Book Review: “Wilderness Rising” by A. L. Shields

April 27, 2015 at 6:12 am | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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A. L. Shields in his new book, “Wilderness Rising book coverWilderness Rising” Book Two in The Church Builder series published by Thomas Nelson continues the adventure with Bethany Barclay.

From the back cover: It began as a search for the truth about her best friend’s death. Now Bethany Barclay is caught in the ultimate struggle to keep faith alive.

The Wilderness, an ancient cabal bent on destroying Christianity, has murdered Bethany’s best friend, framed her for acts of terrorism, and captured the brilliant teen hacker she vowed to protect. To ransom the girl, Bethany must traverse England and Europe to find the Pilate Stone—a mysterious first-century artifact that might not even exist.

She’s not the only one who wants the stone. The Garden, a powerful group of intellectuals sworn to save the Church and help Bethany, is willing to betray her to achieve their higher goals. And a mysterious third faction lurks in the shadows, waiting for her to stumble.

Alone and on the run in this international landscape of double and triple agents, Bethany’s quest becomes an ever more complex and dangerous contest against players who don’t play fair.

In this riveting sequel to The Church Builder, many of A. L. Shield’s cunning characters are ruthlessly devoted to preserving a world where faith is possible. Others aim to brutally, and finally, undermine belief.

Including Bethany’s.

Pontius Pilate, possibly, wrote his thoughts about Jesus, onto a piece of stone. Supposedly the ‘Pilate Stone’ had been hidden for centuries. Both The Garden and The Wilderness want that stone and Bethany is the pawn that they are forcing to get it for them. Not only is her life in danger but the life of her friend if she fails. Now she is on the run from law agencies, as they believe she is a terrorist, as she hunts across Europe trying to unearth an artifact that may not exist. “Wilderness Rising” is a thriller, which simply means that Bethany is in grave danger from, practically, the beginning.  Mr. Shields has given us a really complex mystery that will keep you up late at night reading as fast as you can. “Wilderness Rising” is full of twists and turns, with a few red herrings thrown in just to cause confusion.  Bethany is a warm and likable character and we root for her to succeed as we fear for her life. This is an exciting book, extremely well paced and suspenseful.  I am so looking forward to the next book in this series.

You can find “Wilderness Rising” at a discount at

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson through the® <> book review bloggers program. .   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.”


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