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Immaculate Inception (Judas Christ Book 1) Kindle Edition
"Killman Creek" by Rachel Caine
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This is a glorious, mad tour of the Judeo/Christian/Islamic belief systems, with a healthy seasoning of many other religions alive or passed into history. Eschatological students will have pleasant fits as they explore every nook and cranny of this devious epic. The audacity of the concept is purely brilliant.
It matters little that we have no explanatory mechanism for Judas vanishing from the first Century C.E. and appearing two thousand years later, literally out of thin air. We, the reader, buy into the process so easily. I truly do not know when my suspension of belief kicked in.
The knife edge that author Simmons walks between the sacred and the sacrilegious, piety and profane; the absolute reverence he emanates while discoursing heretical thoughts, displays not simple writing talent, but a mastery of the knowledge of three deep and complex belief systems. Then he spices it all with the fringe believers and his own personal vision of cosmology. This is a crazy good book.
There are these odd little lessons on self-will and determination along with subtle explanations of chaos and order. The books description of the cosmos coupled with Jesus talk about “control” could be expanded into a class for all seminary students. Political and military leaders could do with a dose of this as well.
All the while there are these magnificent puns and plays on words that I pray others will catch. I also fear that I missed others given. The writing is devilish.
Readers will be stirred by this work. Some will be stirred up. They will seek to argue and defend their particular conservative views and make a big deal out of why it is not accurate. They will make such a fuss and never once recall the words “doth protest too much.”
Some will be stirred to thoughtfulness. “What if?” they will ask themselves. What if there is a grain of truth to this story. Not literal truth, but an inner truth. What is the last thing I said to my loved ones? What is my life now and what could it be? Is there something more important to my existence? Can I be a better person?
Hopefully some will be stirred to action. What if the three major religions found common ground? How can this occur? How can tolerance grow? How can I nurture peace on the planet?
Of course some will just say, “Wow! What a way cool book!”
That is what I said upon reading the final lines.
In the end the book is about humanity and the future. The story is told through elements of fantasy, science fiction, horror and mythology. The characters strive to fulfill or improve their destinies. The world is in peril. Deep, scary, book of Revelation, Armageddon peril.
This is a controversial book. It is also an extremely valuable book. Some have compared Judas Christ to “The Da Vinci Code”. That is an apt comparison in many ways. This book transcends that one. It is better in many ways. Better written, better researched, better executed, and it is respectful of others beliefs while questioning those same beliefs in a complete way.
In that late night critique group, people did not get it. They wanted to cling to a Sunday school simplification, a black and white, good versus evil vision of the world. Christopher Simmons did not dilute.
What has been achieved here is a stripping away the dogma of thousands of years to reveal the spiritual realities no longer beheld. And Simmons strips them away by revealing them in detail in the brightest of light.
And a way cool story.
I almost passed this by, thinking the story line was too "out there" (even for me) or that the religious elements (of which there are many) would be too vague, or silly, or boring or...religious. So glad I ignored those crippling feelings and purchased this gem. The story works well on several levels - take it as a science fiction/fantasy/mythological book if 'history of religion' is not part of your educational background or personal interest. You can view it as an outrageous disaster-film-waiting-to-happen. Like to see an end to the Muslim-Jewish-Christian "religious wars" mindset? It's in here. Like to meet an old Roman soldier - a really old (2000 yrs +) Roman soldier? He's in here. Mary, the mother of Jesus and her potential replacement? Jesus himself, sometimes called 'Benjamin'? They are there, along with Judas, of course, and scores of others. Saturn - the planet - goes missing - but the American intelligence community is on the case.
Oh, and there be a dragon.
C'mon, give it a try. Gotta love the price: $6.66 :)
This book is important not only because of what has occurred in the past year or so in the Mideast (the author seems to have pegged the future as present pretty well) but, because of its near encyclopedic knowledge about The Apcolypse. Other writers, Tim LeHaye and Jerry Jenkins in particular, in their Left Behind series have expounded (and hugely profited) from its exposition. The difference, the important difference, between their writing and this author is they assume this topic to be the exclusive preoccupation of Christians. That this is not so should not come as a surprise to anyone but, I believe for many, it probably does.
Every religious discipline, however defined, contemplates what happens at “The End.” Whether the end of life for the individual or the end of the world, people’s curiosity as to what comes next is an inevitable topic of meditation or conversation. Many have tackled the topic over the centuries. During the time of the Maccabees, no fewer than sixteen Apocalypses with authorship ascribed to the Patriarchs (from Abraham to Zerubbabel) and twelve Christian offerings after the first century alone appeared. People seem fascinated with the subject. Read a certain way, Hebrew and Christian scripture can produce a narrative such as the one conceived By Le Haye, et.al. Where their, and many other’s, interpretation falls short (woefully so, In my opinion) is they fail to acknowledge the existence, much less the information available from, other faiths.
Simmons does that and more. Eastern traditions, Astrology or astronomy and the behavior of planets, are also accounted for in this fascinating romp into “End Times.”