Friday, September 7

The Breakthrough by Jerry B. Jenkins

After Jerry B. Jenkins’ TheBetrayal improved upon the The Brotherhood, I decided to check out this third book.  Following the events in the previous books, Boone Drake needs a vacation.  He lost his first wife and child to a fire, got shot, and then had his new girlfriend accused of leaking classified information.  If that’s not enough to tire a guy out, I don’t know what is.  Boone definitely seems to be on the path towards relaxation, especially now that he is married to Haeley and adopted her son.  But, he’s a cop, and there never seems to be an end to the number of bad guys.

Taking cues from TheBrotherhood, things once again go wrong for Boone, and again his family is caught in the middle.  Only this time boon might actually have a chance at helping.  Just when he feels like he cannot leave Haeley’s side, he becomes aware of a human trafficking ring which forces him to look toward Beijing in a story that at times threatened to become the Christian version of Taken.

As with The Betrayal this book moves at a brisk pace.  Jenkins often cuts back and forth between two different scenes, allowing each to grow together, while causing the suspense to rise while he cuts away from a growing one.  While this was generally effect, there were occasional moments when it seemed overdone and forced.  Still, this fast pace kept me reading.

One of my favorite elements was the characterizations.  Whether Boone or one of the supporting characters, everyone seems to come to life on the page.  I can hear each voice in my head, and imagine what they are doing as I read the story.

However, while I enjoyed The Breakthrough more than The Brotherhood, it did not quite live up to The Betrayal.  Again, it was mildly predictable, but worse it seemed too far-fetched.  Many of the events which happened were extremely hard to believe, especially events which influenced Boone’s travel to China.

Furthermore, I found the ending to be very unsatisfying.  It built toward what I expected to be a large and exciting climax, but instead dropped and ended on a much smaller note.  Several questions were left unanswered without any hints of a sequel.  While not a cliché ending (such as everything being a dream), it still was not satisfying.

If you enjoyed the previous books, you’ll likely enjoy this one.  However, if you’re expecting a taut thriller with lots of twists and turns, this one might feel a little deflated at the end.  What Jenkins lacks in plot material, though, is buoyed a bit by his strong characters.

3/5 stars

I received this book free from Tyndale. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Do you want to win a free copy of The Breakthrough by Jerry B. Jenkins Here's what you have to do:

Post a comment to my post on this contest?  Email me at with the subject line “The Breakthrough.”  In the email body please include your name and the best way to contact you if you win.  If you would like an additional entry, please tweet about the contest and mention me (@jonathonburns) in the tweet and/or blog about the contest and email me the link.*  I will perform a random drawing for the winner.

The deadline for this contest is September 15th, 2012 at 11:59pm Eastern Time. You must be 13 or older to enter and must live within the United States.

This prize comes in the form of a certificate which can be redeemed either at a Christian bookstore or by mailing directly to Tyndale.

* Up to one entry per person, per method of entry each day. (up to 1 email entry, tweet, and blog post per person.  Emailing me the link to a blog link may also be accepted as an email entry if it includes the required information.
**Employees of Tyndale, their relatives, and my relatives cannot participate in this contest.

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