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August 10, 2021
By PW Staff
In this month’s roundup of the best-reviewed BookLife titles, we highlight a biblical mystery, a space colonization adventure, and much more.

Book of Yeshua    

Francis Chapman

Synopsis: Chapman’s audacious debut, in which a character dubs the New Testament “the Great Lie,” opens in first-century CE Judea, where the desire of Yeshua (aka Jesus), a god who can’t be killed, to share “the human experience” doesn’t turn out as he expected.

PW’s takeaway: The fast-paced plot is full of surprises. Readers will want to check out this alternate take on the origins of Christianity.

Comparable title: Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code

Sample line: “Symeon Bar-Jonah grabbed the wineskin from Andrea and drank with relish, testament to his thirst.”


Through a Forest of Stars

David Jeffrey

Synopsis: The discovery of an Earthlike planet 27 light years away spurs fierce competition in Jeffrey’s dense but exhilarating debut.

PW’s takeaway: Readers will be glad to immerse themselves in Jeffrey’s immensely detailed world.

Comparable title: Aer-ki Jyr’s Star Force series.

Sample line: “His heart pounded in his ears. The metallic smell of fear flooded his helmet. Panic transfixed him inside a familiar nightmare where his legs refused to move, his feet embedded in the substance of death, unable to outrun a surging 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.

Comparable title: Jon Davis’s Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night


The Heart Knows the Way Home

Christy Distler

Synopsis: Two long-lost friends reunite, but their faith differences may keep them apart in this touching romance.

PW’s takeaway: Distler’s sweet story  will win over fans of Amish and Mennonite fiction.

Comparable title: Gail Sattler’s The Narrow Path series.



Avery Daniels

Synopsis: In Daniels’s pleasant fourth mystery featuring Julienne LaMere, Julienne’s boss sends her to a wellness resort to train the staff.

PW’s takeaway: Daniels gently pokes fun at genre tropes while making her characters feel real.

Comparable title: M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin Mysteries.