Read City of Dreams by Stephen R. Lawhead Ross Lawhead Online


On this undercover assignment, Special Agent Alex Hunter is getting way more than he ever bargained for and swiftly finds himself entangled in a web of mysterious people and dangerous events....

Title : City of Dreams
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781576834992
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 361 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

City of Dreams Reviews

  • Katie Daniels
    2018-10-07 18:49

    City of Dreams is the first book in a trilogy about the life of Christ. Written like a thriller novel it also reads like a thriller novel, as it's an alternate history version of the story set in the present day. I spent the first third of the book being confused, the second third waiting for the author to screw up, and the last part sitting on the edge of my seat with suspense. The suspense is superbly well written, the age old tale is flawlessly reimagined, and the cliffhanger ending is full of promise. One of the best novel versions of the gospel story I've ever read (and I've read quite a few) the only downside is that the sequel was due to come out ten years ago and no one knows why it was never released. This is something I genuinely hope to rectify...

  • Annette
    2018-09-24 21:38

    I seem to remember quite a bit of marketing and event tie-ins associated with this series when it came out several years ago; possibly because of this I did not rush out to read it. Now that I have, I confess myself reasonably impressed. (Before I start, I have to mention it. I know I am a geek, but the title of the series, "!Hero," drives me nuts. When an exclamation point (or "bang") is placed in front of a symbol or statement in math or programming, it is the negation symbol - that is, the combo "!=" means "not equal." So the title "!Hero" is read in my mind as "Not Hero." It's one of those things that gets into my head and bugs me as I look for hidden meanings. Is the main character supposed to be the anti-Hero? Is it suggesting the book's universe has no Hero? Are they just clueless and trying to be cute by emphasizing the title with punctuation in the wrong place? Probably the latter, I guess.) In any case, the story is more or less an alternate history in which Jesus was born sometime in the 1960's rather than 2000 years ago, and in Bethlehem, PA rather than Bethlehem, Palestine. Now, it's not a Serious alternate history: obviously a world in which Jesus was not born around 0 AD could not look anything even vaguely similar to the one we're living in, and the "!Hero" world is like ours in all but a few minor details (most importantly that "ICON" - a UN-like organization but with much more power - is in charge of the Western world.) But as interesting as it might be to consider what this Christ-free world might Really look like, I assume the authors' primary motivation is to get people to reconsider this most important of stories in a completely new and hopefully more "relevant" light: the world has to resemble ours for this to work. Anyway, the authors could not transpose every event, political circumstance, and character with perfect congruence from Jerusalem to New York, but the effort is pretty good. Some of the characters have the same or only very vaguely modernized names ("Washer John" for John the Baptist and "Kai" for Caiaphas for instance - and of course "Joshua" for Jesus); others do not and I found it entertaining to map out in my head who they may represent. The main character in this story, however, doesn't have a pure Biblical analog as far as I can tell: he is, in fact, an ICON agent assigned to investigate the murder of Washer John. (The Herods having no legitimate political power in this retelling, it had to be done secretly.) Ben Hur-like, he constantly finds himself around the periphery of Jesus' ministry. His response feels very realistic to me: while he finds himself fascinated / disturbed by Washer John, and unexpectedly drawn to Joshua himself, he doesn't give the larger issues all that much thought: he's trying to get his job done, and all this religious stuff is just so much pie-in-the-sky fanaticism that is frankly in his way. One thing I found very - interesting - was the decision to cast Jesus, and by extension all or most of the New York Jews, as black. Not dark skinned Israelis, but actually African. Again, perhaps the authors' desire to get their readers to really examine the story in a new light required that Jesus be a member of a racial group more actively discriminated against and with less political power than the Jews in America, and I guess they figured this outweighed the fact that racially Jewish blacks are not terrifically common. (I prefer to attribute to them this motive rather than what my husband calls "Authorial Affirmative Action." Or that they're in the not-too-credible camp of those who believe that the original Hebrews *were* African. Anyway...) All in all, I found this a good read, and one that accomplished the apparent goal of causing me to reconsider what Jesus really looked like to ordinary people living around him, and perhaps more importantly to ask myself the question "would I have followed him?" I'm still wrestling with that answer... It's a quick read (I read it in a single Saturday), so pick it up if you're looking for something both entertaining and thought provoking.

  • Jennifer
    2018-09-25 01:47

    I picked up this book at random from the library, not realizing it was part of a trilogy. While it did include plenty of drama, I had trouble keeping the characters straight, probably because I was trying to figure out the parallels to the biblical story as I read. Since this book is fictional, those parallels are blurry and confusing and don't follow the Bible story exactly, which distracted me. Despite its part in the trilogy, I don't think I'll pick up the second book. The story isn't captivating enough for me to spend time on any more of this series. If you decide to read it, try to enjoy it without considering the biblical story.

  • Dale
    2018-10-10 00:29

    An interesting "What if...?" take on the story of Jesus.Published in 2003 by NavpressThis may be the most pointless review I have ever written. There is something sad about a stillborn trilogy. In this case, only the first book was published, although co-author Ross Lawhead claims the 2nd and 3rd books are written in his blog. So, this reminds of an unfinished building - lots of big plans but someone pulled the plug before it was completed.Nonethless, here is the review:The premise is simple. What if Jesus did not come into the world about 2,000 years ago, but instead was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the here and now. As a history teacher I very much enjoyed reading the alternate history aspect of this book - how would the world be different if Christianity did not eclipse the old religions of Europe? Would the worship of Jupiter, Thor and Diana have continued? Would Europe have developed the same sort of political structures? These topics are hinted at but are not really the main focus of the book...Read more at:

  • Krista, Ambassador of Shimmy
    2018-10-14 19:45

    Read ?I saw the production of !Hero at a local Christian gathering. It was fantabulous. I picked up the book (which was supposed to be the first in a series, although no other books ever came out), thinking it would be as great as the production.While it was read-worthy, it does not rank in my all-time favorite books. The fact there really wasn't closure (since there were supposed to be more books) just makes it an even lower rating for me. Had there been more books, or had this one been finished up properly, then I would likely rank it higher.If you're looking for a new spin on the life of Jesus when we walked the earth as a simple man, then this modern-day twist might be the ticket. Just know, the end will leave you hanging for more with no hope of additional's off to the production or the graphic novels to get your finale.(reviewed 09/22/08)

  • K.A. Wiggins
    2018-09-18 01:47

    Lawhead (&Son) impress once again! Honestly, my expectations for this book were subterranean. It's sort of a companion to the !Hero rock opera and comic series (cowritten & inked by the younger Lawhead), which is a modern day retelling of the Jesus' ministry and death, but like, cool circa 2000. However! This book (and presumably, series) concerns itself mainly with a special agent dealing with terrorists, cults, and government corruption. If you keep an eye out for Biblical people and events, they're there in the background, but the main force of this first novel is concerned with a pretty fast-paced crime drama/thriller, and done well. The politics and radical elements are at times disturbingly real-world effective, and it's sort of fun getting a look at an old story with refreshed urban-hip trappings... Recommended. I'll definitely track down the next in the series.

  • Meghan
    2018-10-17 19:26

    This is a modern retelling of the story of Jesus, born in Bethlehem, PA, into a world who has never known the Messiah. Unfortunately, this is the first of a trilogy, and the other two works did not get published (they may be available electronically at some point), so we didn't get to see how the whole things plays out. I did get to meet "Washer John," Simon, and we saw a little bit of Josh (Jesus). If the rest of the series comes out I would definitely read it, but I'm not sure I would have read it knowing that you're left hanging at the beginning of Josh's public ministry. Great concept.

  • Margaret Chind
    2018-09-21 20:37

    This is another book that I just could not get into. Maybe it is an off day for me, but I just could not get excited about this story. It is strange because I normally do really like Biblical tales retold in modern times. Maybe at another time, but as for now I do not like this book or really recommend it. Lawhead did much better withHood.

  • Rachel N
    2018-09-28 23:54

    Special Agent Alex Hunter finds himself in a complex & mysterious investigation of terrorists & religious fanatics. Filled with danger, suspense and a confusing web of investigative leads, readers will join Special Agent Hunter on a wild ride that is unpredictable and a bit weird (for lack of a better word). I found myself saying, “Huh?” at the end of the reading.

  • Melissa
    2018-10-07 18:36

    This was supposed to be the first book in a trilogy and I loved it; couldn't wait to read the other two. But then, the publisher pulled out and the other two books are sitting around waiting for publisher. Boo!

  • Wumi
    2018-10-13 01:43

    The coming of the Messiah set in today's world.

  • Kim♥
    2018-10-02 17:38

    This book grew on me. Bummed the rest of the series was canceled.

  • Jerry
    2018-10-12 18:48

    A great speculative novel in the vein of Bill Myers' Eli. I just hope the Lawheads ramp up the intensity in the following novels; although this one had some, it could have used more.

  • Joel
    2018-10-10 19:54

    Not my favorite Lawhead but still an interesting read.

  • Wes
    2018-09-30 01:49

    This started off okay, but needed to be abandoned, so I speedread it after about 150 pages. Next.