2 out of 4 stars
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In Killing Abel, Michael Tieman writes a fictional report on what happened in the book of Genesis in the Old Testament from the first humans until the flood. He uses the actual wording of the Bible as guidance and reference and completes the stories with his interpretation and fantasy.
The book starts with Lucifer enticing Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. She tries to resist but fails. Eve then also convinces Adam to do the same, and they both get expelled from the Garden of Eden. In the outside world, Adam and Eve start their life as husband and wife. They create a family, and the book moves on to tell the story of their first-born daughter Eva and first-born son Cain and second-born son Abel. The final chapters recount the story of Noah building the ark. All through the book, God, as a loving father, is watching over his children.
I was intrigued by the original idea of taking well-known stories, using the origin of these stories as a background setting, and filling in the gaps with fiction. I also like the dramatic art on the cover page. The book has a promising start; the reader is immediately in the story, and the action begins. And then it stops. Apart from a few well-written parts, such as Adam contemplating the correct punishment for Cain killing Abel, and his subsequent discussion with Eva on the topic, I found myself wanting to rush through the book.
I was probably expecting a bit too much of it; I was disappointed with the slow pace, the long descriptions, and the lack of action. While reading, I couldn't help but feel like I was reading a factual report instead of a novel. Furthermore, there are quite a few typos and formatting errors that bothered me while reading. For these reasons, I rate the book 2 out of 4 stars.
The book is quite descriptive when it comes to procreation, nudity, and sexuality in a very factual way, making it not suited for a younger audience. While it is a book based on the Bible, I think it can be interesting for all readers independent of their religious background. It helps to know the stories of Adam and Eve, Abel and Cain, and Noah and its ark, but I don't think it is necessary since the book refers to the Bible passages and includes the background needed to follow the storylines.
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