Hi! Welcome to my latest review! Since I have been on a crazy reading kick lately (ignoring the fact that I am on the brink of two solid years of school), I just finished Tim LaHaye and Bob Phillip’s The Secret on Ararat which is the second installment in the Babylon Rising series. This is an interesting series to me. I received the first one for Christmas several years back from my brother, and it was not until recently that I found (ok, actively searched for) the next book in the series as I began cleaning out my bookshelves.
Title: The Secret on Ararat
Author: Tim LaHaye and Bob Phillips
Release Date: August 31, 2004
Publisher: Bantam Dell
Genre: Speculative Fiction, Christian
Length: 384 pages
Status: Series (2/4)
Sum It Up (from Amazon)
Tim LaHaye, creator of the phenomenally successful Left Behind® books, continues his newest top-ten New York Times bestselling series: Babylon Rising. The heroic Michael Murphy—“cool, brainy, sexy, and valiant”*—hurtles into his second whirlwind adventure in pursuit of Biblical artifacts.
In Babylon Rising Tim LaHaye began an adventure series that he calls even more exciting than his 50-million-plus-copy bestselling Left Behind series. Readers agreed, as the novel debuted as a top-ten New York Times bestseller.
Now, in the second Babylon Rising novel, Biblical scholar, archaeologist, professor, and hero for our times Michael Murphy is in pursuit of one of the most mysterious and sought-after of all Biblical artifacts, Noah’s Ark. As Murphy undertakes his death-defying quest to ascend Mount Ararat, he will discover dramatic revelations of Biblical prophecies and be drawn even closer to the most terrifying evil about to be unleashed on all mankind.
With The Secret on Ararat following close on the heels of Glorious Appearing, the fastest-selling Left Behind novel ever, Tim LaHaye will further prove to be one of the most fascinating and popular storytellers of our time.
Let’s Review, Shall We?
As the quote above mentions, LaHaye is well-known for his Left Behind Series. I read a lot of those books (the kid version) when I was younger, and I liked them. But, I do not believe I ever finished the series. I am unfamiliar with Phillips’s work, but together they deliver an interesting novel. I reread Babylon Rising before jumping back into the series just to make sure I was on the same page.
(Haha get it?)
Anyway, I felt a vast range of emotions, and believed Michael Murphy, the protagonist, paralleled Indiana Jones in many ways. That was a bonus for me. Come on. I love the old Indiana Jones movies. Who doesn’t?!
Anyway, in the first novel, poor Professor Murphy, who teaches a Biblical Archaeology class, begins to do even more of his own research on Biblical artifacts when his maniacal beneficiary charges him with the task to solve a life-threatening riddle in order to procure a priceless artifact. This is not the first time we see Methuselah, and I assume that it most definitely will not be the last. All we know is he is slightly crazed and thoroughly enjoys playing with Murphy’s life as though he were merely a game piece in his mad sport. He is also not above trying to drown two helpless German shepherd puppies. I mean, seriously? What is wrong with this guy? I mean, look at these two faces! (Bolt [left] is my sister’s family dog, and any of you who follow my blog have seen Linus [right] before!)
It has got to take someone seriously deranged to do such a thing. Luckily, Murphy rescues the pups, and they get a good home with his research assistant, Sheri, who has a world of problems all her own.
***Spoilers ahead for Babylon Rising (the first installment in the series):
By the end of Babylon Rising, we see that Sheri’s brother, wrapped up with our cultish antagonists, was murdered during the bombing of Murphy’s local church by the henchman, Talon, a deranged murderer with a razorblade built into his hand. Later, Talon killed Murphy’s wife, Laura, heightening the grudge between them. Now both are after the other’s blood. Additionally, Sheri’s boyfriend, Paul, gets wrapped up unwittingly with the antagonists through the corrupt media tycoon and businessman, Shane Barrington, who acts as a type of mentor to him, getting closer to Murphy in the process.
Back to Methuselah. After Murphy had rescued the pups in the first chapter of The Secret on Ararat, he gains the prize from Methuselah—a piece of wood. Oh, but not just any wood! It is a piece of the mysterious Noah’s ark! This leads to the intense search for the Ark on Ararat as Murphy leads a team of experts through dangerous terrain, even bringing on a familiar face—Isis McDonald.
Isis, though a generally likeable character, poses a problem for the readers and for Murphy. He is drawn to her. We, the readers, begin to sense this in the end of the first novel despite the fact that Laura had just passed away. Granted, Murphy grieves, and it is shown that he is hurting and missing her like crazy, but he is still inexplicably drawn to the fiery Isis—an intellectually eccentric, Scottish beauty.
For me, this is difficult. Isis and Murphy definitely have a chemistry, but I feel as though it is too soon after Laura’s death, especially when Murphy and Laura were so close. He fights these feelings, which I respect. I think that I have trouble with this primarily because I prize loyalty, and the fact that he begins to move on so quickly, even if it is involuntary, seems like a type of betrayal. In fact, Murphy himself thinks over these things as well. But, I am a stubborn INFJ, and I do not want him to move on! Sigh. (For more about the Myers-Briggs type indicator click here.) (For more on the INFJ personality, visit my Pinterest page here.)
Anywho, I liked this novel. It was exciting, and though it served as a catalyst book, the platform was filled with the desired adventure, mystery, and danger. Some characters do not survive this novel, just as in the previous book, leaving you shocked and enraged, eager for the next installment to see how LaHaye and Phillips will simultaneously justify and rectify their actions.
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars
Photo of Bolt courtesy of Carlye Hood, 2017.