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Iscariot by Tosca Lee

Title:  Iscariot:  A Novel
Author:  Tosca Lee
Pages:  352
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Howard Books
                Picture yourself in a chair watching a movie, any movie.  As the movie begins the usual warnings are posted sometimes followed by previews and then the main feature begins.  You hear music, see the company’s logo and then the long awaited feature begins.  Sitting there with snacks and a drink, you watch the story unfold.  If the movie is one you have already seen before, perhaps you watch it to just relax and enjoy it again.  What if it is new though?  You have never seen the movie; the expectation for a great experience heightens as once again a tale is told.
                When I began this novel, what I previously described in some ways is what I felt.  Although there was no music or company logo, the anticipation to read about someone most people know a lot about didn’t diminish the hope that this would be a compelling novel.  There I was caught up in a story told in first person by Judas himself.  Remember, this is a strictly a fiction novel even though there was a real man named Judas who betrayed Jesus.  What Tosca Lee does in this tale is to imagine what life, thoughts, hopes, dreams, hurts, and more Judas may have felt.  The Bible is silent on this man in any depth.  Tosca Lee dares to take him from obscurity and expertly weaves a compelling masterpiece told from his perspective.
                You will see through the character’s eyes the time and life of Jesus.  Throughout the novel we are reminded of the many teachings Judas heard, the miracles he witnessed, and the part where he betrayed a friend with a kiss.  Not only that, but he took the money offered by some religious leaders to betray Jesus.  Coincidentally, 30 pieces of silver was the cost to buy a slave.  What could possibly compel someone to betray and sell someone else, then go and take his own life?  There are many views and books written about Judas and his actions, but Tosca tells us a story of a man from his point of view.  She brings him out and away from controversy of scholars to paint a tale of a man we really don’t know much about.
                Iscariot is a page turner and reminds us of the humanity of this man.  The novel causes us to think of how people lived at that time in history, what they saw and what they thought.  In some places Jesus speaks, reminding us of Judas’ presence when some of the events take place.  Judas was not just an observer; he participated.  He was known to the other disciples too.  To read this book is to take a trip back in time and perhaps be reminded that we too can betray another.  I would read for hours before I would look at a clock and remember it is the year 2013.  Written words can carry our imaginations to far away places, and Tosca Lee did a magnificent job of doing that here.  Now, are you ready to take the adventure in history back to Bible times?  Be bold and take the trip; it is worth it!
                My rating is 5+ stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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