Thursday, August 26, 2004

PREMONITION by Randall Ingermanson

PREMONITION by Randall Ingermanson (The City of God series, book 2)

Very exciting fiction. I normally don't enjoy historical fiction, but this captured my attention within a few pages and swept me non-stop to the exciting end.

Ari and Rivka Kazan are from the 20th century, trapped in 1st century Jerusalem after stopping a rogue physicist from assassinating the apostle Paul (that story is in the book TRANSGRESSION, available as a FREE ebook on Randy's website). Ari must find work for a modern day theoretical physicist in ancient times, and Rivka is plagued with her foreknowledge of events, including the Jewish Revolt that will bring horrible destruction to the city. They have made a powerful enemy, Hanan ben Hanan, whose father assisted the Romans in killing Jesus Christ, and who is destined to murder James, a prominent church leader and the half-brother of Jesus.

Randy brought the reader into the nitty-gritty daily life of first-century Jerusalem, and painted the Jewish culture in rich colors and clear lines for non-Jews like me to understand. His take on the historical events of Acts and Josephus was very interesting and unique.

He combined all the best aspects of both historical fiction and modern comedy relief. I enjoyed the witty repartee of his 20th century heroine stuck in 1st century Palestine, but the language of the times and people was preserved in the dialogue between major and minor characters.

His characterization was 3-dimensional and complex. Each character is unique and boldly drawn, with multiple layers that gradually unfold.

The plot revealed the supernatural aspect of Christianity and the work of both good and evil spirits, adding an additional dimension to the story. He had excellent pacing in his prose, with emotional introspective scenes tying heart-pounding action sequences.

I think the reader would need some love of history to fully appreciate the way the plot complements the fragmented historical accounts available to modern scholars, but it's an enjoyable book regardless of those nuances, and Randy explains those historical fragments quite well. I can't recommend this book enough.


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