When the Bible's ancient prophecy of the End of Days begins to come true, a secular American archaeologist, a televangelist, an Israeli scholar, a theologian, a Palestinian leader, and two television hosts grapple with how to handle this new apocalyptic reality.
What if God really exists, and proves it beyond argument right now in Israel? ... Alpha and Omega tells that story in an impressively plausible way. Like the book’s many characters, readers will probably be reexamining their values and beliefs by the time the story closes ... it gets deeper and more interesting as the pages turn. A caveat here: This is a thinking person’s novel. While there is adventure galore, it’s essentially about serious meaning-of-life questions and deep personal issues ... The author lightens the tone by using a casual writing style loaded with sharp similes and metaphors—all so right-on that you might start folding down page corners or underlining passages with a highlighter ... there would be no surprise if [this book] garnered an award. It deserves one, if only for daring to put on the table the soul-deep issues dividing us, and showing what it might take to unite us around the world.
...some of the things that happen in the book will shock and amaze even the most diehard reader. This is not science fiction, it is not fantasy, it is religious fiction laced with a plethora of parables and allegories for the reader to consume ... Turtledove...dives deep into many communities, religions, and practices treating them fairly and equally almost without fail ... What he does is give the reader a wider view of events, enabling empathy and curiosity to reign supreme. The text is neither preachy nor accusatory. It is literally just a great plot that puts the reader inside the story. And I highly recommend this to any and all who might have the slightest interest in the topic. Beware the ending, however, you will not be expecting it.
Turtledove is advancing an unambiguous proposition that brooks no argument. Does it therefore follow that non-Abrahamic religions are false or irrelevant? And it's difficult to reconcile the God that initially manifests—closely resembling the uncompromisingly biblical force of nature that tormented Job—with the astounding act of communion that forms the novel's zenith. Maybe the author's just overreached himself in providing answers while denying any possibility for skepticism or doubt. Like similar flaws in another, famous work of theological science fiction, James Blish's A Case of Conscience, some things might have been better left cryptic. Heady on one level and perturbing on quite another.