The Days of Elijah
by John Noble
Publication Date September 10, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Biblical Fiction, Christian Fiction
Setting: Israel 1000 - 732 BC
Written for: Middle-School, High-School/Young Adult, Adults
Elijah’s friends are dead, and without a miracle, he’s next.
Elijah is a young prophet studying the Torah, when the soldiers of Queen Jezebel burn his school and massacre his teachers. He escapes, barely, but finds himself on the run and hunted as Queen Jezebel attempts to stamp out the worship of the Hebrew God in Israel and replace it with the worship of Ba’al.
As the queen’s soldiers close in on him, Elijah discovers a little known promise in the Scroll of Deuteronomy and prays for something impossible – that God would turn the skies to bronze and stop the rain on the kingdom that has abandoned Him.
And God says yes.
As drought and famine grip the cloudless land of Israel, God tells Elijah to hide and sends him to the land of Tyre, to a widow and her son who are on the edge of starvation. In Tyre Elijah finds a darkness at the heart of the city, a darkness that threatens to consume Israel next. But even if he survives, will Israel listen to his warning?
This is a re-imagining of the story of Elijah from the Bible.
Browsing through the Young Adult books on Kindle Unlimited for something new to read, I was excited to see a book about Elijah, one of my favorite Biblical figures. Okay, I admit that list is long but he really is high up on the list! I grabbed a copy in a blink and read it.
I loved the imagery and rich details shared throughout, bringing the Bible more to life. While some events transpired differently than I pictured, nothing was contrary to what is shared in Scripture and so it was enjoyable to look at things through different eyes.
Another aspect that made me especially happy was the way Elijah’s story was told and how much of the history of Israel was integrated into it. My favorite example of that was the occasion Elijah needed to tell the widow of Zarephath about the manna. Wow!
Keeping in mind how much I like Elijah, I was still surprised at how much my perspective of him changed because of this story. And to realize how many details of his life I never even considered. The Days of Elijah brought the life of the prophet vividly to life, sharing not only his triumphs but also making him appear to be a “normal” man with ordinary hopes and fears and doubts… I’ve always pictured him as being quite bold and confident (until he ran from Jezebel) yet the author showed how he very likely was a student of Scripture who simply began to feel a sense that he should pray according to what he read in Deuteronomy. So he did.
Elijah’s journey from those early days to when he was taken up by the chariot at the end of his time on this earth is shared in a fascinating journey. Traveling from Israel to the pagan cities of Zarephath and Tyre, he witnessed even greater atrocities performed in the name of “worship” than those he had seen in the pagan worship in Israel. The details were kept to only those necessary and therefore it was not macabre in its imagery.
Written in our modern vernacular, The Days of Elijah is easy to read, though this somehow took away from my sense of that period. Not that there were any anachronisms like “hey dude” – the dialog simply sounded modern and a bit too casual. And not that this was a bad thing. Honestly, It made Elijah seem more human and relatable.
When preparing to write this review, I was looking over the book information and was reminded that The Days of Elijah falls in the category of Young Adult fiction. While I don’t think that is inappropriate or a mislabel, I was surprised. Many of the books I read written for that age have a sense of being written for a younger audience by the vocabulary or details shared (or omitted). Maybe it is because Elijah was clearly an adult in this story but it made me do a double-take at the recommended age. This is a story that readers of all ages will enjoy – without feeling like as if they are being spoken down to.
I see that John Noble has just one other title published under Science Fiction, Starbound. I will be keeping an eye out via Amazon for his new releases. More Biblical fiction, please!