The Ascension by Richard Spillman – Book Review, Preview

Posted August 29, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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I often talk about how I do not read scary books. Don’t. Won’t.

What I may not have mentioned is that I have read some rather scary ones. When I was in my early teens. What in the world was my mother thinking, letting me do that?? What was I thinking? Really? Even the Oompa Loompas in the Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie traumatized me! So what was I thinking reading The Amityville Horror or The Shining?

Yeah, I don’t do that any longer and didn’t read many other than those. I’ve been banned from reading books by some authors as I explain in the preamble to my review of the first book in The Lazarus Chronicles.

The Ascension by Richard Spillman – Book Review, Preview

The Ascension

by Richard Spillman

Series: The Lazarus Chronicles #2
Series Rating:
Published by Mountain Brook Ink
Publication Date September 1, 2019
Genres: Action/Adventure, Christian Fiction, Paranormal, Suspense
Setting: Washington, France, North Korea, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Somalia Contemporary
Written for: Adults
Pages: 338


Everyone dies once...what if a chosen few were raised from the dead?

Now that the threat from Abdul Ba’ith has been eliminated, Lazarus and his team at SOAR hope to help Ricki discover the secret in his journal. That hope is dashed when he discovers that the UDs have even bigger plans in the works—plans that threaten the stability of the entire world. North Korea is ruled by a UD who has overseen the development of a deadly airborne disease. The virus is on its way to the Middle East by boat where ISIS will use it to destroy Israel on October 10th.

Lazarus joins a team sent to North Korea to eliminate the UD responsible for the program while another team searches for the virus in the Middle East, hoping to destroy it before it can be used. The odds are stacked against both teams as event after event arises to impede their progress. Will Lazarus be able to free North Korea of its dictatorial leader?

Will Shiri’s team be able to locate the virus and neutralize it before it is released on Israel? It’s a world-wide hunt with more than the existence of Israel at stake, because the virus will spread from Israel to the rest of the world.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Also in this series: The Awakened

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Since reading The Awakened, I’ve been eagerly anticipating reading more of The Lazarus Chronicles. Fortunately, it is a trilogy and I won’t have to wait much longer for the finale. Well, I hope it won’t be much longer!

I love the way Richard Spillman combines accounts of the resurrected Christ with present-day paranormal suspense. The use of searching through Lazarus’ journal for a code is a great means to make this work.

Hindsight tells me I should have re-read The Awakened before taking up The Ascension. Though I remembered many of the people and broad-stroke details, there were things I did not remember. I am making a point to re-read both of these before reading the conclusion when it comes out.

I don’t specifically recall liking or disliking Declan before. He came into his own here and became one of my favorite characters. He teamed up with Shiri in the Middle East to find the virus that was about to be released on an unsuspecting population. The two of them working together were delightful! Their witty repartee as Declan attempted to get his head around the concepts of the Undead (they are NOT zombies!) and the Awakened had me giggling and wishing I could share it with my husband in a way that would make any sense at all! The two are a fantastic team, making what happened so . . . (Sorry, censored to prevent spoilers!)

Joon was fascinating! A North Korean Christian, he had been taught to treasure the Bible from his youth and to hide it in his heart against the day when they would not have access to a Bible any longer. So when his family was imprisoned in a concentration camp when he was twelve, he had a strong foundation to rest upon. What a testimony! We Western Christians could stand to honor the Bible more in our lives!

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this next thing. I have always had trouble remembering which part of Korea is Communist. Now that I have read about it here and have a much better picture of what it is like in North Korea, I have a feeling I won’t have this difficulty any longer. The sense of living  without hope in such a place was depicted so vividly.

The action and suspense were pretty much non-stop. While The Awakened is my favorite, The Ascension was thoroughly enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspenseful Christian fiction. Even if they aren’t particularly fans of zombies!




About Richard Spillman

Dr Richard Spillman founded the Kingdom is Near Ministries (KIN). Through KIN he has supported an orphanage in Uganda as well as a church/school for kids from conflict zones in the Philippines. He has small teams on short term missions into slums and jungles around the world. He has also taught in DTS for YWAM in Mali, South Korea, India and the Philippines.

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