In The Beginning by Abby L Vandiver

This in many ways is a tale of mystery within which we are taken on a virtual treasure hunt. Faith and belief and a fear of them being undermined are central to the story. Although biblically based (the protagonist is a Biblical Archaeologist) this is a work of fiction. Those who would naturally shy away from anything religious should think twice because this is more of an adventure story than a critique of faith or belief.

518vygye4gl-oct-16The plot and characters are well written. It is easy to visualise not only the people themselves but also the conversations they have. To quote an old saying, it is ‘like being a fly on the wall’. The plot unravels at a reasonable pace although there are occasions when it gets a little bogged down on detail. Nevertheless, this does not detract from the story too much and is obviously intended to set the background, roots and understandings from which the protagonist is working.

I found the idea behind the story intriguing and because I enjoy hearing about archaeological discoveries it caught my interest. It is a bit of a mystery tour which takes in a number of different global locations. We are not overburdened with descriptions of these, though there is probably enough for those who have visited the places to identify where the action occurs. For the rest of us, it means very little except when a well know district e.g. Gethsemane is mentioned.

The plot and ultimate conclusion are very plausible and, in my opinion, should not offend or challenge those with strong beliefs. If matters had occurred as suggested it does not diminish or negate traditional beliefs. If anything it gives them broader scope. I have intentionally avoided detailing the actual story so as not to deprive a potential reader of their enjoyment.

The protagonist’s character has been written with considerable understanding. It could almost be autobiographical or based upon someone the author knows or has known who suffers from such neurosis and paranoia. Nevertheless, for me there were occasions when there was a bit too much of it.

There are several small errors throughout the book, which imply the author has done their own proofreading. The relevant word or phrase may easily be determined but it tends to cause the reader to have to momentarily stop. An external proof-reader would have hopefully spotted most of these. I sympathise because I have also encountered the problem. Proof-reading your own work is difficult and an author may often find they are continually ‘blind’ to some errors.

I give this book a three (3*) stars rating. I liked the story but, despite how well it is written, could not say it was amazing or extra special for me.

The book is available in paperback and as an e-book.     

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