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Centurion: Mark's Gospel as a Thriller [Kindle Edition]

Ryan Casey Waller
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

In 2099 the United States is gone. In its place stands the most powerful government the world has ever seen: the Kingdom. Led by King Charles and his Centurion Guard, Americans live in fear of being abducted north in a train marked for death.

Deacon Larsen boarded a train three years ago to travel west, the only region where medicine is still taught. But after the Kingdom abducted his parents, he returned home to the South.

But Deacon hasn’t come home to put his parent’s affairs in order, as stated in his strictly controlled travel visa. No. He’s come back for the only thing he has left: revenge.

But waiting for Deacon are truths he never expected and a decision so impossible he may have to die to make it.

The life Deacon knew is gone. The ones Deacon loves are dead. The truth Deacon craves is out there. But can he find it?

Centurion is an imaginative retelling of Mark’s gospel as a dystopic thriller. It’s the greatest story ever told, as never before told.

Product Description

About the Author

Ryan Casey Waller was born and raised in Texas, and educated at the University of Southern California, Perkins School of Theology at SMU, and Dedman School of Law at SMU. You can find him at or somewhere in the great city of Dallas.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1429 KB
  • Print Length: 191 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615902987
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #586,559 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars intriguing 31 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Was it going to be exact? It was although in a spellbinding way. I couldn't put the book down? Excellant.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  82 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful retelling of the Greatest Story ever told! 3 Mar. 2014
By Guy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Centurion – Mark’s Gospel as a Thriller - by Ryan Casey Waller
Genre: Inspirational Fiction / Thriller
Published 2013
Reviews From A Guy

Centurion by Ryan Waller is exactly what it claims to be, a literal replaying out of the Gospel of Mark as a Thriller set in an apocalyptic world setting of the modern era that bears an uncanny similarity to the Biblical narrative. This book is at least two things. It is masterfully written and it is one of the best books that I have ever read.

With any work of fiction that plays off of a Biblical narrative I have to say that I am wary of it at first. In short I do not want to see the Biblical account given to us by the Holy Spirit corrupted by man, but this is not the case with this book. There is no corruption of the core elements of the greatest story ever told laid down for us to read in the four Gospels of the New Testament. To say this book is a thrilling adventure to read is an understatement. Even though the outcome of the story is known I found that Ryan in his recreation of the events as we know them has transposed them over into a modern setting that has helped me experience all over again the all consuming love of my Savior for me. That is a powerful thing for any author to achieve with a reader of his fictional work in that it transcends the words written on the page and become a living emotion that resonates with the core of another human’s spiritual identity of belief.

If you read this book and I highly recommend that you do I can promise that at least three things will occur. One, you’ve found another great author to invest your hard earned money in as well as a great book to add to your shelf. Two, at some point you will identify with the plight of the main character in some aspect and be moved to tears. Three, you’ll reexamine all over again or perhaps for the first time what the Son of God has both done and made freely available to all of us who draw breath, which is life evermore made possible by His redeeming sacrifice. Read the book and then better yet pick up the Gospel of Mark and see for yourself that the Gospel message wasn’t meant for just one time and place in history, but rather it is a living breathing framework of an amazingly redemptive and restorative story that loses no value even told over into our modern era that has been wonderfully portrayed by Ryan in a neat feat of world building to accurately reflect the symbolism of the Biblical narrative of yesteryear.
My Rating, Five out of Five Stars
• I received a free review copy of Centurion from the author. The author’s generosity, while appreciated did not influence this review.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This Book 6 Feb. 2014
By Jason Russell - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Regardless of your faith, this unique and fictional take on a well-known and well-worn text, makes readers reexamine what we think we know, may never know, and what we would be willing to fight for.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, exciting new take on a familiar story 27 Jan. 2014
By Ann Montgomery - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book and read it in nearly one sitting. Centurion made me grapple with who Christ truly was during his life in such a real, tangible way that I honestly don't think I'd been able to do before. Can't wait to read the sequel.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It has lots of bright moments, but you have to work through the rougher spots 17 Mar. 2014
By Daniel H. Murphy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Waller did a lot very well with this book. The first thing that strikes you is the setting - by setting this in a future America where we have fallen and are conquered by an all-powerful government which does not value us, it really brings home the world of Israel and those of Jewish faith in the time when Jesus came. It was a well done insight that provided depth to my own perspective.

Also, he gets inside the public psyche well. Due to the prophecies in Daniel, the Israelites knew the Messiah was due, but they had widely differing views on who the Messiah would be due to two apparently contradictory sets of prophecies. Jesus neatly explained this with the promise of the second coming, but at the time there must have been a lot of debate and disagreement as Jesus miraculously fulfilled an impossible number of prophecies and yet did not seem to satisfy all of them. Waller highlights the debate and uncertainty as people wrestle with this, in a way the Gospels lightly gloss over. It is well done.

As for the portrayal of Jesus, it is never bad. He lifts almost every interaction and most dialogue directly from scripture and so stays on pretty safe ground. In the later parts of the book, most notably the first couple of days in Jerusalem, he really brings these stories to life. By setting one against another, placing them in the geography of the city and the timeline of Holy Week, and bringing out the cultural and political plots surrounding Jesus's stories and actions, he adds some depth and context that enriches the events of the Gospel. In other places, it's just a rehash of the Gospel story (which isn't a problem. It's the Gospel!) or an awkward or cheesy retelling of the story. Sometimes he tries to create some pathos or monumentality in a Gospel story that doesn't come off. Healing the leper is a place he did pretty well. Jesus having the children come to him was a place it fell flat and made me squirm a bit.

All of this is set against the backdrop of a thriller story. The story itself is well conceived but could be told better. Most of the characters are pretty flat and are reduced to a caricature. Petra starts this way but becomes more robust, the Teacher also develops well, but most others take on the air of soap opera figures, portraying an emotion or an action in reaction to the situation but not having an internal character that drives them through the story. Two characters have a painfully unrealistic love story, the only thing driving them together and holding them their is the author's constant insistence that they are madly in love. Many characters vacillate wildly between emotions from paragraph to paragraph without a sufficient cause in the narrative.

The events themselves can also be jarring, jumping from scene to scene without much connection or development. You just suddenly find yourself in the next vignette. To be fair, this is quite faithful to Mark's writing style, but it still hurts the book when you are trying to tell a narrative. The story did pick up steam toward the end as things came together and I found myself enjoying the last 50 pages more than the ones that came before, so if you push through you'll get to a pretty exciting finish. Even then, the author does more telling than showing, meaning he states what happens and what people are feeling more than creating a narrative where you experience those events and emotions for yourself.

All this is capped by more than a handful of typos and an ending that didn't make sense to me.

In the end, I think it is always worth spending time deepening and widening your knowledge and understanding of the Messiah, and in that sense this book succeeds. It is a great idea and has a solid foundation to build upon. I hope that Waller continues to work and write, he is barking up a great tree and I'm sure every word written will push him forward in his art.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down 26 Jan. 2014
By JBasie - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I picked up this book immediately after finishing Bill O'Reilley's Killing Jesus and couldn't put it down. I loved the unique fictional take on a well known story, especially after recently reading Killing Jesus. The writing is engaging, the characters are deep and the story is fast paced. Waller did a phenomenal job of crafting a unique world with vivid descriptions that grabs hold of the reader's imagination. I'd easily recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Hunger Games and/or Killing Jesus and I can't wait for the next volume.
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