Monday, May 20, 2013

The Judgment Stone by Robert Liparulo

About the Book:

What if praying became a curse instead of a blessing?

Former Army Ranger Jagger Baird thought he had his hands full with The Tribe—the band of immortal vigilantes fighting to regain God’s grace by killing those opposed to Him. But that was before he encountered the ruthless group of immortals known as The Clan. The Clan is after a prize that would give them unimaginable power—a piece of the Ten Commandments known as the Judgment Stone.

Those who touch the Stone can see into the spiritual world: angelic warriors, treacherous demons, and the blue threads of light that signal the presence of believers in communion with God.

By following the blue beam radiating from those closest to God, the Clan plans to locate His most passionate followers and destroy them.

Jagger quickly realizes his high-tech gadgetry and training are no match for these merciless immortals. But how can he defeat an enemy who hunts believers through their prayers . . . and won’t stop until they’ve annihilated all those close to Him?
In this high-action thriller, best-selling author Robert Liparulo examines the raging battle between good and evil on earth . . . and beyond.

My Thoughts:

Think you've seen evil?  Think again, my reading friend.  Robert Liparulo takes the high energy speculative fiction from "The Thirteenth Tribe" and turns it up a few notches, crafting a novel that will literally keep you on the edge of your fictional seat until the final page turns.

This series, continuing with "The Judgment Stone", is some of the best fiction I've ever read.  This is Frank Peretti's classic supernatural fiction on steroids, people!  Robert's imagination must be a delightful place to hang out, if you can handle the suspense that lurks there.

Jagger, Beth and Tyler are three of my favorite heroes, and these three haven't seen anything yet.  Robert exploded my mind at the end of the last book, and he continued to mess with the fragments throughout this one, finally putting them back together at the end...tentatively.

Two major events happening toward the end of the novel (nope, not telling!) left cracks in my imagination foundation where more mind blowing scenes are capable of creeping in when the series concludes (with the next book, not yet available--even for me!). 

I'm both excited and a bit scared thinking about where Robert might take us with the final book in this series...he seriously pushed the envelope with "The Judgment Stone".  I have absolutely no clue where he goes from here, but I know it will be good, good, GOOD!

The monks pack some serious heat in that monastery, so when bad guys come knocking, they'd do best to duck.  Problem is, no one has seen bad guys like The Clan--and I'm very glad for that fact.  Well, except for Owen.  A guy who totally rocks, and will suspend your disbelief from the highest bough!

Still, the six Clan members were written so well I had clear images in mind as I read. While I didn't care for their actions, they were fleshed out in a very cool manner (especially Steampunk, aka Hester).  Seriously, the mind of Robert Liparulo is a playground for the imaginative reader! 

Best of all, the spiritual themes Robert began in "The Thirteenth Tribe" are developed further in "The Judgment Stone".  We go deeper and mine richer truths, like walking by faith or walking by sight, grace or works, and the power of prayer.

So, while the story is engaging and at times a bit creepy (LOVE IT!), don't be fooled.  You'll find timely teaching woven in with some of the most intense action.  The story may play with the speculative, the 'what if', but the truth?  That's rock solid.  And it's life changing.

I will never look at prayer the same way again.  Thank you, Robert!

"The Judgment Stone" was given to me by Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  If you are fascinated by the spiritual realm and want a fresh take on the power of prayer, pick this one up.

But, if you are longing for something with real spiritual meat on its fictional bones, then you simply have to read this one.  Yes, Frank Peretti broke through the glass ceiling of the boundaries of inspirational fiction.

Robert Liparulo kicks down the door, takes back ground the enemy tried to steal, and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to using story to share truth--when it's most important to today's believer (and to the non-believer as well).

Just one word of advice: don't read it without the lights on!  And be prepared for a late night--Robert writes short chapters which keep the action moving at a fast clip and allow for more scenes and more characters.  I love that about his books!

"The Judgment Stone" (and "The Thirteenth Tribe") are both highly, highly recommended.  Best Speculative Fiction of 2013.

Happy Reading!



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