Format: Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Bethany House
With Film Version? None
Number of Times Read: 3x
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