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Transgression: A Time-Travel Suspense Novel (City of God Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Book 1: Transgression:
"Ingermanson's first novel is a clever thriller set in contemporary and first-century Jerusalem. ... Ingermanson is an amusing and original new voice, and his knowledge of the shadowy first century is amazing." -- John Mort, BookList
Book 2: Premonition:
"For anyone who enjoyed Michael Crichton's Timeline (Random House) or likes historical fiction or just plain good writing, Premonition is a must-read." -- CBA Marketplace
"Fast-paced, thought-provoking, sometimes shocking, this superbly researched novel delivers the tight plotting and deep characterization readers have come to expect from this author. His best yet." -- RT Bookclub
"Premonition is an imaginative and compelling novel." -- Brandilyn Collins, bestselling author
"Traveling back in time to first-century Christianity with Randy Ingermanson is a delight indeed. ... He provides a dynamic reading experience you won't find anywhere else in Christian fiction today." -- Lisa Samson, author, The Church Ladies
"Be prepared for an intense, spell-binding journey into first-century Jerusalem and the lives of its Christian and Jewish inhabitants. The characters are consistently well-drawn and compelling, their personal and spiritual conflicts authentically heart-wrenching." -- Kathleen Morgan, author, Consuming Fire and All Good Gifts.
"But most gripping is Premonition's treatment of forgiveness; you may not agree with some of the points, but prepare to be challenged." -- Ft. Worth Morning Star-Telegram
Book 3: Retribution:
"Ingermanson, a two-time Christy Award winner (for Transgression and Oxygen) proves again that he is one of the best authors of biblical fiction today." -- Library Journal
"The breadth and scope of Randy's knowledge of the lives of first-century Christians is amazing! I loved this book!" -- Colleen Coble, author of Without a Trace and Beyond a Doubt
"Retribution is a convincing page-turner, full of compelling, distinctly voiced characters. I devoured the book and wished it were longer." -- Kathy Tyers, Author of Shivering World and the Firebird trilogy
"This look into the lives of a couple forced to deal with historical events they understand but cannot control provides a fascinating insight into what life was like in the formative years of early Christianity. It also is a deeply moving story of a husband and wife struggling to reconcile their own modern-day prejudices with historical truths." -- Christian Retailing
"Randall Ingermanson has written a provocative fast-paced series. Rich with detail of the time and culture, they are, at first blush, great stories." Kelley Westenhoff, Christian Library Journal
From the Author
Why first-century Jerusalem? Because that place and time set the direction for the next twenty centuries of western civilization. Something big happened in Jerusalem in the first century.
Not just one big thing. Not even two big things. Three big things--the Jesus movement, the Jewish revolt, and the birth of rabbinic Judaism.
And they were related.
My gut instincts told me that the Sunday-School version of those three things wasn't quite right.
As I dived into my research, I found that my instincts were correct. I discovered an amazing and exciting world. I felt sure that many people would care about this world if only they could see it the way I saw it.
In my City of God series, I hope to show you more of that world. Have fun!
- ASIN : B00K8N8NV2
- Publisher : Ingermanson Communications, Inc.; 2nd edition (May 9, 2014)
- Publication date : May 9, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 2890 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 380 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #203,394 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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So why only three stars? After all, the story was an absolute gripper until ... well, that would be telling. I will simply say that I wanted to keep reading and reading to the end of the book if possible until the book suddenly changed from this fast-paced, twisted story about time travel, to a story that slowed to a crawl and was predictable to boot. The author would have done well to end the story at about the end of the first climax (the story contained multiple climaxes).
So should you buy this book? Despite the three stars I say emphatically, "YES!" The first section of the story is enough to keep you in love with the two heroes. The full story, with its interesting speculation about the culture of Jerusalem in AD 57 is enough to keep you turning the pages. The spiritual moments in the book are also well-written, and though they, too, are matters of speculation, they show some thought and provide a small gap in the fabric of history whereby we are given the opportunity to learn how things might have been differently done when the church was just beginning to move out into the World to preach the Gospel.
I have read better Christian novels in my time, but this one still ranks up there. If the author can figure out how to make his story continue to burn with fury then I've no doubt that he will become a feature novelist on Amazon with a strong following that will continue to demand more from him.
Undaunted, I went ahead and read “Transgression” hoping I wouldn’t come out the other end a Judaism convert or a Buddhist monk or something. Turns out, it’s a pretty damn good book, written by a dude with a PhD in Theoretical Physics. Yep - the Sheldon Cooper of the religious sci-fi world folks. Okay, it’s got a few rough edges, but there’s some solid science behind the time travel bit of the story. Also, plenty of thought went into the everyday nuances of life in first century Jerusalem – like only eating twice a day, and Romans being tougher than they looked. (I’ve often wondered what those people used to blow their noses or wipe their backsides – hopefully not the same thing!)
Here we have a theoretical physicist with a Jewish axe to grind, deciding he’ll scoot on back to the first century and put paid to good old Saint Paul, or Saul of Tarsus, or whatever the hell he called himself. In so doing, he’d more-or-less kill off Christianity in the future, and prevent all the nastiness that the Christians imposed on the poor old Israelites over the coming centuries. Unfortunately, a couple of his brainy cohorts get sucked back through the wormhole too. Lucky for him since he doesn’t speak the local lingo and one of the cohorts (a hot looking female) does! How convenient – being able to speak ancient Aramaic, and Hebrew – err...and Latin too. Maybe just a little too convenient!
I’ve always felt that, if you went back in time too far, you’d probably die of culture shock! So now we’ve got three modern people stuck in ancient Jerusalem in a time where, if you said what you really thought, you’d get stoned – and not the type of stoned you get from smoking “university cigarettes” or eating Wild Aunt Betty’s special brownies. If you kept announcing your views out loud, the local Jewish Priests, Scribes, Elders, Sadducees (take your pick) might just dob you in to the Romans, who took a dim view of people who caused ruckuses. They would exercise their “dim view” by having you nailed onto a tree or piece of wood and stick you by the side of the road to advertise what happens to troublemakers. Kind of like a Bad Behaviour Billboard if you will.
Our author has obviously done his research before writing the book and mixed in plenty of thrills to keep you reading on to the next chapter. Yes, there’s plenty of religious stuff thrown in there with God giving our friends a helping hand when they needed it, but it’s set in the Holy Land for goodness sake! Don’t let the spiritual stuff stop you reading this book – it’s great!
Transgression is an enjoyable blend of science fiction with Biblical historical fiction. Customs and culture of New Testament times feel thoroughly convincing and well-researched, and the varying faiths and beliefs of characters are suitably intrinsic to the plot. Jerusalem in the time of Saint Paul comes to life with all the senses employed, and a world of political and religious upheaval, oppression, and hope, proves not so different from today.
Author Randy Ingermanson balances faith, science, history, suspense and even a touch of romance in a cool exciting tale of today and yesterday, set in the boiling pot of Jerusalem’s conflicting faiths and ideals, both now and then. I enjoyed the way all points of view were offered with just enough respect and honesty to make the characters real, and I loved the way the author leaves some questions open-ended, almost unasked, as freewill and unchangeable histories collide.
Disclosure: I found it on a deal and couldn’t resist. I offer my honest review.
Top reviews from other countries
Minor spoilers follow.
Unfortunately, the two main characters didn't have much personality (although Rivka had slightly more than Ari, I think), and were completely incompatible from a relationship perspective. Ari's defining trait seemed to be his hatred of Christians, Messianic Jews, and That Man (his epithet for Yeshua / Jesus), and yet we're somehow supposed to believe that he fell in love with Rivka and was wiling to give his life for her and commit to spending his life with her, despite the fact that her faith is such a key part of who she is? I'm not saying it never happens, but nothing in this book convinced me that two characters so at odds over their most basic beliefs would ever have a chance. It's almost as though he doesn't see her as a person at all, just as an abstract romantic object (a theory supported by his bizarre, fluctuating hatred of Damian). I'm not sure this book should have been a romance at all - it does the sci-fi, time travel, historical, suspense thriller much better than the romantic stuff, which felt a bit tacked on and unnecessary.
My second complaint, and perhaps the more serious of the two, is that I found Damian's backstory to be the most human and compelling part of the book. I would have said he was the most fleshed out and interesting character, except that he somehow grew up from a compassionate, traumatised, idealistic and confused child into a walking, talking caricature of a villain, complete with cigar. The events of his childhood seem to have had no effect at all on his personality or mental state, and in fact served only to justify the single-minded hatred which kick-started the plot. Oh, and he r*pes a woman in Jerusalem for no other reason, as far as I can see, than that "he's the bad guy".
In summary, I love quirky time travel that plays with questions of free will, determinism and whether we can change the course of history. I would also totally read a book about an adult Damian who was angry and passionate, fighting for justice while handling, or failing to handle, his childhood issues, whether or not time travel shenanigans were involved. But this is not that book.