As an author, I’m in the business of writing to tell stories. As a Christian, I’m in the business of writing to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the world. I always consider it a blessing when I find someone who can do both of those things, and do them effectively.
Sean Elliot Russell is part of a thread I belong to on Goodreads for Speculative Christian writers, and it was my pleasure to connect with him and read his book The Jesus Boy. I found it both entertaining and inspiring, which is important when you are talking about a Christian novel. Here’s the description from Amazon:
Fourteen-year-old Joshua Phillips dares to follow Jesus with all his heart, mind, and strength. As signs and wonders begin to follow the boy, his impact is immediate in his family, school, and small city. But following the Master isn’t without tribulations and trials.
When his little brother struggles with an aggressive sickness seemingly resistant to Joshua’s prayers, when unexpected news arises about the mysterious girl he’s courting, Lydia Claremont, and when darkness arises within the community bent on its destruction, these all collide with Joshua’s determination to follow the One. Will the One within Joshua be enough to confront and overcome the challenges? Joshua is whispered to be the Jesus boy.
This is an exceptional book, filled with interesting characters that you end up caring about, a storyline that took me from fear to tears to laughter, and inspiration that made me say to myself, “Why haven’t I written about that in my own books yet?” It deals with one of my pet issues when it comes to Christianity: whether God acts in our lives and whether we can truly expect miracles. It also addresses the issue of God talking to us as Christians, something that I have debated with fellow Christians about. I found it to be one of those books that not only entertained you, but made you think about your own relationship with God. And that’s always a good thing.
I always like to find a little good and a little bad, and the bad is really only a quibble: I found that some of the language was a bit stilted and formal sometimes, and felt like it should be more relaxed and modernized. But that detail didn’t stop me from enjoying the story at all. In fact, the author has informed me that most of my quibbles have been addressed in a recent update.
In any case, I highly recommend The Jesus Boy. It’s not just fun to read, it will also bring you closer to God.
Five stars out of five.