I saw this title and read the blurb: the Devil and God assume human form for a year as a wager, but it doesn’t go to plan. I admit my reaction was: “Great! The cosmic battle played out on the playing field of Earth!”That wasn’t what I got, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Instead of focussing on supernatural beings and an age-old war, this book is subtle, thoughtful, and filled with interesting ideas.
For fans of Kevin Smith, this may sound along similar lines to “Dogma”. But in the book there is no overarching threat, no rebellion and no race against time. It’s a book about two men trying to find their way in an unfamiliar world and discovering themselves along the way. There’s also an element of romance to this which is, I have to say, one of the sweetest romances I’ve read in a while. There were various ways this could have ended. Jones went with the “safe” ending rather than one of the darker versions I had envisaged. But that’s fine: it would have undermined the whole sweetness of this book if there had been a cruel twist at the end of it which would have been surprising, but ultimately disappointing. Both of the characters at various points during the novel are required to talk about the Bible and Christian mythology. There was a risk that this could have resulted in a plot dump, but Jones adeptly turns them into interesting and thoughtful monologues that will leave you wondering if this might truly be what a benevolent god and his chief angel think of the world.
This book wasn’t for me as a fan of supernatural thrillers, but it really could be for you if you like emotional and philosophical works. At time of writing, it’s got four and five star reviews on various online sites, all of which are thoroughly deserved. It’s an interesting and unusual book that puts a whole new spin on just how good and evil might be viewed in our modern world. If personal development and sweet romance are your thing, if you like empathetic characters with whom you can enjoy a spiritual journey, then this book is the one you’ve been waiting for.