Wednesday, April 1, 2009

2009 WINNER for BEST RELIGIOUS FICTION - National Indie Excellence Book Awards

"The Calling" is an action-packed riveting story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This book will challenge you to stand up for what is right and believe that good can overcome evil... -

Joni Lamb
Best Selling Author and Award Winning Talk Show Host
Daystar Television Network
My take on THE CALLING: A Voice In The Dead Woods by Jacob Israel

If you only read one book this year, let this one be it! ... It wasn't long before I pulled out a pen and highlighter and did something rare for me - I love books and hate to mark them up - I marked dialogue and narrative that strummed a chord within me and resonated within my heart. A story written as present and in the near future - a world that I could picture forming around us even as these words are spread throughout the world.

Enter the world of Thomas James where reality and dreams mesh, intertwine and dance in a subtle rhythm. A world on the horizon, written with prophetic voice and vivid imagery. Meet a boy with unlikely beginnings and a Calling that overwhelms him. As events unfold, he is faced with a life of painful circumstances and mystery - but one day the truth overtakes him so that he can be a voice of freedom and of healing to those around him.

"It's just part of another chapter that has to be read so all will know to stand tall in the face of adversity." "...His life is beyond his control. He cannot choose the things that happen to him. He can only choose how he reacts....He is standing where others refuse to stand. He stands in faith. He will not fear what might happen if he does the very thing that can save them all."

Meet Jacob Israel, an up and coming rival of Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti (my two top favorite authors of suspense and adrenaline-reading) - not to mention, a book that I agree could be placed in a genre with The Shack. Jacob clearly knows the face of suffering...and finding the face of truth. And now it's Thomas James' turn...come and take the journey with him and experience The Calling...Your Calling.
The Calling By Jacob Israel
Review by: Christine Shoup
Book Reviewer.

.... "The Calling, by Jacob Israel, is a thought-provoking novel that will have theologians, philosophers, literary academics and book clubs scrambling for copies and arranging for lectures by the author. The story is fantastically complex if you are willing to see beyond the written word. It ultimately delivers a simple message of strength, faith, love and humanity. Protagonist Thomas James is a young man, seemingly, just like any other. He suffers from nightmares, has trouble fitting in at school and has a beloved hooded sweatshirt. He learns early on that the world is a fickle place. Throughout it all, Thomas has a keen sense of who he is - even in the face of adversity. He intelligently questions his peers, life, faith, teachers, priest and future. The truth in his answer was something he never expected.
....The Calling truly moved me. It touched my sense of humanity and stoked my empathy. I found a piece of myself on those pages that I lost a decade ago which was unexpected but welcome. Jacob Israel is not just a great writer but also a great storyteller. There is a distinction to be made and this book illustrates it perfectly. One moment really stood out for me: - "Humanity must wake from this nightmare if there is ever to be hope for the future." I found it to be a prophetically true and timely sentiment given today's chaotic global environment. Whether you are religious, experiencing a crisis of faith, an atheist or simply open to testing your own humanity, this book will ultimately strike a deeply personal chord with you. The truth will change you too."

The Calling is one of the best books I have read. Jacob Israel has written a masterful story that rings with truth and awakens the truth within us that we are more than flesh. "A Masterpiece!"
SFrevu - Intelligent reviews for Intelligent Readers
Review by Dr. Randy Radic

.... I have to confess that I read The Calling as a horror story, with just a sprinkle of saintliness here and there, which really gave me the chills. Which speaks volumes for Jacob Israel’s writing skills. He doesn’t let his story spiral out of control and descend into the sucking morass of Gothic overkill, ala Lovecraft. Instead, he deftly molds the elements of the story, building tension, ala Bram Stoker.
....Jacob Israel has spun this filament of pure, white light through the darkness. And it really grips the reader. After I finished the book, I was informed that there’s a lot of allegory in The Calling. And when I thought about it (after being enlightened), I realized that The Calling could be read that way. My only excuse for not seeing it is that I was too engrossed in reading a darned good horror story.
.... If you choose to read it allegorically, that’s fine. Or if, like me, you read it as ‘just’ a horror story, that’s fine too. But either way, I doubt – like doubting Thomas in the Bible – you’ll be able to put it down. It’s a real, old-fashioned page-turner. And in today’s world, that’s hard to come by.
.... So to paraphrase the little boy in the television commercial, “Buy it. You’ll like it.”

The Calling - A Voice In The Dead Woods is one of the best books I can remember reading. It ranks up there with The Shack. My wife, Margit said that she liked it more. Once I was able to settle down long enough to really get into the book, I was riveted to it, and went back every chance I had after other things pulled me away from it.
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

This book, "The Calling" really drew me by its description and I was exited to have the chance to read it. I dove right in and was caught right away by the complexity of it all... The ins and outs of how people connect in this book are amazing, don't assume that any character in this book is there for just a moment, they all have a reason for being there (just like us). The last 2 pages in this book are worth the price of admission. This book will make you think!
Reach Out Book Review: Gary Scarano

The book, "The Calling", by Jacob Israel is a riveting story, within a parable. It is an involved narrative that has the reader looking beyond what the author has written. I found myself driven, page-after-page, to find out who is this Thomas James? Mysterious characters in the book tell us "The truth will rise." And Thomas writes "…What will happen when the truth is poured out on a world that is deceived?' This question is answered in stark reality. Jacob Israel is an excellent storyteller that keeps his audience captivated. I was pleasantly surprised to see, at the end of the book, that he leaves room for more adventures with Thomas. Due to Jacob's talent as a writer, I expect we will be reading more from him and l look forward to that event!

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Review by: Layla Hicks

“But like ignorant sheep, they are not aware…” ~Jacob Israel --- At a time when our purposes are at the forefront of our minds and the universe is at hand, Jacob Israel has shared his revelation with us in such a way that when you’ve finished his book, that revelation can be found within our own selves.The soul has many secrets that are meant to be unlocked and Jacob Israel has allowed a means for his readers to release the chains of torment, suffering, struggle and loss.

Every reader will relate to the afflictions suffered by Thomas James in some way and every reader will be rewarded with the truth and wisdom that can be found inside themselves.You’ll feel like you’re walking with Thomas James in his journey and make no mistake: it will leave your heart hurting, pounding, rejoicing and healing. This book is well-read and well-written. You will find yourself consumed with inspiration by this riveting masterpiece.Much more than a leisure book; The Calling has the ingredients to not only satisfy the most avid reader but you will be intrigued while you’re reading it, empowered by its truth, and craving more when you’re finished.

“…when you finally wake up and see the light, there is beauty and much of it.” ~Jacob Israel
LIGHT OF TRUTH Supernatural Fiction: Lynn Rush

Jacob Israel tells a great story in The Calling. It’s thought provoking and challenging, especially to those who struggle with the question: Why is there suffering in the world?... The Calling takes you on a scary, heart-wrenching ride to an unexpected ending. But, Jacob Israel does a great job showing that God has a plan, though we may not understand it, all will be well if we trust that plan."
JesusReligion.Com Book Review: LC Duplatt

The Calling by Jacob Israel is a thrilling, but enlightening adventure that takes one ultimately on a journey in pursuit of spiritual truth. Through clever story telling, Jacob Israel allows the reader to contemplate traditional, religious dogma while sharing a higher message and purpose to life. The Calling is a greatly rewarding read.
LC Duplatt
The Goodseed Book Review: Mary Kroeger

A book that keeps you spell bound to the very end! In this exciting drama the author has cleverly placed an allegory - a wake-up call for Christians to leave their religious imaginations and receive the true nourishment that can only be found in the truth that Christ is! A challenging book for group discussion! Mary Kroeger
Review by: Trinity Tate
Tate Publishing

"What takes place in the town of Bethel is awe inspiring and incredibly moving. I personally think that this is one of the best mixtures of fantasy, biblical accuracy, and allegory that I have read in quite some time. Flawless concept and Masterfully Written!"