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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2008
Series: Renegade Spirit
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?
Jerry B. Jenkins is the author of more than 180 books, including the 63,000,000-selling Left Behind series. His non-fiction books include many as-told-to autobiographies, including those of Hank Aaron, Bill Gaither, Orel Hershiser, Luis Palau, Walter Payton, Meadowlark Lemon, Nolan Ryan, and Mike Singletary. Jenkins also assisted Dr. Billy Graham with his memoirs, Just As I Am. He also owns the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, which aims to train tomorrows professional Christian writers.
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