughout the book. I couldn't buy the narrator's story at any moment. A simple journalist involved this deep, giving advice and insisting on issues during such a crisis is simply not believable. Add to that the worst dialogues I've ever read, where each line rings untrue and artificial and the book is a remarkable miss. Too bad.
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Joel Rosenberg follows up "The ThirdTarget" with a suspenseful and fast paced winner! This sequel picks up exactly where the last book left off with POTUS missing and Amman, Jordan under siege by ISIS. J.B. Collins, New York Times reporter extatrodinaire is still on the inside observing and entrenched in all the action. The primary plot line revolves around locating and saving POTUS before the deadline that ISIS has established for his death passes. The author uses his years of experience in Mid ...more
Emilie Hendryx
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook, thriller
Just as stunning as the first one! I was hooked from the beginning. There was a little bit more volience/gore depicted than I think I expected...possibly because of this publisher, but I think it only added to increase the tension and reality of the situations in which it was used. Definitely necessary in the type of scenarios that are dealt with in this book. It wasn't too much in my opinion, but I often read authors like David Baldacci etc. I absolutely love Rosenberg's writing style and can't ...more
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Just an okay story from my viewpoint. It's too bad the novel couldn't be more about Collins and less about those with power over him. 4 of 10 stars
Tom Tischler
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The President of the U.S. is missing. With these words New York Times journalist J.B.
Collins reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman
Jordan puts the world on alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured
and Jordan's king is fighting for his life. The President's missing and presumed captured .
Collins is trying to keep the world informed but the FBI is blaming him for the attack.
Struggling to clear his name Collins and the Secret Service are
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another winner from Joel Rosenberg. Can't wait for the next book. Review to come...
The Real Book Spy
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read this review and more at

In many interviews, author Brad Thor has quoted his friend (and fellow author) Brad Meltzer by saying “a thriller writer’s job is to beat the headlines.”

While both Brad Thor and Brad Meltzer have been fantastic at beating headlines in their own bestselling novels over the years, I would argue that nobody has been a better headliner-beater than author Joel C Rosenberg.

Back in 2002, Rosenberg opened his debut novel, The Last Jihad, with a scene wh
Apr 02, 2016 rated it liked it
“Brave is one thing. Crazy is another.”

Jack Ryan does the Middle East. Better than Clancy because Rosenberg eschews the techno-babble. Unfortunately, he also gets a lots of technical details wrong, which ruins the story for lovers of techno-thrills. What he gets right is the politics--not the details, but the sense that the melding of religion and politics makes more than strange bedfellows in the Middle East and in America.

“This is now the craziest thing I’ve ever considered doing.”

The good new
Todd Coburn
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
There are forces of evil in the world, and some will do anything to accomplish their objectives. Sometimes it is not possible to simply mind your own business, and you must retreat, capitulate, or risk all to stand against those bent on their own evil purposes.

Fortunately, many of us are isolated and protected from those forces by others. Yet it is good to be reminded of the battle, and it can be fun to walk in the shoes of someone on the edge of the fight from the comfort of an easy chair or co
Continuation of the "Third Target" storyline...JB & most of the forces for good are battling the ISIS evil in the Middle East...a real page-Turner as the rescue of the President moves toward its climax...who to trust? read!!!
Lisa Johnson
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Title: The First Hostage (A J. B. Collins Novel #2)
Author: Joel Rosenberg
Pages: 448
Year: 2015
Publisher: Tyndale
My rating is 5 stars.
What occurs in this novel I learned from Joel Rosenberg’s recent blog post happens six seconds after the close of the first book in the series, The Third Target. Before you begin either book plan on being glued to the action for hours because it is nonstop from start to finish. In some ways the evil that nations were fighting against defied description. The characte
Vera Godley
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After reading several of Joel C. Rosenberg’s previous novels, I was delighted to have the opportunity to review The First Hostage as a Tyndale reviewer. Regretting having not read The Third Target which is the prequel to The First Hostage, I still plunged into this new story and tried, mentally and emotionally, to keep up with the breathless fast pace it runs from crack of spine to flip of the last page.

Amazing! That is simply a mild term for Mr. Rosenberg’s talent for writing and for bringing t
Gail Welborn
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
***a provocative, adrenaline-laced tale impossible to put down***

Joel C. Rosenberg sets the mood and tone of his explosive new release, "The First Hostage" with the chilling statement, "The president of the United missing." Even though everyone thought he had boarded Air Force One and cleared Jordanian air space with a "fighter escort."

Foreign correspondent J.B. Collins had seen Secret Service agents race from the palace grounds in a bulletproof vehicle when he fired the MP5 thrust
Jonathan Esterman
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Joel Rosenberg has had a successful run as a Christian fiction author. His experiences working with Middle Eastern dignitaries definitely helps him solidify the degree of detail he is able to write with in his texts, and he helps illuminate the tensions between Israel and Palestine for his readers. I have personally enjoyed several of his works throughout the years.

In the case of this book, I was caught off guard. My last two titles that I read by Rosenberg were The Twelfth Imam and Israel at Wa
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The only problem with reading Joel Rosenberg is that the books go too fast and you have to wait so long for the next one. This is a continuation of "The Third Target".

At the start, the president goes missing after the Jordanian peace talks are sabotaged by terrorists. New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, Jordan
David Bergsland
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
As usual, Joel writes and exciting, well-crafted tale of end-time possibilities in the Middle East. This is his area of expertise and it shows.

Using a non-believing reporter as the main character is an interesting twist. The entire scenario is believable and compelling. The characters are well-drawn. The world and descriptions of it are solid.

The spiritual accuracy is up for grabs. I hope none of this actually happens, but it could. I’ll be surprised, though. I suspect that the Muslim horde has
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down at many points. My only complaint is with the authors one-dimensional dialog and characters. I may be overly critical on this point, but the book read as though every character had the same speech patterns. It made exchanges a bit harder to follow. Additionally, and this is just my opinion, the moral and ethical dilemmas the main character faces regarding journalistic integrity, censorship, and sense of mission were a little too much ...more
Kristine Morgan
Nov 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I just finished reading First Hostage by Joel Rosenberg and I find my self checking the news sites to see if it really happened. Joel writes a very realistic book which seems as though it could come straight from today's headlines. The novel is fast paced and I did not want to put it down. The character's are well developed and I was truly concerned for their welfare. This is a novel dealing with terrorism and therefore is quite brutal in places. I enjoyed the romance that carried through f ...more
Because everyone that returned this book to the library was very excited about the book, I had mixed emotions when I started reading it. In the past I have found that the more people that say, " You have to read this," the less I enjoy the story. Overall, the book proved to be a good read. There were parts of the story that I really found hard to believe, like when Yael told everyone that the only way she would assist in-person at Alqosh was if J.B. was allowed to tag along. I also found the sce ...more
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is not the kind of book I ordinarily would ever pick up but I had heard so many positive things about it that it piqued my interest. This was a terrifying political thriller that unfortunately did not feel so unrealistic. A war reporter for the NYTimes is in Jordan to witness a peace agreement to be signed by Israeli and Palestinian leaders when a massive attack by ISIS occurs. Many are killed and the POTUS goes missing. A mole has infiltrated the network and the reporter along with the US ...more
Kristine Morgan
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I just finished reading First Hostage by Joel Rosenberg and I find my self checking the news sites to see if it really happened. Joel writes a very realistic book which seems as though it could come straight from today's headlines. The novel is fast paced and I did not want to put it down. The character's are well developed and I was truly concerned for their welfare. This is a novel dealing with terrorism and therefore is quite brutal in places. I enjoyed the romance that carried through f ...more
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a good follow up in the J B Collins series and as always, was full of action and suspense. I also enjoy that these books are fictional stories based on what is really happening in the world currently. While I realize that the many characters are important to the story, I found it difficult to keep up with all the foreign names. But other than that, it was an enjoyable read. Thanks to Netgalley for providing an advance copy of this book for an unbiased review.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. I was a little skeptical about some of the many coincidences that kept him alive, but it is, after all, fiction. I wish books in this series were not so totally geared toward needing to read the next book to find out the rest of the story, but it's definitely worth it. Even so, I have to take a break before I start the next one, because they are SO INTENSE!
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Joel Rosenberg has never disappointed me. His books move fast, often from the first page, and continue with contemporary Middle East subjects that speak to some of our questions about what's happening over there. In some ways, Joel has been prophetic. That's why when the next book comes out, it will be at the top of my reading list.
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I love Rosenberg's books, you feel like you are a watching a movie, so realistic. First Hostage was my favorite so far, I could hardly put it down. It was absolutely gripping, can't wait for the his next book. To our armed forces currently serving and to all of our veterans thank you for your bravery and patriotism. May God continue to bless the USA.
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Enjoyed the plot and characterization. Little unbelievable at times. Little preachy at times. Having the POTUS kidnapped would be a major crisis, and finding out where he may be held, if alive, is a major undertaking. Rescuing him would be close to impossible. Read this if you want a timely peek into world politics and the movers and shakers in that world.
Jonathan Lee
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading Rosenberg. He does a great job of using end times prophecy with current events to create a story. As this book was enjoyable to read there were some points it seemed a little far fetched. Overall a good story to read.
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Mrs. Anderson's E...: Audio/Mystery 1 3 May 12, 2016 07:42PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
Note: This is a different person than the fantasy author, Joel Rosenberg

Joel C. Rosenberg is the founder of The Joshua Fund and the New York Times best-selling author of THE LAST JIHAD (2002), THE LAST DAYS (2003), THE EZEKIEL OPTION (2005), THE COPPER SCROLL (2006), EPICENTER (2006) and DEAD HEAT (2008) with m
More about Joel C. Rosenberg

Other books in the series

J. B. Collins (3 books)
  • The Third Target (J. B. Collins #1)
  • Without Warning (J. B. Collins, #3)

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