Retribution: City of God Series.
ISBN: 0310247071 $12.99 US $19.99 CDN
Retribution City of God Series is Randall Ingermanson's third historical fiction in his time travel series.
As a result of a bungled physics experiment, Israeli scientist Ari Kazan and his wife Rivka, find themselves back in time during the era of the Jerusalem Church, 57 A.D.
Jerusalem is seething with a great deal of tension, wherein on the one hand you have the harsh treatment of the Jews at the hands of Imperial Rome, and on the other hand you have the debate between the followers of Jesus (referred to as Rabban Yeshua) and those who have rejected him. It is within this context, that Ingermanson focuses his novel.
In addition, Rivka, who is quite knowledgeable in matters of Hebrew history, particularly the writings of the renowned Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, has the uncanny talent of predicting the future. Unfortunately, this has not endeared her to many of her neighbors, who refer to her as a "seer" woman. Moreover, Marcus Julius Agrippa, also called Herod Agirppa II, last Jewish scion of the Herod family and his sister, Berenike, are not very enchanted with Rivka's clairvoyant abilities, often leading to some uncomfortable encounters.
Ari, whose father was murdered by Christian Arabs, clings to the belief that it was Jesus who was responsible for the blood curse and all the bloodshed suffered by the Jews throughout the centuries. On the other hand, Rivka cannot forgive those who passed judgment on Jesus, particularly Hanan ben Hanan, who had presided at the trial of Jesus and was also responsible, in his capacity of high priest, in the execution of James, brother of Jesus.
Throughout the book, Ingermanson moves with ease from the larger to the smaller picture, the personal conflicts between Ari and Rivka, and the wider issue if Ari should use his scientific knowledge to help Jewish zealots rise up against Rome.
Personally, I felt the book, consciously or not, was advocating the philosophy of the Jews for Jesus movement. I also felt that there should have been more reference as to why many of the Jewish population rejected Jesus. It should be borne in mind that it was the belief of a large segment of the Jewish population that the coming of the Messiah would be marked by a series of events as: the gathering of exiles, the return of the Davidic King, and the reconstruction of the temple. As none of these events occurred during the lifetime of Jesus, it is little wonder why many of the Jewish elders could not accept him as the Messiah.
However, no doubt a great deal of the information Ingermanson presents is fascinating stuff, and is certainly a reflection of his twenty years he has devoted to researching the topic. The end result is a captivating snapshot of an era that is not widely written about or known. I must also add that a welcome and helpful added feature of the book is the list and brief descriptions of the principal characters mentioned throughout the story. Without this list, I surely would have been lost!
Norm Goldman, Reviewer
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|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2004|
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