There is a tiny subgenre of fiction that will make me squee with delight like a Twilight Fan discovering Robert Pattinson is coming to her high school and she will be showing him around. It probably doesn't have a specific name, but I'd call it Theology for the Well Versed and Irreverent. Up until now it was such a small subgenre that I had only found three examples, Good Omens, The Life of Brian, and Dogma.
Make that four now.
The Chosen by John Hartness is an example of all that is good and joyful in fiction. I love this book. It's fast paced, very well voiced, and genuinely funny.
In a nutshell, Adam, as in Adam and Eve, Father of Humanity, has to gather up his family, and head off with the Archangel Michael (described as a skinnier version of James Marsters) to find the human who will make another Eve level choice.
What's an Eve level choice? Well, there's where some of the irreverent theology comes in. Every so often one human is picked to make a choice that will effect them all. Eve made the first one, and others have followed, and now it's time for the final massive, humanity altering choice, and everyone who was there for the first choice has to show up for this one.
So, Adam, Eve (his very ex-wife), Cain (can't you already feel the how much fun this family reunion is going to be?), Myra (Adam's latest girlfriend), and Emily (their 23 year old daughter and stand in for Able, who, for obvious reasons, can't make it) need to find the man who will make the choice and get him to the place of choosing. Along the way Michael and Lucypher (This is my only quibble with this book, Lucypher? Really? There's no need to muck with the spelling on that one.) lend a hand (or fiery sword).
Along the way expect fist fights, lots of booze, guns, and the ever present voice of Adam, done with perfect pitch and tone. It's easy to believe this character has been around since literally the beginning of time and has seen it all.
The plot is fairly simple, find all of the main characters, get them all into the same place, and then make the choice. If it was a role playing game, it'd be called linear. It's the characterization and voice of these characters that make this book so much fun.
The theology is light-hearted and likely to annoy the true believers. Call it Eve was set up, rather than Eve was framed. If you liked the theological precepts of Good Omens, you will like this book. Actually, let me go further here, if you liked Good Omens for any reason, you will like this book.
The first link goes to the book form of The Chosen. The second link takes you to the Kindle edition. At $9.99 for the book and $3.99 for the Kindle edition, both versions are priced well for the content. It's two hundred pages long, so in addition to being fast paced, it's also a fast read. I easily finished it in two evenings, and wished it was longer.
So, here is is, my first five star review. Please, go buy this book and then review this book. Link to it on Facebook and tweet about it. There's only one way that self published books get attention, and that's when everyone who liked them lets everyone within the sound of their voice know about them. So, go give it a read and give John a hand getting the word out.