Top positive review
Heart-Pounding Fear and a Tearjerker Too
Reviewed in the United States on March 22, 2019
Okay, I *refuse* to give spoilers for this one--it really would spoil the story. This book is #3 of a series in which an American Messianic Jew and an atheistic Israeli travel back in time to first century Jerusalem, and they've been there for about nine years now. It's 66 AD, and anyone who knows even a nugget of the rich history of Israel will know that this was when the slow burn of revolution began to blaze into a conflagration. Ari and Rivka are trapped in Jerusalem; Rivka is pregnant; Ari is still being hunted by the evil Hanan ben Hanan, and Rivka's belief in Yeshua--along with Ari's lack of belief--is only adding to their problems. Not only that, but there's a new Roman governor in town, and to say his mother was an oinker would be an insult to pigs.
By leaving Ari and Rivka stranded, Randy Ingermanson has allowed us to see some crucial moments in both world history and the history of the early church through the perspectives of both our present-day stranded protagonists and the contemporary people of Jerusalem's 1st century AD. There's a lot to shock you if you thought the squeaky clean Cecil B. DeMille epics were anything like reality. Crucifixion is even worse than we thought. And women...well, we've come a long way, baby.
When the book reaches its climax, if you aren't shaking all over and crying, there's something wrong, because the world is upended and played with like a cat plays with a wadded paper ball. I was shaking all over and crying--and I had already read the book once!
The only thing wrong with "City of God" is that it's not finished. Ari and Rivka are still in Jerusalem, and we know, in a dim way, what's coming. Each book of the trilogy so far has had a non-cliffhanger ending. The story told is concluded. But at the same time, we're left with the ominous knowledge that things are going to get still worse. And so it goes, because the author is currently working on a 4-part life of Jesus series. Now I know it'll be great, and I'll love it too--but I sure hope I live long enough to see the conclusion of "City of God." According to the author, four more books in this series are coming, and I want to read every sweat-drenched page of the agony.