Author: Robert Liparulo
From Goodreads: "Immortals from the time of Moses roam the earth on a quest for justice . . . and heaven.
One man stands in their way.
In 1476 BC, the Israelites turned their backs on the One True God by worshipping a golden calf. For their transgression, forty were cursed to walk the earth forever. Banished from their people, they formed their own tribe, The 13th Tribe.
Now, three and a half millennia later, the remnant of this Tribe continues to seek redemption through vigilante justice-goaded by dark forces in the spiritual realm. They are planning a bold strike modeled on the Israelites' conquest of Canaan: the complete destruction of a major city-only now, they possess the horrific technology of modern weapons to ensure their success.
Jagger Baird is a husband and father…and security guard of an archaeological dig at the base of Mount Siani. Jagger suddenly finds himself in a fight for the future as he discovers the Tribe's plans. But towin this fight, he must overcome his own struggles with faith and self-worth - as well as his anger at God for a past tragedy.
This taut thriller by acclaimed novelist Robert Liparulo fuses tomorrow's technology with faith and non-stop action for a supernatural suspense novel unlike any other."
My Opinion: This book was a blend of a lot of the things that I love to read about: archaeology, fantasy, religion and thriller. The premise was awesome: How did God punish the people who were made to wander the desert and not enter the Promised Land after growing impatient with God when Moses went up the mountain to receive the ten commandments? Was that it, or was there more? What if he made them immortal so they could never enter heaven and be by his side? How would they react? What would they do? Robert Liparulo took this premise and ran with it!
Of the 40 immortals, only a handful remain together thousands of years later, and are known as The Tribe. They believe that after they have killed enough sinners, they will have earned the right to die and ascend to heaven. But therein lies the theological conundrum: The Bible clearly states in the New Testament that grace is freely given and freely received, and that you just have to accept it to be assured of your place in heaven. It goes on to say that you cannot earn your way through deeds, which is what The Tribe is trying to do. But what other choice do they have? Praying for forgiveness hasn't gotten them anywhere, so they believe this is the only other option for them. But what happens if that goes too far and the innocent start to suffer as well? Being a Christian, I absolutely loved all of the theological discussions in this book! For every question it posed, it gave a viewpoint for both sides of the argument, and only when you see both sides do you begin to understand it.
I loved the characters in the book, too. Jagger, with his Robohand and his anger towards God after his best friend and his family were killed when they were hit by a drunk driver. Beth, whose trust in God never wavers, whose love and devotion to Jagger is the stuff that romances are made of. Tyler, their precocious son, who is teaching Jagger what it means to forgive God and find your way back into His grace. Owen, the doctor who they befriend after tragedy strikes, but who has a pretty big secret of his own. And then there's The Tribe, all of whom we get to know through the course of the book, who truly believe in what they are doing.
This book has everything I mentioned before, and more! And don't even get me started on the awesome twist at the end of the book! I can definitely say that I will be reading the rest of the books in the Immortal Files series, and I can recommend it wholeheartedly to others who love a good theological discussion, with action, romance, danger, and yes, immortality all thrown in as well. :D