Exciting Biblical Speculative Fiction
Posted August 06, 2013
The Judgment Stone, by Robert Liparulo, is the 2nd book in the Immortal Files series, after The 13th Tribe. It manages to take the thrills, ideas, questions, and energy of the first book and take it up a notch.
Jagger Baird is coming to terms with the fact that he is an immortal. As he and his wife, Beth, and son, Tyler, are beginning to get past the Tribe's attack on them, it all begins to happen again. This time it begins when an archaeologist at the monastery/sacred site where they live discovers a piece of the original 10 Commandments, the ones Moses broke. Touching the Stone lets a person see into the spiritual realm, with angels and demons all around us, and prayers in the form of beams of light showing a person's connection to God. A wonderful discovery and treasure, it is quickly taken by yet another group of immortals, known as the Clan.
Unlike the Tribe, the Clan has no wish to please God, end their lives, and get to Heaven. They want to hurt and grieve God, and the Stone will allow their leader, Bale, a clear view of where he can do the most damage. As the carnage begins, Jagger and Owen try to track the Clan and take back the Judgment (God) Stone.
Interspersed with this story thread is the story of Neveah and the rest of the Tribe as they try to kidnap Beth (again) in order to discover the secret to reconciling with God. They begin an attack on the monastery, causing Beth, Tyler, and the monks to play a deadly game of hide and seek.
The characterization is great, particularly the contrast between Owen and Jagger. Beth and Tyler form a solid spiritual backbone for Jagger to lean on. Bale and the rest of the Clan are vividly described, and radiate pure evil. The yearning for God and not-to-subtle spiritual message is drawn throughout the book.
The plot moves forward rapidly due to the non-stop action and Liparulo's writing style. There are no long, boring paragraphs, and short chapters and jumps in viewpoint keep the reader constantly wanting more.
Liparulo brings the varying stories together in an explosive and exciting finish, with quite a few surprises and revelations along the way. Reminiscent of the classic novel This Present Darkness, The Judgment Stone is well worth reading, and proves even more that Robert Liparulo not only writes great Christian thrillers, but great thrillers in general. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
I received a review copy of this book through Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program in exchange for an honest review.
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