Sunday, December 13, 2015

Five top fantasy books with Jewish themes

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. He has published over thirty short stories as well. One of Somers's top five fantasy books with Jewish themes, as shared at the B & N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog:
The Angel of Losses, by Stephanie Feldman

This is the dual-track story of sisters Marjorie and Holly, once close and now estranged by Holly’s religious conversion to a severe orthodox branch of Judaism, and an account of Marjorie’s investigation into four mysterious notebooks left behind by their beloved grandfather, telling a true story of the legendary “White Rabbi” who owes a debt to the titular Angel of Losses. Though set in modern day New York, it explores ancient myths and concepts, finding a powerful thread of truth in everything that occurs. A novel that floats on the simple premise that all religious myths and stories are actually quite true, the emotional impact it delivers as it takes us along on the characters’ journeys is strong stuff, and the magical elements are handled with intelligence and grace.

The Jewish religion and culture is ancient, complex, and filled with ideas both fundamental and transporting. That makes it almost ideal for extrapolation into speculative stories that explore the human condition—in this life and the next.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Angel of Losses also made Nicole Hill's list of five of the best new girl-powered sci-fi and fantasy novels.

The Page 69 Test: The Angel of Losses.

My Book, The Movie: The Angel of Losses.

--Marshal Zeringue