Ahead of time I figured this would be mildly enjoyable as an inside joke about cons as it includes several authors as characters.
What I got was a thorAhead of time I figured this would be mildly enjoyable as an inside joke about cons as it includes several authors as characters.
What I got was a thoroughly enjoyable supernatural murder mystery. One of those where the murderer must be found to advert a war among groups. The inside stuff was fun along with that authors included, but I believe this novel would stand on it's own merit even if ignorant of the inside stuff.
So this author has certainly intrigued my interest....more
I have seen this book referenced quite often because of the premise dealing with a group of Jesuits and others regarding a first contact story.
The preI have seen this book referenced quite often because of the premise dealing with a group of Jesuits and others regarding a first contact story.
The premise is solid and there is much to like as the story develops.
But much of it was ruined for me by the author's focus on priestly celibacy and the disdain that it is practically impossible. Lots of bad theology. So I found it worthwhile to read, but often maddening. The authors recent afterwords for the 20th anniversary of this book gives a look into her viewpoint, which is what I suspected it would be....more
This novel uses the idea that St. Joseph was a widower and that one of his sons is James. The idea of St. Joseph as a widower is an early tradition anThis novel uses the idea that St. Joseph was a widower and that one of his sons is James. The idea of St. Joseph as a widower is an early tradition and I believe it is found in the Protoevangelium of James. Another tradition of Mary being a temple virgin sets it all up.
As a novel I think it mostly succeeds within this framework using this premise. The characters were developed and the novel moved along nicely. The story mostly concentrates around first St. Joseph and then James. While there are intersections of events from the New Testament, many of these events are mentioned after they had occurred. So no attempt to retell the Annunciation or the Nativity, which was probably a good idea. Because James is training under the Rabbi Hillel, he has few interactions with Jesus until much later.
Now anytime there is a historical novel, especially one dealing with the Holy Family, there is plenty to quibble about. For one if Jesus had a half-brother it would make no sense for Jesus to give Mary to John at the cross. There were also reflections of James that I think were off such as Jesus reason's for "Cleansing at the Temple". Plus there is the whole debate as to whether St. Joseph was a widower.
Still putting all that aside, I did enjoy the novel despite my quibbles. After all this is intended as a work fiction, not a historical assertion....more
Some years ago David Athey sent me his first book Danny Gospel, which I reviewed here. Almost a decade has past and I can still remember that book vivSome years ago David Athey sent me his first book Danny Gospel, which I reviewed here. Almost a decade has past and I can still remember that book vividly. As a constant reader books usually get lost in the fiction fog for me over time.
So when he wrote to tell me his third book was available I immediately bought it. Joan of the Everglades.
He described it as “comedy-thriller with a nod to Chesterton.”
> Joan Dior is an edgy teen artist who finds a corpse in a Florida lagoon, vows to find the killer, and becomes the target of a billionaire and his death cult who believe they have regrown the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.”
> Joan and her best friend, Mia, along with their two guy friends, Dontey and Rico, get drawn into the middle of the Everglades and must battle not only the cult but also giant pythons, alligators, and a Komodo dragon … during a killer storm … while methane gas bursts into hellish flames all around them. Good times. Everyone will probably die. Unless . .
His first novel reminded me of Flannery O’Connor, but his latest brings me more to the mind of Walker Percy with a dose of C.S. Lewis style allegory. As a comedy I was amused throughout, especially with the “Dear reader” notes intertwined. It works quite well as a thriller as the story briskly moves along and surprised me several times along the way. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
My only complaint is that as it moved to the final chapters dealing with Joan and Mia, I was wondering about the reactions of the characters setup in the first half dealing with spiritual welfare. Although thinking back, maybe this was a feature - not a bug in that there is a very connected point to this setup....more