Transgression: A Time-Travel Suspense Novel

Rated 4.60/5 based on 5 reviews
Damien West is a physicist on a mission to kill the apostle Paul. He’s building a wormhole with the help of Ari Kazan, a young Israeli physicist in Jerusalem. Ari’s got his eye on Rivka Meyers, a hot young archaeology student from Berkeley. When Damien gets the wormhole working, he uses Rivka first as a guinea pig. Ari must decide whether to follow them--or lose the woman of his dreams forever. More
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About R.S. Ingermanson

R.S. Ingermanson writes time-travel suspense fiction set in first-century Jerusalem. He has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from UC Berkeley and is interested in science, history, philosophy, and religion. He writes about "life at the intersection of Science Avenue and Religion Boulevard." This is a rough section of town--bad lighting, crazy drivers, and plenty of con men. In short, it's where all the fun is, if you don't mind a little flying glass.

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Reviews

Review by: J.L. Dobias on March 05, 2015 :
Transgression(a City of God Book)by R.S Ingermanson

This was free and might still be; so I picked it up along with a few other free books and attempted to read two others before I started into this one. I won't name the other two since I might attempt yet to read them some future date. This is the only of the three freebies that grabbed my attention from the beginning. It managed to keep my attention for one long read in a rather quiet day.

This is a fair novel and as I said it grabbed me right away; but there were a number of thing that were annoying to me. I think though that it's worth a read for anyone who likes to mix their science fiction with a bit of theology. Having already read both Oxygen novels (Oxygen and Fifth Man) and finding those entertaining, I'm not surprised that this one also entertains. It unfortunately contains many of the pitfalls that are in both oxygen stories. The writing is based on a formulaic method that in itself is fairly tight, but lends itself to some things I find particularly annoying.

As with many novels today the formula is to start with an action scene that draws the reader in by creating or display a bit of tightened drama and action (because the reader wants this?). This novel certainly does that; and its blurb hawks itself as a mystery suspense so this snippet at the beginning is meant to roll the mystery footage. The trouble is that it becomes mostly vital and probably is there because the actual first chapter is rather sedate and might not carry some readers into the story. For me chapter one was intriguing enough and all that the prologue did was keep me anticipating that at some point the novel was going to pick up the pace. It does pick it up but in a large way that prologue is really like those preview scenes from a movie that highlight all the action in the movie so that the best parts have been viewed before the movie-goer gets to the theater for the show. So when it reaches that point the main character Rivka manages to do a 180 turn on the drama and loses the momentum started by the prologue. She next wanders off like a tourist; rather than someone who was just hijacked into the past.

Normally I would begin with the explanation that what hurts this book the most is an attempt at keeping things a mystery. What I mean by this is that desire to keep the reader in the dark about certain facts becomes an impediment to good character development. But having read the two mentioned science fiction collaborations I would also have to say that this becomes compounded by some sort of stylistic method behind the writing. Often it feels like the narrative oscillates in and out for brief moments in the head of one character and sometimes gets too much information; and then snapping out to a far view to see characters that often display too much adolescent immaturity. There also seems to be a formulaic romance going on where Rivka is asked by Dov to find a date for Ari the physicist; creating the love quadrangle with Dov, Rivka, Ari, and Jessica. So while Jessica and Ari are suppose to get together; we discover that Jessica and Dov end up together more often and Rivka and Ari become close, then we discover there are seeming irreconcilable differences between Rivka and Ari pertaining to religion.

Finally we meet Damien West who has an almost inexplicable fondness for the manifesto of the Uni-bomber and has some agenda related to the wormhole time loop generator that Ari is having him construct.

It becomes difficult to decide if this is a romance or is meant to showcase a philosophical discussion about religion; while it becomes more certain that the science and the time travel have really minor parts and have fallen to the wayside in favor of one of those two. There are elements of what occur that definitely are locked into the need for these characters to be in the past and there is really some fun irony to the fact that of the three the one best to communicate and understand the language of the people is a woman; who is not to be spoken to directly in public. But as with other novels of this type there are characters of the past who seem all too ready to take in the time travelers despite anomalies that might characterize the future people as demons or heretics.

In the past each characters seems to begin a path of examination of their beliefs as the 'truth' unfolds. And as it is this novel could not help but remind me of another recent read by Amy Deardon in her novel 'A Lever Long Enough'. She too had time travelers heading to the past to investigate the truth about Yeshua. These two novels seem almost a bit too parallel at the onset with the only difference being that in one there is a conspiracy to ultimately steer the proof in one direction; where in the other there's an attempt to end Christianity at one of its roots.

This novel is most likely best for those who might enjoy the discussion of religion and the difference between what is widely believed today as opposed to what may have been the root of our beliefs. Anyone that read 'A Lever Long Enough' could enjoy this book, but science fiction fans might be disappointed about the light treatment of the science involved.

Overall it's an enjoyable read; but if it was meant to be thought provoking it might have missed that mark for me.

J.L. Dobias
(review of free book)

Review by: Jan Mueller on July 17, 2014 :
I finished this book yesterday night and could not stop reading until dawn. then I went to this page and bought the continuing volume. tonight I told the whole story to a German friend who does not read English novels.

The whole story is very convincing specially due to the scientific background of the author and his real in depth thoughts about the roots of our culture and the fabrics of time and space. Rather then giving fixed answers it opens our minds to deep and puzzeling questions. A real discovery!
(review of free book)

Review by: Ann Marie Thomas on July 13, 2014 :
The idea of someone going back in time to kill St Paul really intrigued me, so I bought the book. Then I discovered good writing, real characters you care about, and multiple points of view so you could really understand where they were coming from. Add to this the whole subject of Christianity/Judaism/Atheism, and done very well I must say, and I was really hooked. Well researched, well written and a real page turner. Highly recommended. The minute I finished the book I went and bought the next one. Can't wait!
(review of free book)

Review by: Ted Scott on July 04, 2014 :
A thought-provoking and ingenious novel that attempts to combine modern physics with ancient religion. The characters are strong and vibrant, the story is fascinating, and the suspense is unrelenting. A winner for me!
(review of free book)

Review by: Kelly A. Purcell on June 12, 2014 :
Loved it! Great story line, loved the characters, quite a page turner and very well written. No regrets!
(review of free book)

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