I recently finished the novel The Tribe by Robert Liparulo. This is the 9th novel I have read by Mr. Liparulo and as such I was excited to get a chance to read another book by an author I had previously enjoyed. Icing on the cake was that Thomas Nelson (through Booksneeze.com) offered the book free of charge for the purposes of this review. That however hasn’t changed my opinion of the novel.
The basic premise is that there were a group of Hebrews that, when the Golden Calf had been set up at Mt. Sinai, God cursed with near immortality. They never age, they heal fast (not Wolverine of the X-Men fast, but fast) but they, developmentally stay where they were at the time. I know what you’re thinking, not much of a curse. Well they as a group took it to mean they would never be able to go to Heaven. They have taken it upon themselves to rid the world (at least to some extent) of evil people who escape punishment from the law, sort of supernatural vigilantes.
They eventually cross paths with the lead character, a private security expert named Jagger. He is currently guarding an archeological dig at Mt. Sinai when the Tribe (as they call themselves) is forced to attack to recover something that was stolen from them in an attempt to stop a plot of theirs. Then all hell breaks loose.
I said before that I recently finished this novel. That’s because I started it before the book was officially released back on April 3rd. For some reason I found the first 160-170 pages of the book ponderous. I couldn’t get through them. Then I finished the last 230 pages in the last two nights. I’m not sure why it went that way. Liparulo’s writing was as good as ever. Perhaps my mind wasn’t in the mood for fiction. Perhaps I couldn’t identify with the characters until the addition of Owen around that point. I suspect that’s what it was. The lead character, like a lot of male leads in books have read lately, is damaged goods. And of course he’s primarily angry at God. I think perhaps I’ve seen that too much lately. Particularly the lead in a book called The Scroll.
One of the things I particularly liked about this book though was the way it illustrated what can happen when a person misuses the lessons of scripture and tries to earn salvation. Obviously no one will become an immortal assassin but it can create the same attitude in people. That’s an important lesson to learn and one that is sometimes hard to explain. So this book is definitely worth a read, even if it isn’t the author’s best work.