🎁 Mysterium: I Rome by Mitchel Fidel

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Description⎮Reviewed Aug. 2016

Narrator: Phillip J Mather
Length: 5h 6m
Publisher: Denouement Literary Agency⎮2016

 4.5★ AudiobookMysterium: I Rome blurs the lines between fact and fiction excruciatingly well. It is set approximately 65 years after Jesus’ death and follows a young Roman man in his quest to uncover the truth about the life of Jesus Christ. There’s a lot information “dumping” in this story, but I still quite enjoyed it. If Mr. Fidel hadn’t taught me the root of the word, I daresay I would describe his book as fascinating.

Mysterium: I Rome opened my eyes to several things, in addition to the phallic root of the word fascinating. Specifically, new possibilities concerning the life of Jesus Christ that I would have never considered on my own. Mysterium: I Rome took the bull by the horns (the bull being the legend of Jesus) and did not play around. I would not recommend this to anyone easily offended over religious issues. This is the Da Vinci Code minus the love story and murder mystery plot. It is bound to be provoking to a lot of Christians.

Fidel references several sayings attributed to Jesus Christ in the New Testament that were known to have existed before Jesus’ time. He also points out numerous inconsistencies in the books written by Christ’s apostles and the historical inaccuracies running between them. From a historical standpoint, Mysterium: I Rome is jaw-dropping. From a religious standpoint, it could be seen as heretical, just as every other writing that has dared to question the legend of Jesus.

I’m someone who likes examining things from all angles, so Mysterium: I Rome was just my speed. It fell short, however, because it was so short. I know that this is apparently only the first installment in a series, but even so, a five-hour audiobook is incredibly short. I felt like the plot was just picking up momentum towards the end. That’s disappointing because a structured plot was lacking for much of the story. This installment was more information than action, but that wasn’t necessarily a completely negative thing, especially because the information was so astounding. This is a topic I’ve only dabbled in previously, but listening to Mysterium: I Rome solidified my interest in the roots of early Christianity and I eagerly await the next installment. In fact, I’ve already been scouring the internet in search of a tentative release date!

Narration review:  Philip Mather’s narration style was so appropriate for a story set in ancient Rome that I cannot imagine it having been narrated any other way. As with all thickly accented narrations, it can take a while for the ears (or, more accurately, the brain) to adjust to what is being heard. Mr. Mather’s narration was no exception, but I will say that I think I adjusted more quickly while listening to this audiobook than I have in the past. Whether that should be attributed to Mather’s narration or to my lengthy listening experience, I cannot say. I will say, however, that listeners should not be intimidated or immediately put off by thickly accented narration, because you tend to become more accustomed to it over time.

Although I initially thought Mather’s narration to be too difficult to understand, within 10 minutes of listening to Mysterium: I Rome, I found myself able to understand him with great ease. Furthermore, his narration enhanced the story’s atmosphere tremendously. ♣︎

This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its narrator, Philip Mather, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Philip!

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