If you are looking for a Christian version of the Indiana Jones or National Treasure plots, then you should definitely pick up a copy of Don Hoesel’s book, Serpent of Moses.
This sequel to Elisha’s Bones takes the reader on a hunt for Nehushtan, the brass snake that the Israelites had to look to if they were bitten by the snakes in the desert. Long since destroyed by King Hezekiah after the people began to worship the pole, Nehushtan has become a biblical mystery for many – one that biblical archaeologist Jack Hawthorne wants to solve.
Once again drawn in by adventure, Hawthorne sets out for Libya to find the artifact and claim the money for his own. But the Israeli government, an angry Egyptian, and a vengeful Englishman stand in the way of his goals, causing him to reflect on the importance of people’s lives versus an ancient artifact. When the love of his life comes looking for him with her brother, Hawthorne finds himself willing to lose what he came to find in order to gain something more – the love of a godly woman.
If you enjoy adventure, then you will enjoy this book from Hoesel. However, the plot was quite predictable from one scene to the other. I also did not enjoy the fact that Hoesel is portraying this as Christian fiction, yet he does nothing to point the reader to Christ. In fact, he seems to take liberty with some biblical facts that I felt were out of step with Scripture. The artifact seems to be just another “treasure,” instead of a key piece of Israeli history that shows us the sovereignty of God and the ability of man to abuse His blessings and mercy.
While I enjoyed reading this book, I would have to say that it is not high on my list of must-reads. And I will probably not be looking for more books by this author. Even though I have not read the first book, I easily pieced the plot together to know the players in this second novel. If anything, this book reminded me that I am eager for the next National Treasure movie to come out!
I found that the only difference from this book and the Indiana Jones and National Treasure plots was that this was just a cleaned-up version of those adventures. I see potential in this author, but I wish he would have thought out of the box a bit more and encouraged more faith in God.
*These opinions are my own. Bethany House Publishers sent me a free copy of this book for my unbiased review.