Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Fiction Fix: "The 13th Tribe"

The Short:

The 13th Tribe
Immortal Files, #1

By: Robert Liparulo

5/5 Stars

What: The Tribe has been seeking out sinners and meting out justice for thousands of years, but this plan might push things too far.

Recommended to those who like: Thriller, (sci-fi?), Christian, Darker Stories

Not recommended to those who dislike: Stronger violence

The Long:

To start out, I don’t know how to classify this book. Thriller doesn’t quite cut it because there’s speculative weirdness of Biblical proportions happening. But it’s not fantasy—though it involves swords and immortal people. And it’s not quite sci-fi—though it involves invisibility suits.Regardless of what it is, I liked it. And I thought you guys might like it, too, so I figured I’d share.

The Tribe used to be part of the nation of Israel—until they worshipped the golden calf in the shadow of Mount Sinai. Their punishment? Immortality and a futile, never-ending attempt to regain God’s favor by killing sinners that the law can’t control. This next project might be their ticket out. Or, it might ensure their eternal damnation.

Jagger used to be a man of faith—until he lost his arm and his best friend in a horrendous drunk-driving accident. When he crosses paths with the Tribe, will they confirm his suspicions that God is a spiteful entity?

First off, the theological questions raised by this book were magnificent. Is salvation by grace or works? How can a loving God exact justice? It also leaves the questions open-ended and doesn’t come across as trite or preachy in its answers.

The premise of this story was also excellent. I mean, “Immortal vigilantes from the time of Moses have planned the unthinkable.” That excerpt from the back pretty much hooked me out of curiosity.

Although Jagger wasn’t the deepest character I’ve ever met (something about him felt a bit distant), I loved the questions that he struggled with. The Tribe was loveable and despicable at the same time.

The book was action-packed, though it took a while for me to really become invested in the story. Once it got going, it was really good. The plot twists at the end kept me guessing. *Pounds head into keyboard repeatedly*. Don’t read this book late at night unless you plan on staying up to finish it.

My main warning about this book is how dark it was. If you’re sensitive in regards to violence, this is not the book for you.

Bottom Line: A good, speculative twist on the thriller genre, this book would be an appropriate pick for mature readers who would like to delve into some serious questions of faith.

Does this book fit into Speculative Fiction? How would you categorize it?

I will be slow to respond to comments this weekend. See you Monday for the start of the Blogiversary Celebration!


  1. I really like books that have good messages but aren't preachy, and that's a really hard balance, I think. I haven't read a LOT of Christian fiction, but in Christian movies there's always that sit-down with the pastor/loved one/friend/whoever or the magical Sunday sermon that fixes everythng, and I personally hate that. It's never worked like that for me, it's always been a slow progression of trying to figure things out with God. For me it's not a voice from the heavens but a slow nudge over the years. So anyways, I'm glad this one wasn't preachy :-)

    1. I'm with you there. I really can't stand the majority of Christian movies.

      I also agree that, in real life, it's the small nudges that make the difference. Sometimes the balance of the message vs. the story is difficult to maintain, but I prefer to err on the side of the story.

      Thanks for the comment! Sorry for the late response!


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