The Dry Bones Society Book 1
An Unexpected Afterlife recently won a silver medal at the Readers’ Favorite 2017 Book Awards
STORY-LINE AN UNEXPECTED AFTERLIFE BY DAN SOFER:
Moshe Karlin’s life has taken an unusual turn. After waking up naked and alone in the Mount of Olives Cemetery, Moshe thinks it’s the day after his birthday party. However, he finds two years have passed, and unbelievably he was dead and buried. Unable to understand what has happened, he consults with his local advisor, Rabbi Yosef. Rabbi Yosef has an entirely different take on Moshe’s resurrection.
Moshe finds he has lost his wife to his best friend and business partner, lost his home, and the business he worked to build is failing. Meanwhile, as a mysterious prophet heads to the cemetery, everything changes in the blink of an eye; a man who thinks he’s someone he could not possibly be. Or could he?
Come with Moshe as he travels a road of enlightenment, danger, and controversy. My book reviews of An Unexpected Afterlife follows.
CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, DEVELOPMENT:
Dan Sofer created an original, tantalizing, and intriguing drama in An Unexpected Afterlife. Filled with fascinating facts of the Jewish faith, I found myself enthralled. I have always wondered about the culture, practices, and worship of the Jewish religion; Sofer answered an array of my questions. With vivid descriptions and skillful prose, Sofer grabbed me immediately and did not let go.
Sofer introduced a tantalizing concept through Rabbi Yosef of the valley of dry bones, the Resurrection of the Dead, the Prophet Elijah, and revelation of the Messiah. If you are not familiar with Ezekiel 37, I partially quoted from the King James Version of the Bible below; for more extensive reading see the above chapter in the Bible or on the internet.
Quote from Rabbi Yosef
“Isaiah 26:19: Your dead will live, their corpses rise. Awake and sing praise, you that dwell in the dust for your dew is the dew of light….”
King James Version
Ezekiel 37: Verse 1 ….set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones. Verse 2 behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. Verse 5 ….Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live. Verse 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Verse 10 ….breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Verse 12 ….Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
Dan Sofer included a cast of characters which he fully developed throughout the story. Every good story must have a villain. Sofer created an excellent villain for this story; you will love to hate Avi. He’s selfish, opportunistic, a grand liar, and much more; in other words, he’s a snake in the grass. Creating a story filled with one chaotic situation after another, I could not put this book down.
Including the Great Council of Torah Sage, gives the reader insight into the structure and hierarchy of the Jewish faith. Sofer also included bits of humor in this non-stop tale; Savta Sarah haggled just as I imagined an older Jewish woman would. As a result, I laughed and laughed. I wish I had her nerve.
The mysterious Irene and Arab Samira gave a touch of mystery to the story. What is Samira’s story and why can’t Irene remember her former life? Are there others coming out of the grave? Sorry, I can only say, you will have to read the book to get the scoop.
I found Dan Sofer‘s writing flowed well and his scenes transitioned smoothly; making this an easy book to read. His characters are well-developed and the story well-written with excellent plotting. As well as, pacing which is perfect for the length of the book.
Including historical facts, religious references, and details of the Jewish faith gave the story added dimension. Sofer‘s vivid descriptions allowed me to see the scenes in my mind’s eye. The twists in the last third of the book are unexpected! The revelations, twists and turns, just kept coming and coming.
This book does not end on a cliffhanger. Instead, this is a complete story which leaves the door open for future editions of Moshe and the risen’s adventures. Whether you are Jewish, Christian, another faith, or non-religious, this book will capture your interest. Seen from the Jewish perspective, the Old Testament and the Prophet Elijah came alive for me. I found An Unexpected Afterlife intriguing, poignant, and original.
Closing my E-reader with a sigh of satisfaction, I had an immediate desire to read the next book. I can’t wait to see what Sofer has in store for us. I would not hesitate to buy this book for myself or a friend.
AN UNEXPECTED AFTERLIFE RECOMMENDATION: STARS 4.5
An Unexpected Afterlife is my featured book of the month for Oct and Nov.
FINALLY, PLEASE NOTE
Additionally, I purchased this book and received a copy from the author. Furthermore, I chose to voluntarily review the book with honest book reviews. Lastly, book reviews of any novel are dependent on the book review author’s opinion. Consequently, all book reviews online and on my blog, are my opinions. In addition, ARC’s do not influence my book reviews, nor does any one’s opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR DAN SOFER
Dan Sofer debut novel won the American Book Fest’s 2016 Best Book Award (category: Religious Fiction). His short fiction has appeared in Midstream Magazine. Sofer grew up in South Africa, however, he now resides in Israel.
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