This month’s best-reviewed BookLife titles include a biblical mystery, a space colonization adventure, and much more.
Book of Yeshua
Synopsis: Chapman’s audacious debut, in which a character dubs the New Testament “the Great Lie,” begins in first-century CE Judea, where Yeshua (aka Jesus), a god who cannot be killed, desires to share “the human experience,” but things don’t go as planned.
PW’s takeaway: The plot is fast-paced and full of surprises. Readers will be interested in this alternative view of Christianity’s origins.
Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code is a comparable title.
Sample line: “Symeon Bar-Jonah grabbed the wineskin from Andrea and drank with relish, testament to his thirst.”
Through a Forest of Stars
Synopsis: The discovery of an Earthlike planet 27 light years away sparks fierce competition in Jeffrey’s dense but exhilarating debut.
PW’s takeaway: Readers will enjoy immersing themselves in Jeffrey’s incredibly detailed world.
Aer-ki Jyr’s Star Force series is a comparable title.
Sample Line: “His heart pounded in his ears.” His helmet was filled with the metallic odor of fear. Panic trapped him inside a familiar nightmare, his legs refusing to move, his feet embedded in the substance of death, unable to outrun a raging tidal wave of terror.”
Josie and the Scary Snapper
Elisa Downing, illus. by Isadora Machado
Synopsis: A light brown–skinned child with cotton candy–esque pink hair fears “monsters in the dark.” PW’s takeaway: This picture book debut will resonate with readers.
Similar titles: Jon Davis’ Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night
The Heart Knows the Way Home
Synopsis: In this touching romance, two long-lost friends reunite, but their faith differences may keep them apart.
PW’s takeaway: Fans of Amish and Mennonite fiction will enjoy Distler’s sweet story.
Gail Sattler’s The Narrow Path series has a similar title.
Synopsis: Julienne LaMere’s boss sends her to a wellness resort to train the staff in Daniels’ pleasant fourth mystery starring Julienne LaMere.
Daniels gently pokes fun at genre tropes while making her characters feel real, according to PW.
Comparable title: M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin Mysteries.