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Book Review: Waking Lazarus, by T. L. Hines

Tuesday, June 07, 2011 § 17

Waking Lazarus by T. L. Hines
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages

Publisher: Bethany House

ISBN: 978-0-7642-0344-2

With Film Version? None
Number of Times Read: 3x

Thirty-four year old Jude Allman has cheated death three times. At age eight, he drowned; at age sixteen, he was hit by a lightning; and at twenty-four, he freezes to death in a snow storm. Jude becomes a paranoid recluse in Red Lodge, Montana, where he works under an assumed name as a school janitor. His son, Nathan, lives with his mother elsewhere in town. As a string of child abductions begin, Jude finds he possesses supernatural powers that allow him to see into the lives of others. When Nathan is kidnapped, Jude finds his purpose and his faith. But in doing so he must take some risks. His own life of dying must be faced and the life of his son may be in jeopardy.

Obviously, Waking Lazarus is a book marketed for a Christian audience. The recurring themes are of the mysteries of the death and resurrection of a man named Jude Allman. Reading the novel made me think of the questions I am forever asking: "How does it feel like to die?" "What happens after death?" "Will i meet the entity who created me?" "Or will I simply vanish forever?" If Jude Allman stands right in front of me now, I'd ask him these questions. I'd touch him, check if the flesh is really there. Like the mob who awaited him after his resurrections. He must have felt so confused. How he must have stifled a cry when that woman pulls a patch of hair off his scalp! What makes the woman do that? Is she thinking that perhaps she will find the answers to her questions if she could help herself of a part of Jude?

How we humans are so afraid of death. Or maybe not. Lately, I've been thinking that maybe, just maybe, death is not so much as fearful as what lies beyond it. Maybe we are more afraid of what happens to us after we die. After the body has decayed, what happens to the soul? Is there even a soul? I've been thinking too that maybe, without the idea of heaven and hell instilled inside our minds, we wouldn't be too concerned about dying, right?

OK, enough of death. It makes me feel depressed. But if there is anything much more depressing to me, it is the boring life of Jude Allman. He is clearly too paranoid-- accepting a lowly job, forgetting the reminders of his past, including his Dad, and he seems to have forgotten how good it is to love and feel loved. In his years as a recluse, he hasn't touched another human being-- he can't even touch his own son, though he badly wants to. The pace of his life, as well as the novel's, catches up though when Jude discovered his supernatural powers, and that he could be holding the key to stop the prowling evil in his town. That produces some kind of momentum to the story, and adds up to the element of suspense.

There are flaws such as: 1.) Jude's abrupt 'recovery' from his neurotic bordering-to-psychotic paranoia; 2.) Nathan's mom, Rachel, seems to have easily grasped the real identity of Jude, and, 3.) when Nathan is kidnapped, she isn't too hysterical, untypical for a mother.

There are loose ends too such as: 1.) what happened to Jude's ailing dad in the end; 2.) Kristina's sudden appearance, and, toward the end, her abrupt disappearance. Clearly, she is not a normal human being; 2.) the mystery surrounding Jude's life is not revealed. Perhaps his resurrections are for a reason yet unknown, but to be revealed at the right moment in time.

I like the storyline-- it's practically the reason why I picked this book up from the shelf and purchased it. The suspense is properly built toward the ending. T. L. Hines does a great job of laying false trails leading to the identity of the killer. Truthfully, I had to sludge through the first few pages of this book, forcing myself to keep on reading. But as the suspense builds up, I practically rampaged the pages! For a debut novel, T. L. Hines surely did great. Waking Lazarus is a gripping thriller worthy of a place on my bookshelf. (;

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Interesting words: liver mortis, rigor mortis

Quotable Quotes:

"Life goes on, so should you."
-Rachel to Jude

"Sometimes mistakes could be turned into something unexpected and wonderful."
-Rachel, talking about Nathan

"You didn't bury bodies and dig them up years later. It was best to take the same approach with memories."
-Jude Allman

"Everyone has a purpose."
-Kristina to Jude

"None of us are good at being real."
-Rachel to Jude

"If you were sane enough to recognize you were crazy, how crazy could you really be?"
-Jude Allman

"People didn't want the truth about the other side. They just wanted hope."
-Jude Allman

"There must be a very good reason why you're still here, because there are thousand reasons why you shouldn't be."
-doctor to Jude

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§ 17 Response to “Book Review: Waking Lazarus, by T. L. Hines”

  • Anonymous says:

    karen!! jen toh! wa akong blog eh. nice review huh! pahiram ulit nyang waking lazarus mu!

  • I am officially in complete awe of your writing! This was a thorough entertainer! :)

  • @theblog writer: thank you so much! ((:

  • @jen: thank youu! unfortunately, waking lazarus is on loan! saka na lang okhey? muah

  • MG says:

    wow, i love this review post of yours. hehe. honestly, it made me think to buy this book. promise. idol na kita karen. hehehe. o cguro gusto ko lng talga ng mga inspiring books at mga may life lessons. hehehe. ^_^ keep it up. nicely done

  • Anonymous says:

    this is a lovely review kayren. nice name too-- kayren.. am a roman catholic christian and i believe in life after death so i figure its more realistic than the reincarnation, i am not buddha's follower i tell you. but i usually dont think about death. i only think of how to get by with life everyday, while death, its the end and i know its where im going. so i dont think too much about death. btw, i your review makes me wanna read the book!

  • Leah says:

    Wow! Great review.. Akala parang "Final Destination" yung story, having cheated death. Ayan na, anglaway na akong bilhin (o rentahan) yang book. I love thrillers (pero books lang. praning ako kapag movies.. hindi kaya ng aking heart. LOL)...

    What happens after death? Hmm.. I dunno. Am I afraid to die? No.. but I am afraid of what'll happen after I die. Bull's eye ka tlga, karen. Ano kayang mangyayari? Will I forget people? Will people forget about me? Will I just vanish like smoke? What'll happen to my soul.. heaven or hell ba ang destinasyon ko?

    Ah ewan. hehehe.. Let's just live in the NOW. :)

    P.S.
    Oh, I so love your comment sa blog ko. It is quite long.. but I really love long comments. Na-appreciate ko nang todo. Yeah, we may have diff points of view.. but hey, that's what makes us unique. I think I'm inlove with you na. hahaha!!! Thank you marami, Karen.

    Oh, and I'm sorry I can't lend you the map. #LOL

  • iya_khin says:

    ang galing naman ng book review mo very detailed! pahiram nga! ahaha

  • kayren says:

    @MG: i think gusto mo lang talaga ng inspirational posts. hehe. thanks though, pinapataba mo naman puso ko. hehe

  • kayren says:

    @anonym: thanks! hm, as for me, i don't have a religion just yet, though i think reincarnation is much more realistic.. life after death-- hm, if everyone since the beginning of time, resurrects, well, i dunno, what will happen. will the space on earth be enough? i'd like to think i have a soul which had experienced different lives. i'd like to think that after this life, there will be another one and im lookin forward to it. *wink*
    thank you!!

  • kayren says:

    @leah: yes, that's right. let's live in the NOW! (;

    hmm, ganun talaga ako magreact ee, when i strongly feel about something i'll say what's on my mind. yes, we have different opinions and that's what sets us apart. we are lovely, unique individuals! your posts-- they are just so, i dunno, they tend to make my soul really talk. whatever that means hehe.. cheers!

    arghh i guess i'll have to find a way to steal that map from you! *evil laugh*

  • kayren says:

    @iya_khin: thank you! my sick days made me really productive! haha.. youre in dubai naman, how can i lend it to you. uwi ka na sa pinas, dali! hehe (;

  • Kayren, for all the time you took to read me, today, THANK YOU. I'm taking a huge bow. :) Get better soon!

  • ka bute says:

    how do i cheat death? can you teach me how?

    p.s. who's that cute little angel? ^_^

  • kayren says:

    dunno how. im tryna find out din.hehe

    oh, she's my niece, my sister's daughter. yes, she's an angel!i wish i could say she's mine, but naaah. i badly want my own angel. (;

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