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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read but a little predictable, 23 Feb 2014
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This review is from: American Jesus Volume 1: Chosen: Chosen v. 1 (Paperback)
I thought this was a good read but turned out to be a little predictable in the finish, I dont know if this is the complete story or if further volumes will follow, the cliffhanger finish works fine but I did think from reading interviews with the author that he was prepared to write and have illustrated something much more conclusive. While having criticised the final installment of the Omen films, The Final Battle, I sort of was left thinking that the book had succeeded in producing something which was very close to that mark, pretty close to the Omen entirely to be honest.

The book has an introduction by Shaun Pegg, of Shawn of the Dead fame, and two afterwords by a Dublin Franciscan and another religious figure, these are pretty good and likely to interest any purely secular readers as much as any more religiously interested or inclined readers, there is then a short piece about the illustration of the book featuring some preliminary sketches and the stock artist and author bios which mention other works by them, which is handing if you use these sorts of things as a direction on what to read next possibly.

The book itself is respectful of the subject matter without attempting anything sacrosanct or sanctimonious, the story features small town life in America and some of the drama of growing up, which I liked a lot, the protagonist and his friends are very human and their responses to developments are very sympathetic. The book features miracles as they may occur in the present age and who they would be viewed by a skeptical, or you could say "post-Christian" public, that is to say kids and adults who have a knowledge of miracles in the bible, this was interesting because it made me think about how literary sources such as this really do colour peoples expectations and it made me wonder about how miracles would have appeared when those expectations did not exist at all. There are other influences operating too, comics principally, and it was amusing to see the conclusions drawn as a result when someone with that influence manages to begin to display unusual or super-natural powers and knowledge.

From the beginning which features the past, with narrator boxes, the action moves back and forward to the present and it clear that the protagonist is telling his company in the present his own "origin story" as events develop in the present, there is little or no information about that, besides someone getting ready to go take a flight somewhere but perhaps that could feature in another book in the series.

The afterwords are pretty good and round of the entire work the very best, I definitely would not have enjoyed it as much had I not had them to read, especially one of them which features some quotes from scripture which I was familiar with and thinking about from the beginning of the book and probably did change the ending for me. I would recommend this book to anyone, relgiiously minded or not, fans of comics or not particularly, it was a page turner but I also pretty interested in its themes too, the nearest possible comparative story that I can think of is Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's collaboration Good Omens, which is itself a brilliant book along similar lines, in its own ways emphasising the human over any supernatural "great game" between God and Satan (it remains to be seen but I think Gaiman and Pratchett's twist on this theme could be much, much less orthodox than Gross' own).
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4.2 out of 5 stars (10 customer reviews)
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Lark
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Location: North Coast of Ireland

Top Reviewer Ranking: 486