By Presidential Order

The United States has elected a president from outside the political circles, an ultra-conservative who is convinced the rules do not apply to him.

When he learns the CIA has developed rudimentary time travel, he uses this new technology to view the final days of Jesus Christ. He is horrified by what he learns.

This new and unorthodox President embarks on a bold mission to “correct” the past, against the wishes of his advisors, and at the risk of plunging all of mankind into chaos.

I’m a sucker for time travel stories and the consequences that can arise. Admittedly the premise had me hooked due to the current political climate in America.



Before you read my review you should know I align myself with Irish Catholicism as a cultural group but not ideology. Growing up in an Irish household you were either Catholic or Protestant and Protestant was basically everyone who wasn’t Catholic – even Atheists lol. Politically I’ve always been on the ‘Catholic’ side of things and have a long held hope that Ireland will be reunited as a result of my political affiliations.

I don’t go to church. I only pray when some jerk cuts me off on the road. I don’t have religious pictures or statues around my house.

I say all this because I can’t stress enough how more of an Agnostic scale my beliefs are and that is the attitude I brought towards this book yet I’ve been continually bashed on multiple platforms for not praising this book and for either being too religious or not religious enough in my viewpoint.

The idea that someone might just NOT like the book based on its own merits seems an inescapable concept. Last time I checked, on this planet, the only thing everyone can agree on is the earth is round so having different opinions on everything else should not come as a shock.

Harassing me or denigrating my opinion because you think I should have liked the book and didn’t because I’m “Catholic” or don’t have a “strong enough foundation in Jesus” only makes you look ignorant and your position weakened when you have to resort to personal attacks rather than grasp the concept that people are allowed to have different opinions.

I’m sure there are people who are going to like this because I’ve given plenty of positive reviews on books that others hated. I hope people do and would not tell someone not to read this because we can all learn from each other, from the good and the bad.

No one wins when people are silenced.

I’m a sucker for time travel stories and the consequences that can arise. Admittedly the premise had me hooked due to the current political climate in America.

When I first started it I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into because conversation between Judas and an implied Jesus didn’t come off all that believable to me – and this is knowing I’m reading a book about time travel which as far as we know is purely scifi. The conversation between the two didn’t really seem to ‘flow’ naturally and considering that we’ve been soaking in the idea for centuries that Judas was a willing traitor this opening already had me wondering what I’ve gotten myself into but I kept reading because I’ve read quite a few books that started off rough only to be wonderful by the end.

The dialogue between characters continued to be on the rough side. Maybe I’ve watched too many Kiefer Sutherland tv shows but I just don’t buy that government characters would talk to each other in this manner. The writing in regards to setting up scenes is very descriptive and you’re able to get a good feel for where you are and what’s going on but the dialogue was cringe worthy at times. At one point he has Jesus use the phrases “Ah well” and “I suppose” among others, I suddenly got an image of a man not in Middle Eastern robes but wearing overalls, muddy boots, straw hat and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth speaking with a southern drawl. I’m all for taking liberties to an extent but it would’ve been nice to try and keep historical figures accurate to their time and place in history when you’re not dropping them in modern day Alabama.

Unfortunately the dialogue problem just never seemed to get any better. It came off too much like it was written for kids at a middle school level if not earlier. Some other extreme liberties were taken like with the crucifixion. Jesus apparently agrees his death isn’t necessary only that people believe he died which goes against a very fundamentalist aspect of Christianity. It was about more than his physical body just dying on a cross so I’m not sure if the author doesn’t have an understanding of the basic tenets of the Christian faith or just chose to ignore them to make his story work. At another point there’s an implied conversation between Jesus and his translator where it seems Jesus is admitting that he lied about his mother being a virgin in order to get people to listen which is a huge slap in the face to Catholics but to the rest of Christians to claim Jesus would lie about anything. Judas’ suicide is brushed off as no big deal and Jesus claims that even God would understand which is another huge punch to the Christian faith if not most belief systems where life is held sacred and suicide is considered heartbreaking. I don’t believe Jesus of all people wouldn’t care about someone ending their life.

The problems with dialogue and decimating the Christian faith never seemed to end. The dialogue can be fixed but taking extreme liberties with Christianity seemed to be the point of this book almost as if the author is so anti-Christian he needed to find a way to poke every hole possible into it and turn believers into mindless caricatures with no moral high ground.

I felt disappointed after reading it because there was a really good premise that didn’t need to drag Christianity through the mud to make it a good book and despite my often antagonistic viewpoint of religion in general even I can muster respect for those who believe differently than me and wouldn’t screw with their faith.

 

*synopsis and pic from amazon.com

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