Alpha and Omega
"The standard-bearer for alternate history" (USA Today) now turns his potent imagination to the End of Days in this gripping novel about a discovery in the Middle East that turns the world upside-down.What would happen if the ancient prophecy of the End of Days came true? It is certainly the last thing Eric Katz--a secular archeologist from Los Angeles--expects to discover during what should be a routine dig in Jerusalem. But perhaps higher forces have something else in mind. For when a sign presaging the rising of the Third Temple is located in America and a dirty bomb is detonated in downtown Tel Aviv, events conspire to place a team of archaeologists in the tunnels deep under the Temple Mount. And there, Eric is witness to a discovery of such monumental proportions that nothing will ever be the same again.Harry Turtledove is the master at portraying ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events, and what is more extraordinary than the incontrovertible proof that there truly is a higher force controlling human destiny? But as to what that force desires...well, that is the question.

Alpha and Omega Details

TitleAlpha and Omega
Author
ReleaseJul 2nd, 2019
PublisherDel Rey
Rating
GenreScience Fiction, Alternate History, Fiction, Fantasy

Alpha and Omega Review

  • Tomislav
    January 1, 1970
    While Harry Turtledove is best known for his alternate history series, this latest novel from him is a stand-alone, and of a somewhat different genre category. It is speculative fiction without being identifiably science fiction, fantasy, or alternate history. You see, the proposition is, what if all the ancient prophesies of the Abrahamic family of religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) turned out to be observably true, in the light of modern media and technology? Impossibilities, logical con While Harry Turtledove is best known for his alternate history series, this latest novel from him is a stand-alone, and of a somewhat different genre category. It is speculative fiction without being identifiably science fiction, fantasy, or alternate history. You see, the proposition is, what if all the ancient prophesies of the Abrahamic family of religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) turned out to be observably true, in the light of modern media and technology? Impossibilities, logical contradictions, and indeed rational judgement need to be tossed aside as real events following the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant can only be explained simply as the will of God. How then would a cast of modern characters, with contemporary perspectives, motivations, and politics respond?I was disappointed with the novel as answer to that proposition. The characters are not more than stereotypes of their religion or social role - The Orthodox Jews, the Fundamentalist Christians, the Islamic Terrorists, the secular archaeologists, the television hacks, the power-mongering politicians – and their thoughts and actions are explained repeatedly in those terms. All this proof that Turtledove knows the vocabulary of various hyper-religious traditions leads to a very slow exposition of the extra-ordinary events that are the conceptual meat of the novel. It felt to me like a short story concept padded out to novel length. I don’t really know Harry Turtledove’s personal religious views, but I suspect some of them are coming through here, as in the world would be a better place if we would set aside creeds and theology and just accept the one real God behind them all. In his fictional universe, that is certainly true. In the real universe, well I think it’s not so simple.I read the novel “Alpha and Omega” in kindle ebook, which I received from Del Rey (Random House) through netgalley, in exchange for publishing an honest review. I finished my read on the publication date of 2 July 2019. I have previously read many of Harry Turtledove’s alternate histories – particularly the “The Great War/American Empire/Settling Accounts” sequence concerning an alternate US history starting from the Civil War onwards, and “The Hot War” in which the Korean War goes nuclear - which I liked, and “The Worldwar Saga” concerning an alternate World War II in which aliens invade Earth after the onset of the human war - which I did not like, and a few of his standalone novels as well.
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  • August Is Azathoth HPL 129 August 20!
    January 1, 1970
    No matter what one's religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) I thoroughly believe every single adult should read ALPHA AND OMEGA. I cannot remember a work of fiction that has had this much impact on me in the matter of religion and the psychology of religion and of Eschatology. I believe Harry Turtledove to be a genius. He has taken the religious, social, ingrained, ancestral, and contemporary beliefs of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and of various ethnicities espousing those beliefs (particularl No matter what one's religious beliefs (or non-beliefs) I thoroughly believe every single adult should read ALPHA AND OMEGA. I cannot remember a work of fiction that has had this much impact on me in the matter of religion and the psychology of religion and of Eschatology. I believe Harry Turtledove to be a genius. He has taken the religious, social, ingrained, ancestral, and contemporary beliefs of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and of various ethnicities espousing those beliefs (particularly throughout the Middle East and in the U.S.) and has created a tapestry that weaves the unbelievable, the believable, the matters strictly of faith, the matters of science, and the impossible, together and created a syncretic synthesis that is greater than the sum of its components. In Jerusalem, members of a team of archaeologists (some Israeli, one an American secular Jew, one an Israeli Muslim) excavate below the Muslim Dome of the Rock, where Judaism believes the Second Temple to have been. What they discover issues in a book that is mind-exploding and spiritually uplifting and terrifying (simultaneously). I am definitely not the same reader I was before I read this book. I started it two evenings ago and have not been able to stop. It is making me examine who and what I am in a way that is life-changing.
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  • Deborah Ross
    January 1, 1970
    Harry Turtledove has written a lot of books. Really, a lot. Alternate history, pure science fiction, whimsical fantasy, humor, historical fiction, and more. I haven’t come across a single one that wasn’t a fast, smooth read with plenty of action and a ton of nifty ideas. Every once in a while, though, he so completely nails a story, concept and prose and thematic resonances, that it stays with me and I find myself blabbing about it like a fangirl to all my friends. The Guns of the South (time-tr Harry Turtledove has written a lot of books. Really, a lot. Alternate history, pure science fiction, whimsical fantasy, humor, historical fiction, and more. I haven’t come across a single one that wasn’t a fast, smooth read with plenty of action and a ton of nifty ideas. Every once in a while, though, he so completely nails a story, concept and prose and thematic resonances, that it stays with me and I find myself blabbing about it like a fangirl to all my friends. The Guns of the South (time-traveling racists arm the Confederacy with automatic weapons) was one such. Also Ruled Brittanica (the Spanish Armada prevails and William Shakespeare writes insurrectionist plays) and In the Presence of Mind Enemies (Jews survive in the shadow of victorious Nazi Germany). Now I can add Alpha and Omega to that list.The elevator pitch for this book might run, “Indiana Jones in 21st Century Israel, complete with American evangelicals, ultra Orthodox Jewish settlers, Muslim terrorists, and journalists on the lookout for a good story, with an occasional miracle.” But it’s much more. It begins in a perfectly ordinary thriller-ish way with a dirty bomb detonated in Tel Aviv and team of Israeli archaeologists (Jewish and Arab, with a nonobservant Jewish American and a dewy-eyed Christian student thrown in for good measure) excavate under the Temple Mount and find (of course, Indiana Jones style) the Ark of the Covenant . . . floating inches above the floor. And the skeptical journalist who unwisely lays hands on it is summarily carbonized.What to make of this miracle?Everyone with an ax to grind about the fate of the Middle East has an opinion, and Turtledove minces no words in depicting the sincerity, fervor, and insanity of the different viewpoints. Muslims, Jews, and Christians are all convinced the End Times are nigh and that their version of who wins and who loses is the correct one. The only thing they can agree on is that the Ark floats “because God wants it to.”It would be all too easy for a story such as this to devolve into proselytizing, taking sides, playing religious favorites, or turning the various proponents into caricatures. Turtledove avoids all these pitfalls, forging ahead at pager-turner speed while subtly weaving in threads that reflect not only our human prejudices but also our shared human experiences. To say that the ending transcends the current political polemic is an understatement.Go out and buy this book, and then use it as the context for discussing the difficult issues of today with people you don’t agree with . . . yet.The usual disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book, but no one bribed me to praise it. Although chocolates and fine imported tea are always welcome.
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  • Clay Davis
    January 1, 1970
    A Joel C. Rosenberg like story. The title is not good, it could be on a book about the Greek alphabet. Had some good insight on life in Israel.
  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    Can’t believe I hadn’t read Turtledove before!Excellent book. As befits a Ph.D in history, there’s a sense that Turtledove meticulously researched the religions in this book along with the historical tensions between them.
  • Dubi
    January 1, 1970
    What if God proved to be real? Beyond all doubt?Harry Turtledove, the master of alternate history, creates an alternate present-day scenario in Alpha and Omega in which various people react to an incontrovertible series of demonstrations that God exists. Set almost entirely in Israel, he gives us the points of view of people on all points on the compass of faith -- secular archeologists, fundamentalist leaders of all three major western religions, disinterested television personalities out for t What if God proved to be real? Beyond all doubt?Harry Turtledove, the master of alternate history, creates an alternate present-day scenario in Alpha and Omega in which various people react to an incontrovertible series of demonstrations that God exists. Set almost entirely in Israel, he gives us the points of view of people on all points on the compass of faith -- secular archeologists, fundamentalist leaders of all three major western religions, disinterested television personalities out for the best possible story, a young Israeli boy and his uncle, and a cast of additional characters.I don't have a firm grasp of the body of work that exists in fiction that deals with proof of God. I read Calculating God by Robert Sawyer, and I guess you can count The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta (which I read before watching the TV show). There's the current TV show God Friended Me, though it's not yet clear whether that's really God. Indeed, my only published work of fiction (albeit from forty years ago) was a short short story speculating a specific form that God could take. As a high concept, I found it quite interesting to read Turtledove's take on what proof of God could look like in this day and age.That said, I have a number of issues with his presentation. The most obvious is the length of the book, padded with what I find to be an inordinate amount of repetition in the characters' reactions to each succeeding event -- there are maybe six or seven discreet events, which makes it about one every 75 pages, and each time, we get pretty much the same set of responses, with the needle moving just a little more. It's all too much. By at least half -- and we're talking nearly 500 pages here.Now place that alongside glaring omissions that could've filled that space instead of repetitive musings. Like the reaction of societies around the world, mostly in Asia and Africa, that now number upwards of three billion people who have no history of ever even conceiving of a God like the one that is the singular focus of this book, the God of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Not. One. Single. Word. The perspective here is as white and Euro-centric as you can get (defining white Euro-centrism as having its roots in the ancient civilizations of the Near East).And what about alternative reactions within the world of western religion itself, like, uh, panic, or celebration, or mass demonstration, or anything other than continuing to make the buses and trains run on time, a highly unlikely response to God suddenly appearing and doing the things he does in Alpha and Omega. There doesn't even seem to have been much of a mass reaction around the world to a disaster early in the book -- think about 9/11, how can master speculator Harry Turtledove not imagine how a real-life event of that type would be greeted?Several times during Alpha and Omega, as it begins to dawn on people that God may actually be manifesting himself (yes, HIM-self), the question is asked: Why now? Where was he when millions were slain during the Holocaust? You could easily ask that question about slavery, the black death, the vast senseless slaughter of World War I, and countless other atrocities committed by humans over the centuries and millennia (although those are not asked in this book, only the Holocaust). Turtledove never attempts to answer that question -- which would be fine, except that he's the one who brought it up in the first place.I hesitate to ascribe the apparent point of view of this book to the author. I have no way of knowing what Turtledove himself believes. But the scenario he presents is highly specific, leaving no room for interpretation (especially by those other three billion people out there). So specific that in the end he doesn't answer the question about proof of God in general, not in any way. To me, that means that he has failed in what I believe to be his reason for writing this book -- or at least, what I was looking for in this book, once I realized as I was reading what it was about.I didn't know ahead of time what I was getting, other than the name of an author I have previously read and liked. I got an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I thank them for the chance to do so, and I have to qualify my honest opinion with a note that your mileage may vary -- that will likely depend on what you believe as you enter into this endeavor, just as mine is surely influenced by my journey from an Orthodox Jewish upbringing to a life of secular humanism and atheism.
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  • Diane Hernandez
    January 1, 1970
    Alpha and Omega is the most thought-provoking thriller I’ve read this year.A dirty bomb carried by a suicide bomber destroys the Tel Aviv bus station in Israel. An American talk show personality is on site and gets the aftermath on tape. Israelis are understandably upset. They decide to flout the long standing agreement with the Muslims by beginning an archeological dig under the Temple Mount. What they find will stun the world. What happens later will affirm God’s power over mankind. But which Alpha and Omega is the most thought-provoking thriller I’ve read this year.A dirty bomb carried by a suicide bomber destroys the Tel Aviv bus station in Israel. An American talk show personality is on site and gets the aftermath on tape. Israelis are understandably upset. They decide to flout the long standing agreement with the Muslims by beginning an archeological dig under the Temple Mount. What they find will stun the world. What happens later will affirm God’s power over mankind. But which religion is the “correct” one?Alpha and Omega is an awesome book. It ties Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious theory together with Middle Eastern politics and history. Readers are guaranteed to learn something new by reading this book. However, it can also be read strictly as a thriller. Will the Muslims or Jewish people win the battle over the Temple Mount? There are two love stories here too. I can’t recommend Alpha and Omega highly enough. I loved it! Even if you are staunchly religious, this book will treat your views with respect. I liked it much better than the Left Behind series. 5 stars!Thanks to Del Rey Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Harry L Skinner
    January 1, 1970
    Great bookOne of mr. Turtledoves best books in a long line of excellent tales. I hope this part one of a series.
  • Peter C Lyon
    January 1, 1970
    A++++. Wild ride for Turtledove fans!
  • Mica
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! What a great end-times book! Excellent writing by the author, I truly felt like I was watching the text play out!What happens when an a team digging under the Temple Mount finds the Ark of the Covenant? How will this change the lives of the team, religious leaders from around the world, and a young boy forever? What happens when the same young boy stands up for his feelings and what he thinks is right? If you love end-times fiction, this book is for you! Told from multiple perspectives (Jew Wow! What a great end-times book! Excellent writing by the author, I truly felt like I was watching the text play out!What happens when an a team digging under the Temple Mount finds the Ark of the Covenant? How will this change the lives of the team, religious leaders from around the world, and a young boy forever? What happens when the same young boy stands up for his feelings and what he thinks is right? If you love end-times fiction, this book is for you! Told from multiple perspectives (Jewish, Muslim, Christian, non-believing, secular) you are in the middle of all of the action. Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this work!
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  • Metaphorosis
    January 1, 1970
    3 stars, Metaphorosis ReviewsSummary:In the heart of the Holy Land, ancient prophecies begin to come true. But whose prophecies, exactly, and to whose benefit?Review:I enjoy Harry Turtledove’s writing, though I’m not really a fan of the alternate history niche that he’s claimed as his particular specialty. Here, he’s strayed from the SFF field into what’s more of a religion-heavy pop thriller with supernatural overtones. It’s a quick, smooth read with strong characters, but it didn’t win me over 3 stars, Metaphorosis ReviewsSummary:In the heart of the Holy Land, ancient prophecies begin to come true. But whose prophecies, exactly, and to whose benefit?Review:I enjoy Harry Turtledove’s writing, though I’m not really a fan of the alternate history niche that he’s claimed as his particular specialty. Here, he’s strayed from the SFF field into what’s more of a religion-heavy pop thriller with supernatural overtones. It’s a quick, smooth read with strong characters, but it didn’t win me over.The book is largely set in Jerusalem, and Turtledove does what I imagine he thinks is a painstaking job of presenting all viewpoints fairly. Unfortunately, he doesn’t really pull it off, and the Palestinians get short shrift, coming off as only slightly rounded villains. Most writers do worse, so I suppose we should be thankful that he tried at least, but that’s faint praise. Gender issues don’t always fare better, and while it’s possible to attribute some of these to character viewpoint, the story would have been fine without them. There’s also a tendency to believe that anyone who’s served in the military (especially the Israeli military) is and always will be a noble killing machine. In short, while I don’t know anything at all about Turtledove’s politics, the book fits comfortably in moderate right of center perspective. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but because of nature of the book, the thin presentation of the Palestinian case undermines the entire thing.The supernatural elements come up mostly toward the end. Most of the book is taken up with an examination of the characters and the political and theological questions they face. To Turtledove’s credit, he faces the political questions head on (if not with perfect balance). That makes it all the more disappointing that he avoids all the theological questions he so carefully tees up. That the end of the book is a cop-out is putting it mildly. He brings us and his characters along with the promise of revelations to come, and then … vanishes into the air. And even then, only the three main Abrahamic religions are addressed. Atheists, Hindus, etc. aren’t involved.It’s a disappointing book. Turtledove introduces interesting, engaging characters, but then does little with them. While he tries for balance, he doesn’t succeed. Where he raises interesting theological questions, he avoids them in the end. If you’re already to the right on Middle East issues, this book will confirm your views, and you might enjoy it. I can’t really recommend it to anyone else.I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Steve DuBois
    January 1, 1970
    Immensely ambitious, which is good. I was also happy with Turtledove's decision to go against the grain by presenting the evangelist preacher character as fundamentally sincere. It's a good novel, but it falls short of having the epic sweep that I think was intended.I have liked a lot of Harry Turtledove's stuff over the years, such as the Timeline-191 material and particularly his stand-alone novel Ruled Britannia. In those environments, Turtledove's native style--which verges on the hokey in s Immensely ambitious, which is good. I was also happy with Turtledove's decision to go against the grain by presenting the evangelist preacher character as fundamentally sincere. It's a good novel, but it falls short of having the epic sweep that I think was intended.I have liked a lot of Harry Turtledove's stuff over the years, such as the Timeline-191 material and particularly his stand-alone novel Ruled Britannia. In those environments, Turtledove's native style--which verges on the hokey in spots--is often effective. In his short story "Father of the Groom," it was VERY effective. It's less effective when it's being presented as the inner monologue of characters of world-historical import (Vyacheslav Molotov excepted). Turtledove's great gift has been to provide a voice to history's "man on the street" types, but when his roster of Everyday Joes is witnessing events of the type he describes here, the scale of what's being witnessed isn't successfully conveyed, and the dad jokes wind up landing with a thud. Turtledove is great at bringing history down to earth--but the end of history CAN'T be "brought down to earth" without losing its sheen.I enjoy Turtledove's writing. I admire the concept of this book. I'm not in love with the match between them.
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  • Cliff Dalton
    January 1, 1970
    Coming of the Last Days?In what can be considered a bold undertaking Turtledove takes on religion to put a sci-fi twist to it. After terrorists attack Tel Aviv with a dirty bomb Israel takes over the Temple Mount from the Muslims who have held it for 1,300 years with the intention to dismantle the Dome of the Rock and build a third Temple on the site. The signs appear right to begin and with the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant plus a sacrificial cow to purify the Temple site and all for con Coming of the Last Days?In what can be considered a bold undertaking Turtledove takes on religion to put a sci-fi twist to it. After terrorists attack Tel Aviv with a dirty bomb Israel takes over the Temple Mount from the Muslims who have held it for 1,300 years with the intention to dismantle the Dome of the Rock and build a third Temple on the site. The signs appear right to begin and with the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant plus a sacrificial cow to purify the Temple site and all for construction the deal is sealed. Further developments indicate the Hand of God is present for all these events and a young Jew is deemed the Messiah then a young Iranian is revealed to be the Mahdi both a symbol of their respective religions to herald the End of Days. The characters are believable and the sites in Jerusalem accurate. For the ending there is a twist that says a lot about the condition and state of our world. This is a different but fascinating book by one of my favorite authors.
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  • Benjamin Barnes
    January 1, 1970
    This Started Slow it was worth the Slog because it Slowly picks up speed and Is Exceptional
  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting beginning but more boring as it went on and a very unsatisfactory ending.
  • Sercalunna Pautasso
    January 1, 1970
    I usually love Harry Turtledove's books and had high expectations for this one.The books is quite entertaining, the characters well developed but on a general level I couldn't care about them or the plot and the book fell flat.Not my cup of tea.I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange of a honest review via Netgalley.
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  • Ileana Renfroe
    January 1, 1970
    DescriptionNew York Times bestselling author Harry Turtledove reveals a new side of his potent imagination in a gripping speculative novel about the End of Days—and a discovery in the Middle East that turns the world upside down.What would happen if the ancient prophecy of the End of Days came true? It is certainly the last thing Eric Katz, a secular archaeologist from Los Angeles, expects during what should be a routine dig in Jerusalem. But perhaps higher forces have something else in mind whe DescriptionNew York Times bestselling author Harry Turtledove reveals a new side of his potent imagination in a gripping speculative novel about the End of Days—and a discovery in the Middle East that turns the world upside down.What would happen if the ancient prophecy of the End of Days came true? It is certainly the last thing Eric Katz, a secular archaeologist from Los Angeles, expects during what should be a routine dig in Jerusalem. But perhaps higher forces have something else in mind when a sign presaging the rising of the Third Temple is located in America, a dirty bomb is detonated in downtown Tel Aviv, and events conspire to place a team of archaeologists in the tunnels deep under the Temple Mount. It is there that Eric is witness to a discovery of such monumental proportions that nothing will ever be the same again.Harry Turtledove is the master at portraying ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events, and what is more extraordinary than the incontrovertible proof that there truly is a higher force controlling human destiny? But as to what that force desires . . . well, that is the question.My ReviewThis is the first book I have read by Harry Tutledove and it definitely had me thinking. Written as a suspense thriller it was quite enjoyable. The characters were very well written. In addition, the scenery was believable.Tutledove known for his alternate history stories did a very good job. I highly recommend you reading this book with an open mind.This book was provided free in exchange for my honest opinion.I GIVE IT A 4 STAR: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    This was an interesting read. It definitely kept my attention. I am a Christian, so I came into the book interested in the storyline. It was interesting to have a different take on what the 2nd coming of Jesus may look like. I liked the story and was interested in how it would be resolved. That said, there were some things that I did not like. First, I'm not sure if it was one of the characters (Eric Katz) or the author himself who is so opinionated. Those opinions flowed throughout the book! Th This was an interesting read. It definitely kept my attention. I am a Christian, so I came into the book interested in the storyline. It was interesting to have a different take on what the 2nd coming of Jesus may look like. I liked the story and was interested in how it would be resolved. That said, there were some things that I did not like. First, I'm not sure if it was one of the characters (Eric Katz) or the author himself who is so opinionated. Those opinions flowed throughout the book! They were annoying and at times, offensive. Second, I was surprised at some of the language in the book, since going in, I made an assumption that it would be a Christian book. Nope. It isn't. Third and last, the author (in my opinion) consistently confused the concept of predestination with fatalism. Predestination is the belief that God has chosen specific people to be His own and those are the people who will choose Jesus. The saved are predestined to be saved. Fatalism is the belief that all things are preordained--what you do, what you believe, circumstances, etc. These are 2 very different concepts. At one point in the book, Lester Stark's wife says perhaps she is predestined to pray. No. That is not predestination. That is fatalism. The idea that it doesn't matter what you do because you aren't really choosing, you are just doing what was preordained for you to do. That is fatalism and would mean that free will does not exist. Free will exists. We have it. We make choices that have consequences for us and for others. The misuse was consistent in the book.Overall, I'd say it is worth the read.
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  • Donna Davis
    January 1, 1970
    I greatly enjoyed We Install and Other Stories when it came out a few years ago, and so when Turtledove’s name came up again, I pounced on the chance to read and review Alpha and Omega. Thanks go to Net Galley and Random House Ballantine. This book will be available to the public Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The Dome of the Rock, an ancient Islamic shrine, is about to be relocated so that the Jewish Third Temple may rise in its place. As the story commences, a rare, completely red heifer has been iden I greatly enjoyed We Install and Other Stories when it came out a few years ago, and so when Turtledove’s name came up again, I pounced on the chance to read and review Alpha and Omega. Thanks go to Net Galley and Random House Ballantine. This book will be available to the public Tuesday, July 2, 2019. The Dome of the Rock, an ancient Islamic shrine, is about to be relocated so that the Jewish Third Temple may rise in its place. As the story commences, a rare, completely red heifer has been identified and will be used as a sacrifice for the occasion. Chaim, a youngster who has raised Rosie and regards her as a pet, is not entirely on board, but he is just one kid, and he has no authority at all. Until he does. Turtledove is a master writer of alternative history, which I confess isn’t my usual wheelhouse, but I do love me some old school science fiction now and then, and this book is that, too. A three-way conflict develops between the Orthodox Jews of Israel; the Muslim Grand Mufti—and the Islamic nations with which he is aligned—and the evangelical Christians of the American South, led by the Reverend Stark. Archaeologist Eric Katz, a secular Jew with no religious axe to grind, provides the reader with an objective, every-man perspective, accompanied by his girlfriend, Orly. If I could change one thing about this story, I’d like to see a female character developed well outside of the traditional pigeonholes; journalist Gabriella almost gets there but doesn’t. However, this is an issue that’s endemic to the genre.All told, the miracles that unfold within this witty tale are delightfully provocative; this is a story that will rocket to the top of the banned book list, and you’ll want to know why. I recommend it to fans of the genre.
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  • C. A.
    January 1, 1970
    What would happen if the God of the Old Testament, the God worshipped by Jews, Christians and Muslims, turned out to be provably real and the ancient prophecy of the End Times comes true? Since this is a Harry Turtledove book, you'll find out through multiple viewpoints of lots of different people from all walks of life in different parts of the world whose stories will swirl around until they finally meet up at the end, more or less. And you'll get lots of intriguing concepts and theological id What would happen if the God of the Old Testament, the God worshipped by Jews, Christians and Muslims, turned out to be provably real and the ancient prophecy of the End Times comes true? Since this is a Harry Turtledove book, you'll find out through multiple viewpoints of lots of different people from all walks of life in different parts of the world whose stories will swirl around until they finally meet up at the end, more or less. And you'll get lots of intriguing concepts and theological ideas to think about afterward. After a suicide bomber takes out a Tel Aviv bus station, Israelis dig under the ancient Islamic shrine The Dome of the Rock to relocate it for space to build a Third Temple, and find the Ark of the Convenant. Which is floating off the ground.Then things get interesting.Turtledove is great at creating different characters with different opinions and motivations and throwing them all at a weird situation, and that style fits eschatological fiction nicely. How would a secular archeologist react to finding the Ark? What happens when the Jews find their Messiah and the Muslims their Mahdi? How would this affect everyone else? As with his other books, at times I felt almost tired trying to keep up with everyone. But his writing always entertains, he never shies away from the tough questions (even if he doesn't always answer them) and "Alpha and Omega" will definitely get you thinking, whatever your religious faith is or isn't.
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  • John Purvis
    January 1, 1970
    "Alpha and Omega" eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Harry Turtledove (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_T...). Mr. Turtledove has published more than 60 novels. I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set at an archeological site in Israel.The main character is Los Angeles archeologist Eric Katz. After a dirty bom "Alpha and Omega" eBook was published in 2019 and was written by Harry Turtledove (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_T...). Mr. Turtledove has published more than 60 novels. I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set at an archeological site in Israel.The main character is Los Angeles archeologist Eric Katz. After a dirty bomb is detonated in Tel Aviv, a series of events lead towards the End of Days. Many disbelieve, but one event after another fulfills the prophecy in the Old Testament. I thoroughly enjoyed the 13 hours I spent reading this 469-page alternative history. I have read many of Turtledove's novels and I have enjoyed them all. This one is a little different in that it is proposing an alternative future. The way the novel ended, there could be a sequel. I think that the cover art is well chosen for this novel. I give this novel a 4.2 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/. 
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  • Theresa
    January 1, 1970
    Alpha and Omegaby Harry TurtledoveHarry Turtledove is an amazing alternative history writer, I was surprised by this book in many ways. He jumps right in to the biggest quagmire of the modern age. The conflict between religious beliefs is the predominate struggle in the middle east. Mr. Turtledove looks at the differences between the predictions of the end of times. Each religion has a different prospect on this conflict. All stating they are the right and true path, and they know not only how t Alpha and Omegaby Harry TurtledoveHarry Turtledove is an amazing alternative history writer, I was surprised by this book in many ways. He jumps right in to the biggest quagmire of the modern age. The conflict between religious beliefs is the predominate struggle in the middle east. Mr. Turtledove looks at the differences between the predictions of the end of times. Each religion has a different prospect on this conflict. All stating they are the right and true path, and they know not only how things will end but how people whom don't believe will be treated.  He comes first from the Judaism belief of the end of times, the return of the arc of the covenant.  The birth of a perfect Red calf, and the blessings that allow them to rebuild the Temple of Solomon, the third temple. He looks at Christianity the return of Christ and the guiding of the blessed to heaven. Finally Islam, and the return of the Mahdi and the persecution of the unbelievers. I am interested by the way he handles this conflict in the end, i have never seen such a pragmatic look at the stories of the end of times.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting take on the End Times. I generally like Turtledove's work, but there was a lot of ragging on American politics, and there was quite a bit of repetition of some of the explanations, as if he was originally going to make this into more than one book.The book entertwines the 3 Abrahamic faiths, and postulates on what might happen when the prophesied signs start appearing, mainly in Israel. I am a Christian, but have been fortunate enough to be involved in several Bible studies of both O Interesting take on the End Times. I generally like Turtledove's work, but there was a lot of ragging on American politics, and there was quite a bit of repetition of some of the explanations, as if he was originally going to make this into more than one book.The book entertwines the 3 Abrahamic faiths, and postulates on what might happen when the prophesied signs start appearing, mainly in Israel. I am a Christian, but have been fortunate enough to be involved in several Bible studies of both Old and New Testament, so was able to appreciated his portrayal of those two sides. I am not so familiar with the Muslim faith, but it read well, and seemed well researched. He molds the perspectives together well.I thought the ending was rather rushed as well. I know this is supposed to be a stand alone, but there were threads left hanging. And the many non-Abrahamic faiths are not addressed at all, even in the news reports, which seems strange in retrospect. One of the characters makes an off hand comment about Scientology, but that is about all I remember.
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  • N.W. Moors
    January 1, 1970
    When conservative Jews find a pure red heifer and archeologists find the lost Ark under the Temple Mount, it looks like the End of Days might be coming soon. Told in various points of view and by members of the different Abrahamic religions, the newest book by Harry Turtledove is an engaging view of events in the Middle East and religion across the West. Conservative Christians, devout Jews and Muslims, and secular people must confront a new reality as events progress in this story. While some s When conservative Jews find a pure red heifer and archeologists find the lost Ark under the Temple Mount, it looks like the End of Days might be coming soon. Told in various points of view and by members of the different Abrahamic religions, the newest book by Harry Turtledove is an engaging view of events in the Middle East and religion across the West. Conservative Christians, devout Jews and Muslims, and secular people must confront a new reality as events progress in this story. While some seem a bit contrived, there's enough scholarly backup from the Bible, the Talmud, and the Quoran to make it all believable. This book leaves the reader pondering the result and wondering if we might ever reach that ending in the real world.
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  • Scott
    January 1, 1970
    The premise for this book was interesting. I wanted to see how turtle dove would handle Christian Jewish Muslim myhtos. I will admit I did approach this book with some trepidation because usually when he starts to write a novel it turns into several novels. However, this is a stand-alone novel apparently and to be honest I found the little cliched at times and boring in spots. He did attempt to tell some of the major plot points from several viewpoints of the same incident which was interesting. The premise for this book was interesting. I wanted to see how turtle dove would handle Christian Jewish Muslim myhtos. I will admit I did approach this book with some trepidation because usually when he starts to write a novel it turns into several novels. However, this is a stand-alone novel apparently and to be honest I found the little cliched at times and boring in spots. He did attempt to tell some of the major plot points from several viewpoints of the same incident which was interesting. Overall I gave this book three out of five stars due to the rather abrupt ending of the book as well as the rather cookie cutter characters.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    Imagine what would happen if the end days were really here. Which religion would be considered "the right one"? How would people react? What happens to those who are not part of the chosen religion (assuming any religion is "chosen")? These are questions asked in Alpha and Omega. I see reviews of this book saying it starts too slowly but I disagree. I do not know very much about politics in the Middle East. At least for me, the first few chapters helped me to understand some of what was going on Imagine what would happen if the end days were really here. Which religion would be considered "the right one"? How would people react? What happens to those who are not part of the chosen religion (assuming any religion is "chosen")? These are questions asked in Alpha and Omega. I see reviews of this book saying it starts too slowly but I disagree. I do not know very much about politics in the Middle East. At least for me, the first few chapters helped me to understand some of what was going on politically in that area. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes end of times stories. I found this book to be very interesting and I think others would too.
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  • Edgardo
    January 1, 1970
    Three events simultaneously trigger what for most people is the end of the world 1) the discovery of the ark of the alliance under the Temple Mount 2) a dirty radioactive bomb detonated by Islamic terrorists in Tel Aviv and 3) the discovery of the birth of a red cow parah adumah the sequence of miracles following these events are viewed through the eyes of an American archeologist, a young boy raised to serve as a priest in the reconstruction of the 3rd Temple and a journalist in a tv show. The Three events simultaneously trigger what for most people is the end of the world 1) the discovery of the ark of the alliance under the Temple Mount 2) a dirty radioactive bomb detonated by Islamic terrorists in Tel Aviv and 3) the discovery of the birth of a red cow parah adumah the sequence of miracles following these events are viewed through the eyes of an American archeologist, a young boy raised to serve as a priest in the reconstruction of the 3rd Temple and a journalist in a tv show. The book includes the author reflections on the differences between the 3 Abrahamic religions and the relationship between religious and non religious people in a messianic time.
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  • Beverly Mccollum
    January 1, 1970
    I had never read an alternate history book, but my friend highly recommended this and I’m so pleased that she did. It was a page-turner in the best sense of the word. Set in the Middle East- basically Israel- it’s a story of three faiths and belief systems. Well-drawn characters and a plot which is intricate and truly thought-provoking. Christianity-Judaism-Islam -an American evangelical minister-secular newspeople and archeologists. All of these things resonate throughout this imaginative work. I had never read an alternate history book, but my friend highly recommended this and I’m so pleased that she did. It was a page-turner in the best sense of the word. Set in the Middle East- basically Israel- it’s a story of three faiths and belief systems. Well-drawn characters and a plot which is intricate and truly thought-provoking. Christianity-Judaism-Islam -an American evangelical minister-secular newspeople and archeologists. All of these things resonate throughout this imaginative work. Do not be at all surprised if these themes stay with you long after you close this book. I’d highly recommend it.
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  • Geri F
    January 1, 1970
    Thought provoking 'future' history that is based upon the past and on previous history resulting in prejudices that the 3 Abrahamic religions have regarding the others.I found most of the characters fairly flat, but I've felt that way about many of the characters in his other books. The story itself seems to be the 'main' character and the people are moving it along. It is a fascinating read and kept me reading late into the night to finish it. It does appear to be set up for sequel(s) but it wo Thought provoking 'future' history that is based upon the past and on previous history resulting in prejudices that the 3 Abrahamic religions have regarding the others.I found most of the characters fairly flat, but I've felt that way about many of the characters in his other books. The story itself seems to be the 'main' character and the people are moving it along. It is a fascinating read and kept me reading late into the night to finish it. It does appear to be set up for sequel(s) but it would be difficult to integrate the 3 religious philosophies moving forward.I will be re-reading it because there are a number of tiny details I'd like to further explore.
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    Long and literal, the development of the characters is sacrificed to keep to the Biblical script. I can't evaluate the author's accuracy for Muslim and Jewish prophecy, but he toes the line on Christian end times for the most part. So then what? He wraps all the Abrahamic faiths together with the message the Last Tribulation is coming so we better all start living right. This is where the theology starts to break down for me. Weighed and found wanting, we have a last chance to earn God's approva Long and literal, the development of the characters is sacrificed to keep to the Biblical script. I can't evaluate the author's accuracy for Muslim and Jewish prophecy, but he toes the line on Christian end times for the most part. So then what? He wraps all the Abrahamic faiths together with the message the Last Tribulation is coming so we better all start living right. This is where the theology starts to break down for me. Weighed and found wanting, we have a last chance to earn God's approval and get into heaven. Except, then there's Barb. Saved by grace or just a simple idiot?
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