Review: Zinovy’s Journey, by Ginny Jaques

Zinovy's Journey cover artZinovy’s Journey, by Ginny Jaques (Millennium Journeys Press, 2011)

When the world ends…
Zinovy’s journey begins.

Zinovy Kozlov was a successful assassin. Then he was running for his life. Now the earth itself has changed and his enemies are dead or out of reach. As he tackles the physical pilgrimage to the one remaining city on the planet, he doesn’t see that he and his companions are on a spiritual journey as well.

Zinovy’s Journey is “a speculative novel in three parts: The End, The Journey, and The Beginning.” It offers a little bit of just about everything: action, intrigue, suspense, a spacewalk, relationships, revenge, philosophy, end times, a whole new world, and surprises at every turn.

Author Ginny Jaques has envisioned a richly wondrous world set during Revelation’s thousand-year reign of Christ, and I’m sure the real thing will be all that and more than we can imagine. Reading about it made me wistful.

The author has chosen to interpret biblical references “as literally as possible in creating the setting, because that approach made an interesting physical backdrop for Zinovy’s journey.”

People have many different expectations about the end times, and if you read this novel checking it against your own understanding you’ll probably find differences. But you’ll also miss the story. Readers who take it as fiction and not doctrine will engage the universal story of human choices on the journey to a relationship with God.

One of the many things I appreciate about the novel is it doesn’t end with Zinovy accepting Christ. That happens in the middle section, and then we get to see his struggles as he learns what his choice means – and what it costs. For a rational man like Zinovy who has always dismissed Bible stories as fables taught by his mother, the path to faith is indeed quite a journey.

I found the pace slower in The Journey section, because there’s a lot of philosophical discussion among the travellers. Readers who enjoy deep thinking will be satisfied, and the characters touch on all the heavy-duty spiritual questions. To the characters, it’s not slow; it’s a necessary part of working through their concerns. And the action never stops, it just happens between conversations. There’s still danger lurking.

The characters came alive to me, especially Zinovy, Sara, and the boy Caleb. The day after finishing the story, I caught myself wondering what was happening in their world now. It was a bit disappointing to remember I couldn’t pick up the book and read more!

Zinovy’s Journey is Ginny Jaques’ first novel, and I really like her writing style. The novel is available through the Zinovy’s Journey website, where you can also view the trailer and read a sample chapter. Those who’ve already finished the book are invited to visit the About the Novel page for background information and deleted scenes. You can also read my interview with author Ginny Jaques.

Author’s Warning: Some scenes in this book contain violence, strong language, and religious ideas.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

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