The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective by J. Bradley. Pelekinesis, 2015.
Reviewed by Megan Kida
After reading the back cover of The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective stating that Jesus used a 12-year-old boy detective as a vessel, one may become automatically excited to see what the boy detective would be up to and how the possession would affect him, creating high hopes for the reader. Unfortunately, after starting to read, one cannot be sure if the timeline was chronological or if it was hopping around. The subsections—which were sometimes as short as a two-line paragraph—jumped between three different settings that were never explained or clearly demarcated, to the point where it’s still confusing, seventy-five pages in. The reader is left waiting for things to connect what was happening and make it all clear. There was a small chunk of pages that seemed as if they would be super important to the story, but never were (Who is Benjamin? We may ever know). The audience can credit Jesus Christ, Boy Detective with getting the reader hooked enough to keep reading, if only to see if the author ever explained everything or tied everything together (which he does not).
The confusing nature of the book was tolerable, and one would almost be willing to call it intriguing, but what was a consistent struggle was trying not to give into the temptation of pulling out a red pen and starting to edit. This is not necessarily the author’s fault, but between the author, the publisher, and the editor, the blame must fall somewhere. There were some lines that simply didn’t make sense, because of their wording and other lines made it was clear that J. Bradley was thinking faster than his fingers could type—entire words were missing. It was sloppy and distracting from a story that was already hard to follow.
If the writing was cleaned up a little and more attention was paid to making the plot clear, I would probably recommend this book to my friends. It seems as if there was little time and attention dedicated to publishing this book, and it probably could have used more time in the editing process. The idea and the details in the story are great, and the plot has a lot of potential, but it was just too hard to get through without noticing all the errors or getting confused.