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The God Portal Kindle Edition
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
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Judging this book by its cover, I expected The God Portal to be something more abstract than a high tech way to visit first century Palestine. (I expected something more along the lines of Building God.) But once you get past the technical wizardry, The God Portal is basically a book about Christianity.
Despite not being what I expected, I thought this was a pretty good book.
The character development is its best feature. I say that despite the fact that I found some of the dialog fairly insipid: it's Brady Bunch deja vu in several places. And all the talk about fellowship will bring back memories of church camp and prayer meetings, if you ever attended either of those. It's not hard to believe that Mr. Ferguson has been a pastor.
My only other comment about the dialog is that a little actual profanity would have added some believable spice - as opposed to referring to a character "using profanity" or "cursing."
Overall the characters are developed well, their interaction seems believable and the dialog plausible (insipid parts aside). This is especially so in the case of Lyle, the atheist particle physicist who has a literal come-to-Jesus moment.
The plotting was also very well done, I think. The story kept my interest and I wasn't quite sure what was going to happen until the end. I had some strong suspicions (which turned out to be mostly correct) but I don't think the author telegraphed the details or the story's ending.
The speculative technology and the picture of the business developing it were reasonably plausible.
The pacing is a little slower than I usually like which I think is due to the author's focus on character development. But even granting some added time for character development, the pacing was still a little too slow in places.
I found the author's style enjoyable to read and the editing was pretty good.
Overall, an entertaining speculative novel which is a mix of (a) historical fiction, (b) science fiction, and (c) Christian apologetics.
The only thing I take issue with, and wish I could share with the publisher, are the typos that always derail me for a bit.
Examples include "sowing" for "sewing" (as in, a machine to make their 1st century garb), is it AntoniA or AntoniO, since both appear in the same paragraph, and the latest one that caused me to leave off reading in order to post this--"wreaked" instead of "reeked" as in, what was on the good professor's tunic when they found him. Doesn't anyone proofread these days?
Apart from that, the story itself kept me up late and I will finish today, on the Sabbath, which is a particular interest and pleasure to read and learn more about from those times. Time travel has always intrigued me, and what better destination than to seek out Jesus Himself?
I initially wrote this review before getting to the best part. Have tissue ready--it's profoundly moving, uplifting...thank you, Jesus.
Warren travels to the time of Jesus hoping to find Jesus and receive a healing. He gets lost and several people come back to rescue him.
The characters are well developed and interesting - and I found myself caring for them. I loved the description of the area of Israel they visited. It was a skillful blend of historical fiction and plot.
Without being heavy-handed, the author was able to give the Gospel message.
The plot twists kept me turning pages and each time I felt that the characters were safe, a new challenge emerged.
One of the characters brought bartering items with him to the past - the items chosen did not make sense. I suspect more realistic items could have been selected, the ones brought would have been anachronistic for the time period and would have caused problems.
Still, the story is well worth reading.