In The Beginning by Abby L Vandiver


In the Beginning New Cover

This in many ways is a tale of mystery within which the reader is taken on a virtual treasure hunt. Faith and belief and the fear of 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.

The 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.

The idea behind the story is intriguing and is likely to appeal to anyone who has an interest in archaeological discoveries. It is a bit of a mystery tour that takes in a number of different global locations. The reader is 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, the descriptions will mean very little except when a well know district e.g. Gethsemane is mentioned.

The plot and ultimate conclusion are very plausible and really 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. Detailing the actual story has intentionally been avoided 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 some there may be occasions when there is a bit too much.

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. The author is to be sympathised with: it is well known, and accepted, for someone to proof-read their own work is difficult. They will often find they are continually ‘blind’ to some errors.

Three stars (3*).

The book is as an e-book.     



Readers may know the book by its original cover as shown here.

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