Friday, August 24, 2007

THE BOOK OF JOBY by Mark J. Ferrari

I was glad that I waited a few days before announcing this debut because Robert over at Fantasy Book Critic has already posted his review! More on that later.

Mark J. Ferrari has written THE BOOK OF JOBY, which appears to be a very unusual debut; a modern retelling of the trials of Job. Yes, the Job, as in the Bible. As you may recall, the Biblical story tells how God proved Job's faith to Satan by allowing Satan to inflict Job with one loss, misfortune or disease after another. Satan tried to get Job to curse God's name, but he never did. You can find the story in The Book of Job, chapters 1 - 3, with the ending in chapter 42, when God gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Fast-forward to the present day, put the fate of the world at stake and you have THE BOOK OF JOBY (Amazon: US, Canada). Here is the official description:

Lucifer and the Creator have entered, yet again, into a wager they’ve made many times before, but this time, the existence of creation itself is balanced on the outcome. Born in California during the twilight years of a weary millennium, nine year old Joby Peterson dreams of blazing like a bonfire against the gathering darkness of his times, like a knight of the Round Table. Instead, he is subjected to a life of crippling self-doubt and relentless mediocrity inflicted by an enemy he did nothing to earn and cannot begin to comprehend.
Though imperiled themselves, the angels are forbidden to intervene. Left to struggle with their own loyalties and the question of obedience, they watch Lucifer work virtually unhindered to turn Joby’s heart of gold into ash and stone while God sits by, seemingly unconcerned.

And so when he is grown to manhood, Joby’s once luminous love of life seems altogether lost, and Lucifer’s victory assured. What hope remains lies hidden in the beauty, warmth, and innocence of a forgotten seaside village whose odd inhabitants seem to defy the modern world’s most inflexible assumptions, and in the hearts of Joby’s long lost youthful love and her emotionally wounded son. But the ravenous forces of destruction that follow Joby into this concealed paradise plan to use these same things to bring him and his world to ruin.

As the final struggle unfolds, one question occupies every mind in heaven and in hell. Which will prove stronger, love or rage?

The author's website includes several excerpts, a FAQ and his other creative occupation as an artist.

Robert over at Fantasy Book Critic has written a very long and complimentary review. There's also a review at Publishers Weekly (scroll way down). Inkspot has some short reviews, but I'm not finding much else online. It appears to be getting some review attention in print, however.

I find the subject matter for this novel compelling and I cannot read Robert's review without wanting to read it for myself. I'll probably do a post about the first chapter soon, because I've already started reading it.


Chris, The Book Swede said...

This sounds fantastic. Tia, really, I'm going to have to stop coming to your site soon. Every time, there's some fantastic new book that I must have!

I've been thinking of writing something biblical but fantasy. Most of my ideas involve God and Lucifer on a modern Earth. Subtly retelling the story of the war in Heaven but with the modern consequences of two (dare I say) Gods on Earth manipulating the forces of the world, to battle.

I shall have to get this book to review :) I'll try and contact the publisher a bit later.

And sorry for going on about one of my projects. The idea just caught me as I read your review =D It seems that my book has already been written!

The Book Swede

Tia said...

Re your first paragraph: I guess I'm doing my job, then! I knew there were a lot more debuts than most people realized, and I wanted to highlight them here. What I found out is that there are even more debuts than I realized! This blog eats up quite a chunk of my spare time!

I think many of us blog reviewers are clandestine writers. We slog away, blogging on books that we read, hoping one day to be on the other side of the review.

Chris, The Book Swede said...

I totally agree Tia. Blogging takes up so much time! It's time where I'd normally be trawling the Internet anyway, but still!

The number of hours every day spent just commenting on other peoples blogs. I love the sense of community that (what I'm going to call) the New Group of bloggers have got.

Yeah, you're right, so many of us want to be on the end of a (nice!) review. We can feature each other!

I actually haven't got around to much writing for a while. Once the blog is firmly set up, I'll devote a bit more time :)

Do you ever take part in the NaNoWriMo writing challenge? This year's is in November (as usual). Google it! I do it mainly for fun, but it can be useful.

The Book Swede

Tia Nevitt said...

No, I have not ever seriously considered taking part in NaNoWriMo. My time is extremely limited, and part of the reason that this blog has such a narrow focus is because I new that it would be all I have time for.

I write for about an hour and a half each day. Still, at that pace I managed to finish a 113,000 word novel in about 11 months, and wrote 80,000 words of another novel in about six months. Slow but steady works for me.

Unknown said...

Ah, I see. Well, you show much more focus than me. I love writing, but the ideas get so tangled.

I have yet to find a solid set of ideas that i could write about for an hour and a half every day. Well done!

Going to hit the publishers soon? Best of luck with it.

The Book Swede

Tia Nevitt said...

That is my plan! Thanks!