Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review: The 13th Tribe, by Robert Lipuralo


The "immortals" are a group of Israelites who were knocked unconscious, but not killed, by the appearance of God's glory after the Israelites rebelled against God when they worshipped the golden calf at Mt. Sinai. Because of their sin, they are condemned to live forever on earth, never aging, never dying (unless their head is severed from their body). Through the "favors" that they have done for governments through the centuries, they have access to the highest places of power and to the most advanced weapons and technology systems in the world. They have determined that, like Phinehas in Numbers 25, their forgiveness and salvation lies in avenging evil. To that end, they have planned a massive attack on a place and people that they have determined are evil.

There is a certain appeal in vigilanteism when an obvious wrong has been committed and the authorities seem to do nothing. The problem, of course, is that vigilantes have set themselves up as jury, judge, and executioner without accountability for their decisions and actions — they have set themselves up as God. Thus, when I began reading the book, I rebelled against what appeared to be its premise — that the "immortals" were acting on God's behalf. Vigilanteism also almost always includes collateral damage that most find unacceptable. Both issues are dealt with in "The 13th Tribe."

Suspend any sense of reality and enjoy this book like any other action novel. Liparulo tosses in some real surprises. There is plenty of action; there is plenty to stir emotions. I'm not competent or confident enough to judge character or plot development, though Beth's forgiveness of Jagger is weak as she demonstrates no internal conflict in forgiving. The one glaring mistake is a biblical one — God did not, as Liparulo states, punish the Israelites to wander and die in the desert because of the golden calf incident but because of their refusal to trust God's ability to give them the Promised Land.

One interesting twist is how Liparulo deals with what might happen if a person were to be immortal. In the last part of the book, the immortals explain to Beth and Jagger that ... well, read the book.

This is Christian fiction and the theme of works-based versus faith-based salvation is woven throughout the whole story. It seems that Liparulo's goal is to make the reader think rather than to provide a pat answer.

This book is unlikely to become a classic but it was fun to read and it did make me think. Definitely worth reading. I read the Kindle edition of the book and it was formatted very nicely and easy to read. The book is set to be released on 3 April 2012.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
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