The Third Dawn Review (Lone Star Book Blog Tour)

Thomas J. Nichols

Inspirational Religious Fiction / Historical Fiction
Publisher: Nicholson Books
Page Count: 212 pages
Publication Date: September 14, 2023
Updated version with new dialogue and more detailed descriptions

Scroll down for a giveaway!

Nichols turns his award-winning writing career to the greatest mystery of all time in The Third Dawn: From Bethlehem to Golgotha.

Accompanied by His lifelong friend, Nur, the young Jesus ventures throughout the towns and villages of Israel, Palestine, and across the sea to the port city of Ephesus. With Nur always at His side, Jesus experiences the joys and hardships of humanity—Jews and gentiles, rich and poor, believers and nonbelievers, freemen and slaves.

Nichols’s gifted storytelling brings forth this unique perspective on the life of the Messiah, providing a rare insight into His personal joys and suffering. The reader will experience the emotions of His power and authority when, on a mountaintop above Capernaum, He pronounces the future, and a spectacular miracle occurs in the city below.

The Third Dawn was initially published in 2011 but is now updated with new dialogue and more detailed settings.

Thomas J. (Tom) Nichols’s law enforcement career ranged from patrol, detective, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Deputy Chief, and Chief of Police. spanning the era of the growth of the Mexican drug cartels and war on drugs. He has written seven novels and three short stories with themes of the border wars, espionage, international intrigue, and the supernatural.

Tom's latest work is The Third Dawn, an inspirational retelling of the early life of Jesus galvanized by his devotion to local and international church affairs. His ideas were brought to life while traveling with Gwen, his wife who also serves as his editor, to experience of the Holy Land—the Church of the Nativity, the Holy Sepulcher, The Annunciation, the Mount of Olives, the River Jordan, Capernaum, Tiberias, the Sea of Galilee, Jericho, and Ephesus.

My Review

The Third Dawn is a retelling of well-known stories from the Bible with new interactions and characters added in. The story largely revolves around Jesus' family: his mother, Mary, his father, Joseph, and the addition of an adopted brother, named Nur. An orphan who enters the story as a young boy traveling with merchants finds a family to help, before continuing on life as Mary and Joseph's adopted son. The young boy travels with the couple as they await the birth of their son, becomes Jesus' brother as he grows, and continues his life supporting his brother and mother. 

There are several moments that are familiar from classic stories, such as the birth of Jesus and the moment in his youth when he was found conversing with elders in a temple. His crucifixion is also featured here, as well as the life of Mary. However, there are several new additions - particularly the interactions and presence of Nur. 

Nur is an interesting and mysterious character. His sudden appearance and ability to communicate with God through messages is strange to those around him, though he is trusted. Although he originally arrives as a sort of servant to have a more stable living situation, he ends up traveling around a lot with his new family. He raises questions to Jesus and provides an interesting sibling dynamic throughout the story. Initially, I was very confused with Nur's appearance and role, but overall I enjoyed what he added. 

This is a book that adds interesting new details to stories that Catholic readers will likely already be familiar with. It is an interesting revisit, but the highlight of the book for me was the newly added sibling relationship. It allowed new angles for the story and new mysterious elements to be added. This is also a very short book by comparison to many others I've read, making it very accessible and a fun break from other, longer books. It isn't overly short, but also doesn't bite off too much. It's a good balance that presents themes of faith and family. I give The Third Dawn a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯✯ stars.

First Prize:
Signed copy of THE THIRD DAWN + $25 Amazon gift card 
Second & Third Prizes: signed copy.
(US only; ends midnight, CST, 11/24/23)


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  1. I like that it's a balanced book that doesn't take on too much -- an easy thing to do, given the topic. Perfect for this Christmas season. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to read my book, and for your kind comments. I greatly appreciate you.


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