COME AGAIN

Review Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed By Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite

Come Again by Rick Novak opens with a puzzling beginning. The anti-Christ believes that he is the true ambassador of God. He is just biding time, waiting for his reign of power to begin. Raymond Cass owns a very successful ad agency. He pretty much has it all, except his wife died in a hit and run accident a few years back and now his beautiful teenage daughter, Melissa, is dying of leukemia. No amount of money or success can take away his pain or despair. At his breaking point, he cries out to God for mercy, begging for his daughter’s life. God hears and He answers and Hope arrives. Hope is a messenger from God; she represents a new potential client – Jesus Christ. It is time for Ray to honor his promise to God for saving Melissa’s life. Jesus wants Ray to create an ad campaign for His return. A full media blitz for the Second Coming. Ray sells his business, gathers around him a faithful team, and takes on the biggest campaign of his life! However, not everyone is thrilled with the news. Renowned leaders within the church become divided, people riot, the world dives deeper into war and chaos. The stakes are high. The death toll around Ray rises. Anger, fear, free will versus God’s will - all converge at once. The anti-Christ is a force to be reckoned with, an evil and formidable foe. Ray’s relationship with Jesus Christ may very well cost him his life.

Just when I thought I had read everything of interest regarding the Second Coming of Christ, I discovered Rick Novak’s Come Again. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but I was soon drawn in by the characters and the portrayal of Jesus. The character of Jesus Christ is a wonder of wonders. Making it real, not religious, Novak exquisitely displays the personal depth of relationship that a person can have with Christ. Much like the creative thrill and frantic pace that the hero of the narrative enjoys, Novak’s short chapters cause the action to develop quickly and speed across the pages. Innovative and figuratively written, the narrative is full of imaginative and Biblical insights, containing many unforgettable one liners. My favorite: “Once you hang with Jesus, everything else is just noise.” Come Again is far from the normal depiction of the Second Coming. It is a fresh, at times edgy, contemporary version, with a touch of wit, a dab of humor and a whole lot of real. The narrative removes any preconceived religious thinking; it challenges the reader to think way out-of-the-box. It is a thought provoking and fictionally entertaining approach to the return of Christ. Choices, free will and God’s will are the foundation upon which the story is built. Will man truly build his house upon the Rock of Christ or will the sinking sands of adversity devour him? Against all odds, will he deny himself and all others, pick up his cross and truly follow Jesus? This is the dilemma that the hero must face. The narrative proves that the path of Christ is not easy; it is full of choices and struggles - it is a proving ground, a battleground. As the story comes to a conclusion, a standoff between the protagonist and the antagonist is penned, leaving the reader with the proclamation of “God’s will be done.” Amen and amen.


Reviewed By D. Kowalczyk

This is an enjoyable book – a ‘good read’. I found Mr. Novak’s descriptive talents very enticing. . .The premise of the book is an original one, which is refreshing in this era of repetitive, synchronized plots. Read it for pure enjoyment.”

Review Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed By Eric Smith for Readers’ Favorite

Come Again is a novel that represents Rick Novak’s fictionalized vision of the end of the world from a religious viewpoint. When advertising executive Ray Cass needs a miracle, he asks God to save his dying daughter. In exchange, God asks for a favor in return. Jesus is coming back to earth, and God wants Ray to use his marketing expertise to promote His return. So Ray starts a campaign to advertise the second coming of Jesus. Some people are in support of Ray, like Ted Cavanaugh, an assistant to the Archbishop of Chicago, and Scott Darrow, a priest whose mission is to minister to the poor. But there are many who oppose Ray and his religious campaign, and those in opposition include both the non-religious, the extremely religious zealots, and some televangelists. The violence is escalating quickly. Some of the stronger opposition even threaten the life of Ray’s assistant, Gina, and Ray finds himself caught in the crossfire.

Come Again is a really interesting story, especially if you are religious or familiar with the idea of the end of days. But even for those that are not overly religious, this story has broad appeal. It talks about the end of the world and shows the crazy and violent ways people react. I really liked the setting that Rick Novak used for this story. Novak created a vivid world that was very familiar. It felt real and as if all of the actions he described were actually happening. I thought his work on world building was very impressive.

Review Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed By Emily White for Readers’ Favorite

Think about this: your daughter is dying of leukemia and there is little left the doctors can do to save her. So who do you turn to? Would you ask one last favor of a god you don’t really believe in anymore, after the death of your significant other five years ago? And what if God answers with a surprising miracle, only to ask for a favor in exchange. Your child for his. He wants you to help promote the second coming of his son, Jesus Christ. This is the premise that Rick Novak wrote in Come Again. Ray Cass asks for and receives his miracle. But he isn’t prepared for the wave of response he gets for orchestrating the second coming. Some people accept his work. Some think he is a deranged fanatic. As coverage by the media increases, Ray must start defending his work from the zealots who try to scream over his blasphemy. And throughout it all, Ray must decide how much he believes. And who he believes in.

I really enjoyed Come Again. It is a different type of story, but I think it will appeal to a lot of different readers. Even nonreligious readers can appreciate the dilemma that Ray faces as he tries to sort through his emotions as well as the reaction that he receives from the people in his community. The writing is very strong and the characters are sharp. Ray’s internal thinking is clearly set out for us and we get a real sense of the turmoil that he is going through.

Review Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed By Janelle Fila for Readers’ Favorite

Come Again is a religious story about the second coming of Jesus Christ and the end of days confrontation. Rick Novak starts with Ray Cass, a lapsed Catholic who agrees to use his advertising skills to market Jesus’ second coming. The Archbishop of Chicago asks Ray for an audience with Jesus, but when Jesus refuses, the Archbishop labels him the spawn of the devil. Many people think Ray’s promotions are heresy, and threaten to kill his assistant, Gina. Gina’s brother, Joey, runs a small crime family and is able to give some protection to Gina and Ray. But the Archbishop is still against Jesus and gaining power every day. When Ray defies a direct order from Jesus, he realizes that his mistake just might give the Archbishop the leverage he needs to set the stage for the confrontation that could lead to the end of days.

Come Again is Rick Novak’s creative vision of what the world would look like if Jesus returned to it. I was swept up into this story. I found myself rooting for certain characters and silently booing others. The characters felt very realistic to me. Novak did a fine job of putting readers into this world that felt authentic and believable, which isn’t easy to do considering his subject matter. The story was also surprisingly funny. I wasn’t expecting so much witticism or irony within the story, but it was a pleasant surprise that took away from the seriousness of the subject matter and left me with a smile on my face.

Reviewed By Colleen McGlashen

I really enjoyed this book. . .I liked how Novak portrayed Jesus as a man’s man, no nonsense when it comes to business, but kind, loving, humorous, and intelligent at other times. . .Novak also has Ray’s character struggle with daily moral questions with Jesus, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed.”

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