In All His Glory by John Howard Reid
Review written by Marti Melville
September 6, 2010
Lifted from the ancient pages of The Book of Kings, the story of Jeroboam as he dwells in ancient Egypt is brought to life in John Howard Reid’s novel, In All His Glory.
With splendid detail, the reader is transported back to the days of the Pharaohs and submerged into the ordeal of life as a Jew in hostile desert lands, an outcast from his own country, struggling to survive amongst Egyptian royalty. John Howard Reid has obviously done his homework as is evidence by the detailed description of ancient Egyptian culture, biblical tradition and the interaction of both cultures centuries before Christianity’s birth as a religious movement.
The story is compelling and moves the reader along at a steady pace, urging one to read to the end. As is typical for John Howard Reid, the story delivers an unexpected twist within the final pages. Pondering the contents of the epilogue allowed me to pleasantly imagine the probability of Reid’s story just told. Details are full and vibrant in pieces. For brief moments, the reader rides a roller-coaster of rich information which then dips to deliver scant data before turning to a new subject, leaving one to wonder “what just happened”. Opportunity to paint an unseen image of architecture, mannerism or culture are lost as the author seems to rush on to the next event, occasionally leaving the impression that the plot has been replaced by a series of scenes. Just as frustration builds due to unquenched thirst for detail, the description lifts once again carrying the reader on to view a new picture painted of life amongst the pyramids.
The main character, Jeroboam, dances between dialogue spoken from ancient tongue and modern-day figures of speech distracting the reader from the experience intended by the story. Use of occasional vocabulary pulled from the author’s probable reference to a thesaurus also causes a shift in the flow of the story. However, these minor deterrents do not detract enough to cause loss of interest in “what happens next” in the readers mind.
I recommend In All His Glory to anyone looking for an enjoyable hypothetical historical fiction. The novel is an easy read, provides gentle entertainment and a quick escape. Recommended for all ages Young Adult and older.
(Marti Melville is the author of Midnight Omen Déjà vu, the first novel in the Déjà vu series)