Tattooed RatsIn the year 2012, being a Christian can land you in jail or even get you executed. Christian high school student Patrick find himself in a hospital for "reprogramming" and discovers the "Tattooed Rats." It's a world turned upside down where things aren't what they seem. Friends betray, seeming enemies protect. The World Peace Alliance is on Patrick's trail and he's faced with a choice to serve Christ and face possible death or deny his faith and lose his soul.Demon's BluffIn Part 2 of the "Renegade Spirit" series, young Patch, on the run because of his outlawed Christian faith, seeks refuge in the town of Demon's Bluff, where it's said a mighty spiritual battle once took place. But as the townsfolk prepare for their annual Spirit Fest, he finds he might have to blow his cover if he's to enlighten the people to the dangers of toying with the supernatural.
Christianity is outlawed. Sharing faith is considered hate speech. Worship is done in secret underground settings. Patch, a high school student, has to form his own beliefs, and try not to get killed along the way. He meets characters such as the Wharf Rats, a gang covered in tattoos, who turn out to be believers. Schoolmates betray. True friends are hard to find. Spiritual forces intervene causing havoc and deception. Through it all, can Patch's faith prevail?
Christians are driven into hiding as government forces hunt them down. A ruthless one-world government takes over. Teens are caught between heaven and hell, their lives and souls hanging in the balance. Welcome to the world of The Tattooed Rats, a new apocalyptic novel by Jerry B. Jenkins and John Perrodin.
The Tattooed Rats centers on the character of Patch, a teen Christian who leaves his compound and is captured by the forces of the World Peace Alliance, who blow up his compound and take him to a re-education center. There, he meets members of the Tattooed Rats, a group of underground Christians who identify themselves by their distinctive tattoos. With their help and the help of his friends Molly, Nancy, and Erin, he escapes, joining a new Christian compound. These Christians dont accept him because they hold him responsible for the destruction of his former compound, and they eventually throw him out, along with the Tattooed Rats. He is left to cultivate a new life as a member of the Rats.
This book, while entertaining, is not nearly as good as one would expect from a writer of Jenkins caliber. The novels structure is choppy, which, while it creates a good sense of tension, can be confusing. Also, the dialogue is unrealistic and often does not make sense in relation to the age of the characters talking. For those expecting an experience similar to that of the Left Behind novels, the changes in theology may be a bit disorienting as well. In this version of the End Times, there has been no rapture before the tribulation, and the Church is under siege by the thoroughly evil one-world government. Depending on the personal beliefs of the reader, this may or may not present a theological problem.
Despite its negative aspects, The Tattooed Rats also has some good elements. For instance, the authors lend a healthy dose of reality to the spiritual battle between the forces of Heaven and Hell. Demons and angels are portrayed as being real beings, and prayer is noted for its effectiveness in spiritual combat against evil. This book also highlights the difference between just acting like a Christian and actually being one, and encourages perseverance during hard times.
Although this novel was an interesting reading experience, aspects of the writing style and structure prevented it from being as immersive and exciting an experience as it could have been. Because of these aspects, I would not consider adding The Tattooed Rats to my personal library or recommending it to older readers. However, I do feel this book would be well-received by and well-suited to younger readers. Peter Semple, Christian Book Previews.com
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