I love books…there simply isn’t enough time to read all that I want. I’ve written about the importance of reading and I thought that it would be a good idea to share my thoughts on some particular books from time to time. I won’t review every book I read, but I did think The 13th Tribe was worthy of recommendation.
The 13th Tribe opens with a break in: A group of theves are after a piece of technology, which will be later revealed as a needed component to their terrorist plot. A solid and interesting start, but it comes with a problem; the thieves are wearing suits that render them invisible. I enjoy sci-fi and so the idea of a Romulan like cloaking device was not difficult to overcome, especially because it does not become an overused plot device.
The second difficulty that Liparulo overcomes is that the 13th Tribe is Christian fiction. Although I am a follower of Christ, I’ve found that books of this genre (and movies as well) tend to become preachy, suffer from underdeveloped characters or simply fail to entertain as well as mainstream work. The 13th Tribe, however, does not have any of those problems.
Liparulo pits a group of would be terrorist against a man who is simply trying to regain his life. The story explores the idea of how immortality can be a curse and, using an incident from Exodus to spark this curse, does well in mixing history, scripture, and fiction.
What I appreciate most is that Liparulo creates characters that work. Both the good guys and the bad are blurred – they’re people; people with whom you can connect. You want the plot to fail but want to see the characters redeemed and, in the end, you simply want more of the story.
Since I finished this book, which is subtitled An Immortal Files Novel, I have been waiting and hoping that, as the subtitle implies, there will be more.
This isn’t a book that will strengthen your theology. It’s not a book that will get your neighbor to follow Christ. It is a book that will entertain and also get you to think about the nature of God. And really, that’s all that a good book of fiction needs to do.
(I was given an advanced copy of this book in return for conducting review. The free copy did not influence a positive review, though it did influence me to write a review.)