When I was approached to review a book, I blindly said YES, of course. Then the dreaded, oh no what did I get myself into, hit me. What if I don't like the book? Is there any way to get out of this? The book arrived and I still had time to think of an excuse not to read it but unfortunately a book doesn't care if you have to go wash your hair so I just dove in and started to read. Lucky for me the book was pretty good.
“The Jesus Man” is author, Keith Anthony Baird's first novel. Baird says he's, “Inspired by such luminaries as H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, and H.G. Wells.” He states that his aim is to “deliver stories in a classic vein, but with a contemporary slant in both style and content”.
The book begins with a short description of The Jesus Man which was enough to get me to want to know more. It was also very thought provoking.
“It was said by the great elders that he came from the heavens to wander among us. The winter had gone but the world still bled from its burning. We had laid waste to everything and he had come to punish us. A priest called him archangel, God's right hand. Another, called him the Devil. But we, the children, called him the Jesus Man.”
People are trying to manoeuvre through what's left of the world. Earth has become a desolate wasteland where the elite rule and govern over what is left. We follow Clayton Decker, a priest, who is granted more privilege and luxury than most who are left in the city, known as the Ark and those who live within its walls are Arkanians. Not everyone is allowed within, but those “outsiders” may be taken inside to work as slaves. The people within the Ark live by rules and follow a religion. When Clayton Decker, a respected priest, begins to have visions of the future it means trouble. That sort of thing goes against the rules and the religion of the Ark. When Clay confides in an elder about these visions he tells him that he sees a mass extinction. The elder asks who it is that will be responsible for the end of humanity. It occurs to Clay that he never considered the identity of this person.
This is where you inevitably get hooked to find out who will bring about mass extinction to what is left of the world. Keith Anthony Baird has created a world that is so vividly described that you can't help but imagine being there. So much of what goes on in “The Ark” seems to mimic what is going on in modern day society and politics. It may not help alleviate the stresses from any current, real life situations, but it's a great escape for a little while.
“The Jesus Man” is currently available to purchase as an e-book via the author's website.