Tag Archives: Religion

Book Review 120: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

 

 

Some novels read fast. Non-stop page turning action that grabs your imagination and doesn’t let go until you finish. Other novels read slowly like eating a well-cooked meal at your favorite restaurant.  You take the time to eat your meal with a glass of the restaurant’s best wine.  Well, The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker was like the aforementioned well-cooked meal.

The Golem and the Jinni has been on my radar to read and review for the past year and I’m glad I had finally carved out time for it.  It is the story of Chava, a Golem, brought to life by a mysterious man who is a practitioner in Kabbalistic magic and Ahmad, a Jinni, released accidentally from a flask owned by tinsmith in Lower Manhattan.

Chava and Ahmad are trying to fit in and survive in their immigrant neighborhoods of 1890’s New York City while masking their true identities. The Golem and Jinni meet up by a chance and begin an unlikely friendship that will put both their lives in danger. Along the way, the pair learn about human behavior and how being authentically yourself is challenging.

Wecker adroitly interweaves fantasy, history, religion, and the nature of free will into an enjoyable stew of fiction. The storytelling was excellent and allowed me to escape into the world of 1890’s New York City that felt real. The Golem and the Jinni will be one of my favorite reads of 2017. Highly recommended.

 

Book Review 114: To Open The Sky by Robert Silverberg

Can human beings live forever? Of course, we all know the answer to that question.  One death per person.  However, science fiction has tackled the immortality theme throughout its history as a genre and Robert Silverberg addresses it in several of his books during his most prolific period of 1967-1976. To Open The Sky presents… Continue Reading

Book Review 92: Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler

There has not been a novel that caused such discomfort, challenge my assumptions, or made me defensive while reading like Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. It is the sequel to Parable of the Sower and continues Lauren Olamina’s quest to create a new religion, Earthseed, in a believable and frightening post-apocalyptic America reminiscent… Continue Reading

Book Review 77: Downward to the Earth by Robert Silverberg

You would think that religious themes in science fiction could not mix together.  However, there is a long history of science fiction (and fantasy) writers that have included religious themes in their work.  Gene Wolfe did with his Solar Cycle Series (Book of The New Sun, Long Sun, & Short Sun), Orson Scott Card did… Continue Reading

Introduction to the Book of Titus

A few years ago, I decided that I would I do online bible studies for the lesser known books of the Bible. It seems even amongst Christians, we have our favorite books of the Bible.  From the Gospels to Paul’s most popular letters (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Corinthians…etc) to Genesis and Exodus in… Continue Reading

Book Review 45: All God’s Children & Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Myers

What is pop culture? That’s the one question I’ve always wanted to get a definitive answer to in all of my adult life. Well, I believe I have found a book that attempts to give me that answer. All God’s Children & Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Myers explores the relationship between Christians and Popular Culture.… Continue Reading