What compels a writer, already well known for erotically-charged, graphic vampire romances (among other works), to pen a series focusing on the young Jesus Christ, written from His perspective, no less? Well, the answer to that question is found in the Author’s Note at the end of this book, which I recommend that you read first. It is very personal and illuminating.
The tale here is told in the first person, so we are introduced to all the familiar characters from the New Testament (as well as others not found in the canon) involved in Christ’s young life, as seen by Him. It is not as weird as one might think, although some readers may have issues with “accidental miracles” as He gently stumbles through the year this volume describes. The relationship between Mary and Joseph is explored from different angles and Rice’s thoughts on this topic are very thought-provoking without being controversial. Theologically speaking, she is not taking a lot of risks here.
Rice’s young Savior cries a lot, and comes off more frail than one would imagine, which may very well be intended, albeit mildly annoying. (Events do transpire that affect the beginnings of a less fragile personality.) I also thought that the narrative could have included a bit more drama, conflict, or a subplot that did more to hook the reader. I greatly enjoyed the wide variety of key words and phrases taken directly from the King James Version (my personal favorite) of the New Testament scattered throughout the text. I believe that all readers of the New Testament will enjoy these gems as well.
This is a smooth, peaceful read that does not ask very much from its audience. If you need something lightweight and mildly interesting from time to time, this will work nicely.
Rated: None. As can be guessed by the genre, the language and events are all clean; there is a single usage of an irreverent term describing a woman’s questionable profession, which is used in the Bible.