Book Review: Pompeii: City on Fire

3 Jun

A city shadowed by a roiling volcano
A young politician running from his destiny
A Jewish slave girl with a desperate plan
Are any of them safe from harm?

Pleasure-seeking Romans find the seaside town of Pompeii the perfect getaway. But when the rich patrician Cato escapes Rome, intent on a life of leisure, he is unprepared for the hostility he encounters. In the same place, but at the opposite end of society, Ariella has disguised herself as a young boy to be sold into a gladiator troupe. Survival is her only ambition.
But evil creeps through the streets of Pompeii, and neither Ariella’s secret nor Cato’s evasion is immune to it. Political corruption, religious persecution, and family peril threaten to destroy them, even before an ominous mountain in the distance spews its fire.

As Vesuvius churns with deadly intent, Cato and Ariella must bridge their differences to save the lives of those they love—before fiery ash buries Pompeii, turning the city into a lost world.


To find out more about this book or the author, please click HERE.


My Impressions:

I am a little late getting this review done.  It was supposed to be posted on June 1 as part of the First Wild Card Tour, but I had trouble getting into this book.  It seemed like every time the characters made some headway, the story got bogged down.  They were frustrated; I was frustrated.  And then  . . . it all started coming together.  Let me explain  . . .

Cato has come to Pompeii to start over.  Thwarted in his political career, he is determined to begin life anew as a vineyard owner and shop keeper.  Arielle is a fugitive slave that escaped from a depraved master into the world of gladiators. Disguised as a boy, Ari, as she is now known, dreams of winning the acclaim of the arena and thus her freedom.  But others have plans for them, including God. And that is what kept them and me from making any headway.  Determined to make it on their own and in their own strength, Cato and Ari would achieve success only to fail miserably.  The threads of their stories kept being cut, forcing them and me to rethink what was going on.  Then they finally began to hear the voice of God and their stories really took off.

Isn’t that how it is with us — we try and try and try again and wonder why we just can’t make any progress.  It is not until we surrender everything that God takes over and we see, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the story.  Cato and Ari finally relinquished their control and let God have His say and will done.  The last third of the book I just couldn’t put it down!  I liked the characters and hated to see their plans stopped at every turn.  But when God took over — wow, what a story.

Not to give away too much, the last chapter visits the minor characters of the book and their final minutes in Pompeii.  The attitudes expressed are not so much different than those found today.  Amid the excess and depravity of society you find devoted believers, clueless businessmen, and defiant sinners.  Sounds a lot like today.  And in Pompeii:  City on Fire, you may just see your neighbor, your co-worker or yourself.



(I received Pompeii:  City on Fire through the First Wild Card tour and the author in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: Pompeii: City on Fire”

  1. lisa June 5, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    The cover looks really amazing(:

    Make sure to check out my 50 Follower Giveaway!:D


  1. First Wild Card Tour: Pompeii: City on Fire « BY THE BOOK - June 3, 2011

    […] HERE for my […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: