- File Size: 574 KB
- Print Length: 312 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0999605003
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: FFS Media, LLC (October 4, 2016)
- Publication Date: October 4, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01LY37A27
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,281 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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The Beginning (Jessica Christ Book 1) Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Jessica, born to a promiscuous single mother, Desiree, living in a double wide trailer in a small town in Texas, is God's daughter. Really. God, appearing as a feral hog, stops Jimmy Dean's car to go have the man tell Desiree so. Uncomfortably arriving just as Jessica is being born, he's greeted by a shotgun wielding grandmother and Desiree's relief that the father isn't one of her many hook-ups.
From there the book follows Jessica from her introduction to her peers in kindergarten through the horrors of the beginning of eighth grade. Guided by mostly unwanted advice from God speaking directly to her in her mind, Jessica tries to balance her growing desire to just be a normal kid against God's insistence she act more Daughter-like.
Jessica's desire to be "normal" is something every teenager wants at one time or another. Trying to avoid being bullied, both wanting and not wanting to to be part of the top clique, both relying on and then having to support her mother, figuring out what is supposed to be happening with boys, are all told within Jessica's network of a loving, supportive teacher, a mother willing to stand up for her daughter, and God, who avoids answering some questions by claiming he has a natural catastrophe to go monitor. She can't seem to get the answers she wants, and sometimes can't even think of the question. Told with the exasperation only a growing child can bring, Jessica is a likable child trying to figure out where she fits into the world.
Some of the characters, widely patterned after stereotypes, may be a little uncomfortable to read. Jimmy Dean's self-propelled rise to religious leader reminds this reader of some of the more flamboyant televangelists, and the family who supports him without question despite ridiculous claims such as God is an Alpha Hog, as fervent worshippers sometimes interviewed on television.
One of the most laugh out loud scenes is the attempt at sex education. Girls separated from the boys are trapped between the Gynecologist trying to provide real information and the stuffy woman from the Church proclaiming wildly incorrect information.
This reader did not find the book blasphemous, nor the humor crude. The conversations Jessica and God have read more like a much older brother or the cryptic and knowledgeable Aunt who disappears when the hard questions are asked. God really is Jessica's father and like any other father with his first little girl he occasionally stumbles, sometimes ignores questions with the inevitable directive to go ask her mother, but always guides her the best he can.
The premise of a daughter of God is great and the author can put the male bias in place very skillfully. The book takes us from the birth of Jessica Christ to the end of grade 8. It will jump a few years between chapters and helps us be part of the life and challenges of a normal girl growing up, with the one exception of being God's daughter. How fun!
It would seem the book could be perfect for all ages, but the author does like to throw out some F bombs and is not too sensitive to 'thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain', therefore, young adult and older are the likely target. To the more creative parents you may be able to read it to your younger children and edit as you deem appropriate.
In closing if you can not handle religious satire stay away from this book. If you believe in God and know how to laugh at yourself or don't believe in God I think you will enjoy the book and find it difficult not to get the rest of the series.
I was kindly given a free reading of The Beginning through the the Reading Deals online book club in exchange for this honest review of the book.
Add to that a self-serving hypocrite of a preacher who's entirely misinterpreted the portents surrounding your birth to mean that you're the embodiment of human sin, mean kids in school, a pedophile demon, a best friend who means well but who can't seem to keep from blabbing your secrets at every turn, the fact that things tend to explode that you get mad, menstrual cramps, your mom beating another lady up for insulting you (and your dad, the pervert, making up a THOU SHALT NOT INTERRUPT THE AWESOME CATFIGHT commandment on the spot when you try to stop her)... well, it's wild ride.
All in all, the book is well worth reading, but the ending - or rather, the lack thereof - kind of dampens it. The story just seems to cut off at random, without any sense of having told a full story, or even the first chapter in a longer story. Possibly reading the entire series back to back will improve the overall impression, but as a single book, the anticlimax makes it feel aimless.