I was given a copy of this book as part of a Novel Publicity tour.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Logos. Even as I trudged throughI was given a copy of this book as part of a Novel Publicity tour.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Logos. Even as I trudged through the first few chapters, I wasn’t sure what I was reading. From the description, I knew it had something to do with Jesus and the origins of Christianity, a subject that I’ve long been academically interested in. The prologue was about somebody named Paul in prison, set to die. I assumed (correctly, as I learned later) that this was the Saul of the New Testament.
But then the story took us to a young Jewish boy named Jacob. I wondered what he had to do with Jesus, but I kept reading. The narrative style seemed a little detached and formal, but the more I got into the story the more the characters fleshed out, and the more I began to think that the style was deliberate. There is something almost but not quite Biblical about the narration itself.
We follow Jacob’s life, as he gets dragged into a Jewish rebellion in Jerusalem, which ends badly for his people and catapults his life out of the comforts of home and into the larger world. This is when the story really gets interesting. As we follow Jacob, his story is woven by bits and pieces into the story that would become the Gospels. We see a martyr named James utter the final words attributed to Jesus. We hear the story of the prophet Yeshua from an old man who met him. We experience the flight to Bethlehem and the birth in a manger.
As Jacob struggles with his own faith, he meets people along the way who help shape his new paradigm. Words he hears lay out the author’s thesis bit by bit:
I am telling the tale of the Jews. Yet I must write in circumlocutions. Someday these scrolls will be discovered. I do not know if enemy or friend of God’s people will find them. Thus I write in language that only men with understanding will appreciate.
It is one thing that many people forget, yet it is so integral a part of religious writings, particularly early Christian. During the persecution of Christians, any writings or stories had to be written almost in code. Oppression always leads to this. We see it in the songs of African slaves in the southern US. We see it in the martial art of capoera, which Brazilian slaves created to look like a dance so they could practice without being discovered. So it is little wonder that stories of Jesus may be more concerned with the purpose of the writing than the facts.
Even in the first century BCE, learned people were aware of the parallels between many different traditions.
The story follows the same formula, does it not?–a man of noble class dressed in the finery of kings and priests and anointed with oils most holy, is cast into the wilderness, losing all and experiencing every misery and deprivation, finally rises up again and is revealed as the savior of humankind and the bearer of a word and bringer of a new and better age.
And in many aspects, Jacob’s own story also follows the same formula. There is little to support this as more than a thought exercise on the author’s part, but the beauty of Logos is that it is entirely plausible. In a way, Jacob legitimizes Christian mythology: he absolutely had to go through the trials he experienced in his life, from his noble birth to the deepest loss and despair, for the story of Jesus to be what it is. Indeed, for the story of Jesus to have been collected and written at all....more
I was given a free copy of this book as part of a Novel Publicity tour. That said, I can't say enough good things about it.
‘Chosen One’ stories are aI was given a free copy of this book as part of a Novel Publicity tour. That said, I can't say enough good things about it.
‘Chosen One’ stories are a dime a dozen, but this has always been the case. Far from a tired trope, it has been a common thread throughout the history of literature and mythology. Being ‘chosen’ is not always a boon, and often comes with great danger. I love reading stories in which I don’t know who’s going to betray the hero next.
The authors of Wind Catcher play this extremely well, weaving a web of intrigue and danger. Juliet has her own doubts about herself and her heritage, but she keeps on fighting. I can’t wait to read what comes next for this series.
It’s a refreshing change to read a story so steeped in Native American lore (though we never learn which nation Juliet belongs to, which I understood but also found a little distracting). And to read a story based on that lore not be about ‘white guy discovers Native American artifact and inherits amazing powers!!! And may or may not have the guidance of Stock Old Wise Indian Shaman!!!’
Juliet is your typical teenager, caught between her heritage and the upper class private school world her mother has built for her. Her would-be Native American Mentor, her grandfather, falls in and out of her list of suspects, further destroying her sense of security. Not knowing whom to trust, Juliet must uncover the truth behind the recent slayings of people close to her grandfather, and protect herself from those who want to harm her. Yet she is only sixteen, she doubts herself and makes mistakes just like any teenager. In spite of the fantasy element of the plot, this story is grounded in realism: Juliet is a real girl with real thoughts and feelings, who has to come to terms with much she didn’t know and couldn’t have possibly imagined.
As far as the fantastical elements, they remind me of one of my all time favourite authors, Christopher Pike, who often writes of ancient civilizations and amazing beings. I definitely recommend this book to everyone....more
Put on your favourite heavy metal album, pour yourself a drink and relax into the story of an unlikely heI was given a review copy by Novel Publicity.
Put on your favourite heavy metal album, pour yourself a drink and relax into the story of an unlikely hero. Remember when hair bands became a thing, and parents across the country cried out against the evils of ‘devil music’? It’s the early 1980’s and Cain Pseudomantis has just erupted into the LA club scene as lead guitarist of Pseüdomäntis. The kicker? Unlike most of the other rockers, Cain is an actual, real-live devil.
Cain has only a few scattered memories of his life before he was enslaved by the sorcerer Mr. Warwick. For ten years he’s been little more than a servant and pet to the sorcerer and his sons, Lance and Steve. Heavy metal music was his escape from the shitty treatment he endured. So when he was sent by his master to Los Angeles on a mission, Cain ends up buying an electric guitar and through no fault of his own, getting signed to Daggerspoint Records.
However, not all is well in the City of Angels. A serial killer dubbed ‘The Engineer’ has been targeting young male rockers, torturing them in strange, ritualistic ways before dumping their bodies. The police don’t seem to care, and the frothing televangelist Nathaniel Breen is all too happy to see these ‘satan worshippers’ cut down. When the mystery cuts too close to home, it’s up to Cain and his band mates to find the Engineer before he takes another victim.
I greatly enjoyed following Cain’s exploits. Having been sheltered for the past ten years, he has trouble with things like reading and telephones. And unlike what Breen and his ilk would have you believe, he is not evil. Through half-remembered glimpses into his past, we learn that devils are in fact the offspring of fallen angels and humans living in some kind of subterranean alternate world. They lead a paleolithic existence and care nothing for harvesting human souls or anything of the like. Cain is actually a gentle soul, who finds himself deeply troubled by the evils humanity can inflict on each other.
The world of ‘Devil Music’ is just a tad off-centre. Sorcerers, gods, and monsters share the city with mortals who would rather look the other way than think too much into it. As more people learn of Cain’s secret, they simply seem to accept that he’s an actual devil and his band mates can do real magic. Steve Warwick gets in trouble in school for cursing his classmates and Mr. Warwick makes a living as a sort of magical mercenary. So while these things happen on the fringes of mainstream society, they are seen as an oddity rather than an impossibility.
‘Devil Music’ is a well-crafted mystery with good world-building and interesting characters. There seems to be more in the works from this author and I look forward to it!...more
I received an electronic review copy of this book from Novel Publicity.
I want to marry this book. And I don’t say that about just any book.
Having receI received an electronic review copy of this book from Novel Publicity.
I want to marry this book. And I don’t say that about just any book.
Having recently made it most of the way through the audiobook version of a certain ‘award winning’ Young Adult novel with a transgender character which was quite possibly the most offensive thing I’ve seen the genre offer so far, it took me a while to work up the courage to start reading Just Girls, by Rachel Gold. But I had made the commitment before picking up the Awful Book Which Must Not Be Named, and it’s a good thing I had because I may have passed up on a wonderful book.
Just Girls is gorgeous. It did everything right that the other book did wrong.
The story follows Ella and Tucker, two girls just starting college. One day, Tucker overhears some girls talking shit about a new transgender student. Apparently, one of these girls saw some paperwork while working at the admissions office that stated a new student was a trans girl. Basically all the horrible misconceptions about transgender people come out of these girls’ mouths. Incensed, Tucker turns around and shouts “You have anything to say to my face?” before even realizing that she has effectively come out as a trans woman. Tucker is not transgender, but she keeps up the pretense, deciding that she can take whatever abuse comes her way. She was an out lesbian in high school, how much worse can it be?
Tucker learns that it can indeed be worse, but instead of crumbling under the abuse, she sticks to her guns.
When Ella meets Tucker, and realizes what she’s doing to unwittingly protect her, she is in awe that anybody would do what Tucker did, risk their own safety for someone she doesn’t even know. The two girls become friends, learning about each other and protecting each other from haters, angry TERFs, and shitty relationships.
Rachel Gold does a wonderful job of giving life to every character in Just Girls. Ella began transition early in life, taking hormone blockers to prevent male characteristics from developing in puberty. She has a supportive family, which is a refreshing change. While a lot of trans and queer kids face rejection from their families, and that is a serious problem, not all of them do, thankfully. Ella is petite where Tucker is tall and strong. It’s easy for people to believe Tucker’s claims, and easy for tiny Ella to avoid any suspicion about her history.
I fell a little bit in love with Tucker. Her strength, selflessness, and courage felt real. The story switches point of view between the two girls, with Ella’s chapters narrated in first person and Tucker’s in third. It took me a little while to even realize this was happening, because it just works.
Surrounding Ella and Tucker is a motley group of college students from all walks of life. Notable among them is Nico, a genderqueer long-time friend of Ella’s. Nico’s pronouns keep changing from one chapter to the next as yo tries out different things to see what feels right, and this is handled seamlessly in the narrative. Nico’s assigned-at-birth gender is never revealed, and while one of the friends keeps trying to find out, this serves more to point out how Nico has no need to reveal this.
I think everyone would be entertained by this book, and may also learn things they didn’t know about gender politics without being lectured about it. Gold does a FANTASTIC job weaving the debate between the radical feminists and the transgender community into the narrative.
Most importantly, perhaps, the book is fun. Yes, bad things happen, but good things too. It’s life, with all its bumps and twists. And as in real life, friendship and love trump fear....more