Risen, by Angela Hunt, is a beautiful telling of the questions, fears, and beliefs that came after Christ’s crucifixion. What makes it so unique is that the story is told from two conflicting first-person perspectives: Clavius, a Roman Tribune, and a Jewish widow, Rachel.
I am looking forward to seeing Risen, the motion picture, when it is released. As I read/listened, I couldn’t help but imagine it on the screen. Especially after recently re-watching Mel Gibson’s, The Passion of Christ. Risen takes up where Gibson’s movie leaves us—with those people in search of tangible answers, and those who witness the risen Christ.
Clavius investigates the disappearance of Jesus’ body after his crucifixion, and furthermore, the rumors of him rising from the dead. His regimented personality lifts off the page, and his determination as an unbeliever is both felt and understood.
I held up my hand, silencing my overeager beneficiarii, and looked at the unmoving body on the center stake. “The Nazarene—obviously dead.” (Clavius, excerpt)
Though the story seems to focus more on the strong-willed Roman’s quest for the truth, I was especially drawn in by simple and tender Rachel, the Jewish bread maker, and her views of the world.
I saw him on the road—he fell right in front of me. He looked at me, and though I do not know much about such things, I do not understand how a rabbi can end up on an execution stake. I followed him to the place of the skull, but left when he sent his mother away. (Rachel, excerpt)
Audio Narration: Risen is told in first person, by two different narrators: P.J. Ochlan (Clavius and other voices) and Alana Kerr (Rachel.) Both of these narrators do a fine job of narrating this epic story. Their inflection is clear, concise, authoritative, and expressive.
Audio Production Quality: The production quality of this audio book is clear, with no distracting background music, static, or skips.
Overall Opinion: This is a powerful, compelling story told from unique yet just as potent perspectives. It leaves me moved, satisfied, and changed. In some areas, the narration is very detailed and lost my attention, (especially near the beginning) which is why I rate it 4 stars rather than 5. The writing is filled with rich history (infused with imagination.)
Audio Length: 8:20 hours
Pages (printed length): 320
I received a Review Copy from christianaudio. I was not required to write a positive review, and the options I have expressed are my own.