The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari

Review overview

Concept
Story
Writing
Characters
Genre elements

Arthurian

The main focus is on the struggles and emotions during the life of Joby. The power of this book is in its characters.

As you would expect from a book titled The Book of Joby, this standalone novel is based on the biblical book of Job. The story of Job is about a bet between God and the devil. Victim of this bet is Job, who sees all that he loves taken by the devil. He loses his family, his money and his health, to prove his loyalty to God. If Job damns God, the devil has won the bet.

With a twist
The book of Joby tells this story… with a twist. Again, the subject is a bet between God and Lucifer. Modern day California is the stage, and the fate of the world is at stake. Lucifer and his minions will do whatever it takes to victim Joby, to make him denounce God.

King Arthur
Of course, there are more differences to the original story. There are, for example, some very funny dialogues between God, Lucifer, Gabriel and Lucifer’s minions. Some of which even take place in a busy restaurant.

The biggest difference, however is the appearance of King Arthur and the Holy Grail. This book takes you to one of the most classic tales of all time. We meet characters like Arthur, Merlin and Lancelot. These two stories, Arthur and Job, are so brilliantly woven together, that the result is surprising, charming and, at times, even epical. Again, with a twist. And thanks to that twist, the book will never feel annoyingly Christian.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself laughing out loud one moment, and crying your heart out the other.

Great characters
As interesting as this story sounds, however, it isn’t the best thing about The Book of Joby. No, the best thing is, without a doubt, the great way Mark J. Ferrari has created his characters. A feat even more amazing if you consider the fact that this is only his debut novel.

The book takes you along on the life journey of Joby. From his childhood, through his time as a teenager, to growing up into an adult. Along the way, we meet all his emotions. Emotions influenced by the loss Lucifer inflicts on his life. These emotions feel so real, it’s almost scary.

This makes The Book of Joby a true piece of art. From the first chapters onwards, the reader will feel connected to Joby. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself laughing out loud one moment, and crying your heart out the other.

The attention to the life and struggles of Joby, however good they may be written, also bring the only flaw of this book. Half way through the book, the emotions seem overextended, making the book feel quite slow. Fortunately, Ferrari redeems himself immediately, so the book never gets really boring. All in all, the speed of the book is quite good. The fact that this is a 640 page book, is something you tend to forget as you read.

Why should you read this book?
The Book of Joby can be recommended to any Fantasy reader. This is one of the best debuts I’ve ever read. Don’t expect a story of knights, magic, elves and what not, however. There is, of course, quite a lot of action. The main focus, however, is on the struggles and emotions during the life of Joby. The power of this book is in its characters. But be warned: no one is safe when Lucifer lets loose of his minions onto the world…

About Stephan van Velzen

Stephan van Velzen
A 31 year-old Communications student, Stephan loves publicity and design, particularly web design. When he’s not designing websites, he can be found in a comfy chair reading a fantasy book. In The Ranting Dragon, he has found a way to combine these passions and discover a new love for writing to boot. Stephan lives in a small town in The Netherlands with his wife Rebecca, an editor for The Ranting Dragon, and their two cats.

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One comment

  1. loved the book to death

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