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SHADOW of the MOUNTAIN EXODUS by Cliff Graham REVIEWED

Shadow of the Mountain - Exodus
By Cliff Graham
Published by Bethany House
ISBN#978-0-7642-1478
302 Page

Back Cover: Caleb and Joshua Roar to Life in this High-Impact Old Testament Saga,Two men were brave enough to tell the truth about what awaited the Hebrews in Canaan. This is their story. From the slave pits of Egypt to the efforts of an eighty-five-year-old Caleb as he drives out the last of the giants, Shadow of the Mountain is a vivid portrait of two of God's chosen champions, and a meditation on masculine mentorship and the challenges and blessings of growing older.

For the sake of his new God and his loyalty to his friend Joshua, Caleb will not spend his twilight years resting, but taking the battle to the enemies of God's people until his dying breath. From his early days as a mercenary for Pharaoh in Egypt watching the Hebrews suffer under the yoke of slavery, all the way through a desperate fight with giants in the dark forests of the hill country, this is a story filled with epic battles, gritty intensity, and supernatural events that made Graham's Lion of War series a hit. Shadow of the Mountain is sure to ignite a love for the Old Testament in popular culture.

REVIEW: Exodus is the first novel in the Old Testament series that starts off with 85 year old Caleb helping plan an attack against giants. As the men plan and strategize. Caleb’s nephew asks him to tell of his past. He wants him to recount the Exodus and the early days as a mercenary for Pharah in Egypt; where he’s asked to fight with Anakite giants in epic battles, showing readers how gritty, bloody, and intense it was.

The author says in his notes to readers shares that there is very little mentioned about Caleb in the bible. He says about this novel, “I have fictionalized those early years in the extreme. My purpose is not to invent an elaborate backstory because I felt the bible was insufficient; it is to create a way for the reader to encounter the events of exodus as the Egyptians themselves might have known them. I wanted to help the reader be there in the halls of the palace at Memphis when Moses and Aaron stood before the king, and also after they left. What terrors did the Egyptians under go as the Lord held out His arm? What would it be like to be in darkness so complete that you could feel it?”

The author did accomplish his mission. The tale is told in a series of flash backs to his youth as readers experience the event in real time in the past. The author shows Caleb leaving home and heading to Egypt. He’s a gifted carpenter who knew how to fight. Early on he reveals these skills as groups attempt to rob him at the start of his journey. As he’s setting in his new home in Egypt Caleb sees an injustice on the street and jumps in to help a woman survive; after her husbands beheaded. His employer sees Caleb take down the enemy. He says to him, “A man of skills is valuable to me…and being renown more so…if you can join the red scorpions it will be a mark that guarantees a river of gold for us.  Your skills as an artist is already there. If you apply for the Chef designer position as a member of the Red Scorpions, it will be impossible for them to deny it to you, especially with my blessing…”…” I take risks. It is why I am a very wealthy man.”

Caleb soon discovers he’s in the fight of his life on many fronts’ the stakes are high he’s told, “Most who try out for the Red Scorpions die long before they make it in…There is a three year selection process…” The training master named Horem,…is the most ruthless goat you can imagine.”

This story reminded me of the movie Gladiator with Russel Crow. It’s brutal and agenizing with very violent fighting scenes. This author gives readers an up-close and personal look at these events. This is definitely a story told from a man’s point of view. I liked that.
The author had me look at the Exodus event with fresh eyes; he’s a gifted writer and makes the bible come alive. I’m a person that closes their eyes in violent scenes in movies it was kind of hard to do when I was reading the vivid, and challenging to read fighting scenes. I understand the bible is violent and those scenes need to be shown for us to grasp the signs and wonders of bible times. This would make a good book club pick. There is much to talk about. It’s a story I won’t soon forget!

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. 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 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St Laurent                                               
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 
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