The Book of Joby ~ Mark J Ferrari

book_of_joby.jpg“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?”

I’ve started this review several times, deleting sentences and paragraphs, thinking that the obvious way to approach it too simple. Really, though, there is no other way to begin but to say…I loved this book.

Be ready to invest time and emotion into Ferrari’s wonderful story; the book is over 600 pages long, and the characters that you come to love so much are in for plenty of heartache and hardship. No matter how hard it becomes to read, though, there is not a question or doubt that it is worth the effort. The storytelling is so easy, so evocative, and there are so many threads weaving together to create this beautiful arc of imagery and plot — there is no option but to feel completely satisfied by the time you reach the novel’s end.

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